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National Car Care Month: 10 Expert Tips & Tricks

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The month of April is “National Car Care Month.” The federal government’s Car Care Council designates two times in the year, April, and October, to focus public attention on car care and regular vehicle maintenance. Their slogan “Be Car Care Aware®,” reminds car owners to take maintaining their car seriously.

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10-Point Car Care Checklist

Your hometown St. Louis Mazda dealer, Lou Fusz Mazda, enthusiastically supports National Car Care Month. We encourage everyone in St. Louis and surrounding communities to take time this month to evaluate their vehicles’ condition and to perform scheduled maintenance. Always perform any car maintenance, especially working under the hood, when the engine is cold to avoid injury.

1) Windshield Wiper Blades

Wiper blades can’t do their job effectively if they are worn, separating, or cracked. Look for rubber separating from the actual wiper blade arm. Replacing wiper blades yourself is pretty straightforward. Or we’ll be happy to replace them for you. Don’t forget to check the rear wiper blade of your car has one.

2) Hoses & Belts

Even if you have a newer model car, you should inspect your hoses and belts at least twice a year. Hoses tend to wear from the inside out. You’ll want to look for any unusual bulges or soft spots. Check for corrosive buildup where the hoses connect to the radiator and the engine block and if the hoses are tightly secured. Examine belts for any sign of wear, such as shiny patches, fraying, or cracking. If you’re not sure how to do this, please visit our Service Department here at Lou Fusz Mazda.

3) Battery & Electrical System

Open the hood and look at your battery. Does it have a buildup of white corrosion around the terminal posts? If so, remove the two battery cables with a socket wrench and use a wire brush to brush off the corrosion. You can buy small round pads at the auto parts store and put them on the posts before reattaching the battery cables. These pads will help to prevent further buildup of corrosion. If you notice that your car is getting harder to start, you may need a new battery. We’ll be happy to check your battery and electrical system for any problems.

4) Brakes

Properly working brakes are essential to your car’s safety. But how do you know if you have a problem? Do your brakes feel “mushy” when you push on the brake pedal? Does the brake pedal go all the way to the floor before the brakes start to grab? Do you hear a constant “chirping” sound or feel your brakes pulsating when you apply them? Check the brake fluid reservoir and fill with clean brake fluid from an unopened container if the fluid is low. The best advice is to have a professional such as our service techs at Lou Fusz Mazda inspect your brakes. They can check for worn brake shoes, sticking calipers, and warped rotors.

5) Tires

Worn or improperly inflated tires can cause a lot of issues. Get into the habit of checking your tire pressure monthly as changes in temperature can affect tire pressure. You’ll find the correct tire pressure on the inside of the driver’s side door or in your owner’s manual. Always check your tire pressure when the tires are cold for a correct measurement. You should also check if your tire treads by inserting a penny upside down into the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head you should consider shopping for new tires, since your tires could be a safety hazard. Our Mazda Tire Center at Lou Fusz Mazda carries a broad range of tires from different manufacturers at competitive prices. Another thing to look for is if the tread is wearing unevenly. If so, it could mean that your car needs an alignment.

6) Washer & Power Steering Fluid

Look at the power steering fluid reservoir and if you need to add more power steering fluid, please use a clean, unopened container. You can purchase windshield washer fluid that’s designed to help remove bugs, grime, and dirt more efficiently.

7) Oil & Transmission Fluids

Clean oil is essential to keeping your car running properly. Dirty oil causes sludge to build up in the engine and can wear down the moving parts. Dirty oil is also less effective in helping to keep the motor cool. If your oil is a bit low, you can put in some more oil yourself. Check your owner’s manual for the correct oil to use. Follow the recommended oil change intervals for your car. Consult your owner’s manual for specific directions on how to check your transmission fluid. Or take your car to our Lou Fusz Mazda Service Department and take advantage of our money-saving oil change coupons.

8) Engine Coolant

Always check your engine coolant with the engine cold and not running or you could possibly be injured. Look to see if there’s enough coolant in the plastic reservoir attached to the radiator. Fill with coolant formulated for your particular vehicle by checking your owner’s manual. Don’t overfill.

9) Lights & Turn Signals

Walk around your car and make sure all of your lights are working correctly. Activate your turn signals and have someone push on the brake pedal to see that your brake lights work. Replacing headlight bulbs on some models can be a bit tricky. You may have to take off the headlight assembly to get to the bulbs. If your headlight lenses are cloudy, you can polish them up yourself or take them to our Service Department. We’ll restore them to their like-new clarity.

10) Air Filters

A dirty air filter robs your engine of power and decreases fuel economy. You can either replace the filter yourself or let us do it for you. Did you know that you also have a cabin air filter? These should also be checked and replaced regularly.

Tune Up Your Savings at Lou Fusz Mazda

Regularly maintaining your car will help keep it running its best throughout the year. We can also put your savings into high gear with special deals and Mazda factory rebates and incentives on our large inventory of new 2015 and 2016 Mazdas for sale near St. Louis. You could save thousands when you check out our selection of outstanding Mazda Certified Pre-Owned vehicles in St. Louis. Save even more by shopping our top-quality pre-owned vehicles in St. Louis for less than $10,000.

Lou Fusz Mazda is the only Mazda dealer to offer our exclusive “Engines Forever™” program that gives you unparalleled peace of mind when you purchase a new or pre-owned vehicle from our dealership.

Stop by our Mazda dealership near Creve Coeur, St. Charles, Maryland, Heights, and Hazelwood today for some of the best deals in town. We’re conveniently located at 1025 N. Lindbergh, St. Louis MO 63132. To schedule a test drive or for more information, please call us at 314-983-4435. For Service, call 314-983-4529.

Sources:

http://www.carcare.org/car-care-month/

http://www.haynes.com/

http://www.carcare.org/2013/09/five-tips-for-fall-car-care-month/

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/5-easy-diy-car-maintenance-moves-for-fall-1.aspx

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