Tips to get your car road ready for summer driving

If winter was harsh on your car, make sure it gets tuned up and ready for summer. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Aiman)

If winter was harsh on your car, make sure it gets tuned up and ready for summer. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Aiman)

Submitted by Girard’s Service Center

Spring usually brings a big sigh of relief to most car owners. It’s refreshing to have another harsh winter in our rearview mirror. While we don’t have to be concerned about being stuck somewhere in freezing temperatures, we don’t have to look too hard to find signs of winter still hanging around.

Don’t put your vehicle on cruise control until the leaves fall again. Fall is a time of greater urgency because of winter being right around the corner, but spring is the time to address automobile maintenance. Nothing may have broken or fallen off your vehicle last winter, but you probably didn’t dodge all of those potholes. Spring is the perfect time to get an alignment. Your vehicle’s suspension and steering parts will be inspected. A slight misalignment will lead to abnormal or premature tire wear, which can be costly.

Of course, this is not the only example where a simple checkup can save you money. Don’t ignore service warning lights if your vehicle seems to run OK. What you might not know is one of the vehicle’s oxygen sensors has failed and doesn’t properly control the fuel mixture anymore. During most of these failures, the computer richens the mixture, and the engine has no problem running on more fuel than necessary. You might realize you’re visiting the gas station more often, but you don’t realize this can to kill the catalytic converter. Most converter repairs will range between $500 − $800 but can cost more depending on the make and model of the car.

Preventative maintenance will not only keep your vehicle on the road, but also will save you money over the long haul.

Girard’s Service Center is a full-service, automotive repair and maintenance shop that serves the Franklin, Wis. area.

As of June 17, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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