The experts at the National Institute ASE offer the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer:
- Read the owner's manual and follow the recommended service schedules.
- Flush and refill the cooling system, or radiator, according to the service manual's recommendations. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. Let the engine cool down before removing the radiator cap.
- Have drivability problems -- hard starts, rough idling, stalling -- corrected.
- If you are not a do-it-your-selfer, look for repair facilities that employ ASE-certified 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.
- A qualified auto technician should check the tightness and condition of belts, clamps and hoses.
- Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a qualified technician.
- Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner's manual. Properly dispose of used oil.
- Replace other filters -- such as air, fuel, PCV-- as recommended.
- Check the condition of tires, including the spare. Let tires "cool down" before checking air pressure.
- Inspect all lights and bulbs. Replace burned-out bulbs.
- Replace worn wiper blades and keep plenty of washer solvent on hand to fight summer's dust and insects.
For more information, including additional car care tips, visit www.ase.com.