As I write this article for the upcoming winter season, it is 85 degrees outside and sunny at the end of September. But, many of us remember the 1991 Halloween snowstorm! We weren’t ready. Don’t be taken by surprise. Now is the perfect time to take your vehicle in for routine maintenance and safety checks before winter hits.
Here’s a sample checklist to consider:
- Is your coolant good for -35 below?
- When was your cooling system serviced last?
- When was your last ignition tune-up?
- What kind of shape are your tires in?
- When was your last general safety inspection?
Coolant service interval recommendations vary from manufacture to manufacture. Some say every five years, some say every ten years. Some will say at 100,000 miles some say at 150,000. The safest way to be sure is to have it tested regularly. When to have a vehicle tune-up? Again, it varies between manufacturers, 100,000+ miles could mean new spark plugs are in order.
We typically recommend complete tune-ups at 80,000 miles. This is when the spark plugs start wearing out and take more energy to fire. This, in turn, leads to other ignition failures and poor mileage and performance. Doing a complete tune-up, along with combustion chamber and fuel injector cleaning, will improve mileage and make for a smooth reliable start-up in the deep freeze of winter.
New tires? Tires are without question the most important thing between you and the road. There are many opinions as to when to replace your tires. The NTSB recommends six years and when the tire tread depth reaches 3 to 4 32nd. There is much more on tires to be sure, check with your service provider for more details.
That brings me to the general safety inspection of belts, hoses, all suspension parts, and brakes. A good tune-up on all of these items can help keep you safe on the road instead of finding your vehicle behind a tow truck or in the shop at an inconvenient time!
If you would like to visit us for a FREE vehicle inspection, call us at 651-457-3935 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Pace’s article is also featured in the October 2019 issue of the Mendota Heights Living magazine.