In case you haven’t heard already, April is National Car Care Month. Of course, you want to take good care of your car all year long, but April is the perfect time to perform some easy, routine maintenance tasks.
Let’s start simple. Are your lights working? Test your lights to make sure each one works, even the brake lights. If you don’t have a friend to help, you can park near a wall to check the brake lights.
Is your vehicle dirty? Wash your car from top to bottom with a soap designed for cars. Dry the car with a microfiber cloth before the sun dries water spots on your car.
How are your fluid levels? After the winter and colder weather, you’ll want to top off any fluids that need it, paying special attention to the reservoirs containing windshield washer fluid and coolant.
What do your tires look like? If your tires have been working so hard that the tread is less than 1/16th of inch, it is time to replace them. If a penny inserted upside down into the groove shows all of Abe Lincoln’s head, your tires do not have enough tread. Especially since we will likely experience several rainy days, it is crucial for your tires to have the proper tread so they can keep your vehicle safely connected to the road.
These are just a few maintenance checks to get you started. If your oil needs to be changed or you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our service experts here at Mountaineer Lincoln.
As we say goodbye to the cold winter weather, we not only welcome sunshine and warmer temps, but also usher in a new season of intermittently slick, wet streets. So in celebration of spring’s arrival, here are a few rain driving tips for you to remember:
- Turn on your headlights. With inclement weather comes decreased visibility. Turning on your headlights, even when it’s daytime, can make it easier to see what’s in front of you.
- Slow down and expand your following distance! With reduced visual discernibility, decreasing your speed and increasing your car lengths could significantly reduce your chances of a fender bender.
- Remain vigilant. Keep both hands on the steering wheel, check your mirrors, and minimize distractions by turning off your cell phone and radio.
- Avoid hydroplaning. However, sometimes it happens. If you do find your car’s traction is reduced, take your foot off of the accelerator and steer in the direction you want to go. Do NOT slam on the brakes or suddenly turn your vehicle, as this will worsen the situation.
We at Mountaineer Lincoln wish all of our readers safe travels during this rainy season, and don’t forget to stop by to see our newest luxury Lincoln lineup.
With warmer weather on the way, you’ll most likely be driving with your windows down or cranking the air conditioning. Believe it or not, both can decrease your car’s gas mileage; however, the question is: Which is worse for fuel economy?
According to How Stuff Works, the debate is essentially whether or not drag from having windows open is worse than running an A/C unit. This is one of the most important gas mileage tips you could get this summer. The question is more complicated than it seems, though; in reality, the answer depends on the driving conditions.
When you’re driving at speeds around 50 mph or more, it’s better to have the windows up and the A/C on. This is because having the windows down drastically increases drag. In fact, in certain cars, this will decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by 20% or more. Using the A/C in these conditions will only decrease efficiency by about 10%.
Driving with the windows down is better only when you’re driving at low speeds. Because drag increases exponentially, as you increase speeds you should consider rolling your windows up. An easy rule to go by is if you’re in town on a small road, drive with the windows down. If you’re on the highway or in the country, use the A/C.
In the spectrum of car maintenance, it’s easy to overlook the all-important windshield wiper. Some people may even grow complacent enough to consider the wiper’s role as a matter of mere convenience. Of course, that’s until they fail (like when the rubber separates from the metal arm) during a snowstorm.
When you’ve got to resort to sticking your head out of the driver’s side window, and you’re eating snow and your eyes are watering and your face is becoming quickly frost-bitten, those are the moments when you realize that the windshield wiper ranks up there with other safety systems like brakes or airbags.
In reality, windshield wiper maintenance is quite simple. It consists of keeping them clean. That could be as simple wetting a paper towel and running it along the rubber part. That’s an easy thing to do while you’re filling up at the gas station.
While you’re cleaning them, feel to see if the rubber is chipped or otherwise damaged. If so, it may be time to replace them. And if you are going to replace one, you might as well replace the other one.
When it does come time for replacement, good luck trying to install the rubber refills (that’s where you keep the metal arm and attach new rubber to it). They say somebody actually did it once a long time ago in Fargo, North Dakota, but that claim has never been substantiated. Replacing the whole arm is a little more expensive, but it’s probably worth the extra dough.
It’s that time of year again—time for snow tires and salt and all the things that come with the intersection of winter weather and driving. Fortunately for you, loyal Mountaineer Lincoln readers, we’re here to provide you with all the winter driving tips you need to get your driving done in a safe but practical manner this winter. You can’t control the weather and you can’t control the roads, but at least you can control how your car is equipped to handle both of them.
Preparation for winter driving should always start with your tires—if you don’t have good tires, tires that are equipped to handle the elements and that are not worn down, then you are likely not going to be successful as you drive. However, there are other areas of maintenance, too. Make sure all your vehicle’s fluids are full, buy new wipers, check your engine, transmission and brakes. Keep your car in tip-top shape to handle nature’s worst.
There’s also some personal maintenance that goes into winter driving as well. Never drive when you are tired, especially not in the winter when the cold and the dark creates a depressive effect. Always keep your car stashed with emergency equipment, from extra gas and blankets, food, clothes, and water to things as simple as a cell phone. For more tips on outlasting the long, cold winter, come see us at Mountaineer Lincoln. We also have excellent vehicles!