Getting a pre-winter inspection on your vehicle can mean saving big bucks in the future
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- Fall is the time that every driver should take the time to do all their maintenance checks on his or her car. Winter is fast approaching, and by completing all the necessary checks on the car before winter hits, one may be protecting his or herself from costly repairs later on.
“Preventative maintenance is always cheaper than breakdowns,” Amonette said. “It’s like going to the dentist and getting your teeth cleaned. They start seeing the little cavities showing up and it’s cheaper to get the cavity fixed than to get a root canal.”
Pre-winter vehicle inspections include the once-over on all vehicle starting and charging systems. Inspections also include specialists looking at anti-coolant protection, belts and hoses, steering linkage, suspension, battery, brakes, tires and more. Garages like Bob’s Tire & Auto often set inspection charges around $40 dollars, and often includes an oil change.
“It’s for peace of mind,” Amonette said. “All those things are actually good to check anytime, but especially in the winter before the weather gets bad. If you’re like most people, who have an older car with higher mileage, it could save you a breakdown or money if you get it checked before it breaks.”
Belts and hoses are of significant importance going into winter, according to ASE certified mechanic Matt Amonette of Bob’s Tire & Auto.
“Those are really the stuff that’s going to leave you stranded,” Matt said.
One of the most overlooked areas is air pressure in tires, which changes with fluctuating temperatures, Amonette said.
“It’s smart to keep an eye on your air pressure because for every 10-degree temperature change, you lose a pound of air,” Amonette said. “If the temperature went down 10 degrees, chances are you lost 10 pounds. And if the temperature goes up, you don’t always regain the full 10 pounds.”
Bob Kazierzak says that maintaining of proper air pressure helps tires last longer, says Amonette. He stresses it is also important to ensure tires have enough tread for slick roads and snow. Kazmierczak is an enterprise development manager at AAA Northwest Ohio.
“If you don’t have good tread, the tires will spin more often than not,” Kazmierczak said. “If the wear bar on the tire reads 2/32, the tire is legally bald. If you’re not sure where to find those, take a penny and put Lincoln’s head upside down into the tread. If you’re able to see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire needs replaced.”
Lights are often overlooked, according to Kazmierczak.
“As it starts getting darker earlier, you’ll see a lot of cars on the road that have lights out,” Kazmierczak said. “It’s definitely a good thing to have the lights checked and replaced.”
Simply put, almost all aspects should be checked to avoid serious problems at the worst time. Being stranded in the cold can be a potentially dangerous situation. Even in a best-case scenario, repairs are necessary when the car breaks down due to poor maintenance. Sudden breakdowns can also cause accidents or one being broke down in the middle of a storm or blizzard, which bring on more hazardous scenarios.
“It doesn’t always happen, but the worst part is people get in an accident over bad tires or something and say, ‘If I would have bought the new tires for 400-some bucks, I would have had new tires and probably not gotten in an accident. Instead I’ve got to pay a $500 deductible and I still need tires,’” Amonette said.
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