Car Care Corner

Pot Holes

Spring driving isn’t just about traveling safely in rain and muddy conditions. It’s also about coping with the potholes that have emerged from winter. Damaged wheels and tires do not only leave motorists stranded on the side of the road but can also do serious damage to your car. According to CBS News, AAA estimates that consumers typically spend $5 billion a year on repairs stemming from pothole damage.

Hitting a pothole with your car can cause great deal of damage to your car particularly the tire, rims, suspension, and chassis. Here are some ways to minimize vehicle damage when it comes to potholes:

• Slow down  - the faster you’re driving when you hit a pothole, the worse the damage is likely to be.

• Give Space - should the car in front of you fail to avoid a pothole, you’ll give yourself the time to react and avoid the same fate if you leave a good deal of space between you and the other drivers.
Keep your tires full - Properly inflated tires will give your car added protection from potholes.

•If you’re even thinking there might be the slightest damage due to potholes, be sure get your car checked. Play it safe. Driving around in a damaged vehicle is unsafe for you and everyone else on the road.


All-Season Tires

Many vehicles are fitted with all-season tires when they leave the factory. All season tires are often built to provide a relatively quiet ride, good tread life and fuel economy making them rather popular with shoppers. All season tires offer versatile performance and are designed to perform in the variety of conditions including wet roads and light winter driving. All season tires are a great option for drivers who live in moderate climates and do not encounter extreme cold, ice and snow in the winter months.

Winter or Snow Tires

From heavy snowfall to black ice, winter roads can be extremely unpredictable. These conditions challenge tires to provide traction like no other season of the year. Winter tires are specially designed to perform in cold temperatures, ice and snow. Winter tires are also designed with rubber compounds and other components that go into winter tires keep them flexible in temperatures below 45°F (7°C). This flexibility lets tires provide better vehicle handling and stopping, even when there is no snow but temperatures are relatively low.

Snow tires vs All-Season Tires

This all depends on where you live and the winter conditions in which you drive. If you only see a few snow flurries each year and icy, slick roads are a fluke, all season tires are probably the best way to go. When putting winter/snow tires on your vehicle you want to make sure you put on a full set. Just changing the front tires increases the likelihood that your rear tires will skid. If you put snow tires on just the rear wheels, this could cause the front tires to lose traction and make it impossible to steer your vehicle.

How to check your oil

Before checking your oil, it is a good idea to check the car’s owners manual and follow the automaker’s recommendations. Some newer cars have electronic oil monitors and don’t have traditional dipsticks for manual inspection.

Make sure your car has cooled off and is parked on a level surface before checking your oil. Checking your oil while the engine is cool prevents you burning yourself on any hot parts of the engine and gives time for the oil to drip down from the top of the engine and settle in the oil pan, where it is measured by the dipstick.  When the engine off, open the car’s hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe off any oil from its end with a lint-free rag.

Then insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way back in. If you have trouble pushing the dipstick back in, try turning it around. The pipe it fits into is curved, and the metal stick will naturally bend in the direction of the curve, if you put it back in the way it came out.
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