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Car Maintenance >> Fall-Winter

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Fall's a Good Time to Think About Car Care

(NUI) - As summer ends, it's time to start thinking about the colder weather ahead and what that means for your vehicle.

According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), autumn is an ideal time for automotive maintenance and repair.

Engine performance problems - rough idling, poor acceleration or hard starts - should be corrected before cold weather sets in. Stalling, an inconvenience in the summer, can be deadly in winter storms.

Here are some tips from the experts at ASE for getting your vehicle ready for winter.

* Read your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's service intervals.

* Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer fluid on hand to fight road salt, grit and other grime.

* Replace worn tires with all-season radials or snow tires as conditions warrant.

* Don't forget to check the spare tire and jack.

* Have a qualified auto technician check the condition of your battery and cables, the radiator, and all hoses and belts.

* Make certain the heater and defroster are in good working condition. Have the exhaust system examined for leaks, a potentially deadly condition in closed vehicles.

* Carry emergency gear: flares, boots, gloves, ice scraper, high-energy snacks, a blanket, shovel, flashlight, tire chains, a few tools and a cell phone.

If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, find a repair shop with a courteous staff, qualified technicians and modern equipment. Look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified automotive technicians to do those jobs you cannot or do not want to perform.

ASE is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.

For a free brochure with winter maintenance tips, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope to: ASE Winter Brochure, Dept. NUW-203, 101 Blue Seal Drive, Suite 101, Leesburg, VA 20175. Visit www.asecert.org for more information.


















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