Get Ready For Summer Driving

The busy summer driving season​ is​ coming. Will your​ vehicle be ready?

The experts at​ the nonprofit National Institute for​ Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offer the following tips on​ getting your​ vehicle ready.

* Read the owner's manual and​ follow the recommended service schedules.

* if​ you​ are not a​ do-it-yourselfer, look for​ an​ orderly repair facility with modern equipment in​ the service bays. Also, look for​ evidence of​ qualified automotive technicians, such as​ trade-school diplomas, certificates of​ advanced course work and​ training, as​ well as​ national certification​ of​ the individual technicians by ASE.

* 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.

* Have engine performance problems -- hard starts, rough idling, stalling -- corrected. You'll get better gasoline mileage and​ could prevent more expensive repairs.

* Have a​ qualified auto technician check the tightness and​ condition​ of​ belts, clamps and​ hoses. you​ should stay on​ the lookout for​ signs of​ wear, cracking or​ fraying.

* Likewise, have a​ faulty air-conditioner system serviced by a​ technician qualified to​ handle refrigerants. Older units often contain​ ozone-depleting chemicals that could be released into the air through improper or​ incompetent service.

* Change the oil and​ oil filter as​ specified in​ the owner's manual. this​ simple service alone can increase the life of​ your​ vehicle. Replace other filters 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.

* Don't neglect your​ transmission. Costly repairs can be prevented by routine service.

* 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.

ASE was founded in​ 1972 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 ASE shoulder insignia and​ carry credentials listing their exact areas of​ certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign.

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