• The Delphos Herald Spring Car Care • April 2011
Flanagan’s Spring Car Care
816 E. FIFTH ST.DELPHOSPh. 419-692-5801Mon.-Fri. 8-5, Sat. 8-1
See WIPER BLADES, page 7
ARA — Drivers are holding on to theircars longer in these tough economic timesso the nation’s leading auto parts retailer, isoffering tips to help motorists get the mostout of their investment.“Holding off on purchasing a newvehicle can be a smart financial decision,especially if drivers properly maintain theirvehicles to ensure they’re running safely andefficiently,” said Steve Stoll, MerchandisingDirector of AutoZone. “Maintaining andreplacing key components, such as brakesand batteries, can keep vehicles on theroad and help prevent costly repairs in thefuture.”The average length of time consum
ers hold on to their vehicles is more thanfive years, according to a recent automo
tive industry study. Older cars can be safeand dependable, but need ongoing mainte
nance to keep them running at their best.According to the National Car Council, 80percent of vehicles on the road are in needof service or parts.Motorists who know the signs of impend
ing failure and understand the impactextreme weather conditions can have onvarious car components, can plan ahead forrepairs and replacements instead of beinghit by an unexpected bill down the road,Stoll said.“The longer car maintenance is delayed,the more costly it can be,” said Stoll.Two key components in any vehicle arethe braking system and the battery. Expertsoffer the following tips to ensure these vitalparts are properly maintained.
• Give brakes a winter check-up.
Excessive build-up of road salt and brinesolutions in the winter on brake componentsis one cause of brake failure. These solu
tions can create contamination of exposedbrake parts and can cause brake componentsto deteriorate prematurely. Hazardous roadconditions can also lead to increased use of Antilock Braking Systems (ABS), whichcan cause premature wear of all brake sys
tem components.As temperatures warm up, motoristsshould check their braking systems touncover any damage that may have occurredduring the winter months.
• Check brakes quarterly to ensureproper performance.
In general, brakes are the most importantsafety feature on any vehicle and should bechecked quarterly to ensure proper perfor
mance. Brake pads and rotors should alsobe checked any time the tires are removed,such as during a tire rotation. Other brakecomponents such as brake fluid should bechecked at every oil change.
• Extreme temperatures can meanbattery failure.
A battery’s biggest enemy is heat. Hightemperatures can cause the grids inside bat
teries to corrode and break down. The effectsof the corrosion are usually seen when win
ter hits, when the car requires more elec
trical power to start. Drivers should havebatteries tested up to twice a year in normalclimates, and more frequently in extremelyhot or cold climates. Some retailers offerfree battery testing.
• Replace the battery every three tofour years.
While batteries can last more than fiveyears in ideal driving conditions, factorssuch as temperature, the car’s age and natureof usage can impact the life of a battery.Many motorists are unaware that under thestress of normal city driving, the average lifeof a vehicle battery is about three years.
According to the National Car CareCouncil, drivers with batteries more thanthree years old should consider replacingthem, since batteries rarely give warningsigns that they are about to fail.
As drivers hold on to cars longer, small repairsnow can save money, time in the future
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