• If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, look for an orderly repair shop with modern equipment in the service bays and qualified automotive technicians as evidenced by trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course and ASE certifications.
• If you are having engine performance problems such as hard starts, rough idling or stalling, correct them now, before demanding stop-and-go vacation traffic.
• For comfort in hot weather, now's the time to have a marginally working air conditioning system serviced.
• Flush and refill the cooling system according to the service manual's recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (Make sure the engine has cooled down before removing the radiator cap.)
• A qualified auto technician should check the tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses, but you can look for signs of wear, cracking, or fraying.
• Replace other filters (e.g., air, fuel and PCV) as recommended in the service manual.
• Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Let the tires "cool down" before checking their pressure. Uneven wear, "cupping," vibrations or "pulling" to one side indicate problems with your tires or suspension system.
• Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner's manual. Often neglected, this simple service is one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your vehicle.
ASE was founded to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue-and-white shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. Their employers often display the blue-and-white ASE sign. Visit www.ase.com for more car care tips.