Spring for proper car maintenance

Published 8:09 am Saturday, April 16, 2011

After the last snow has melted, Minnesotans roll down their windows and hit the roads.

To make sure you’re not sitting in a broke down car, follow these tips from Austin car experts.

Harold Sorenson of the Muffler Center:

• Before taking off on a summer vacation or spring trip, make sure you’re up to date on general maintenance and inspections. Along with checking all the fluid levels, check belts, tires and shocks.

Ed Lee, Owner of American Family Insurance:

• Full glass coverage can be added to vehicles with full insurance coverage. With full glass coverage, a chipped, cracked or damaged windshield can be replaced or repaired for free. Some damaged windshields affect the integrity of a car during an accident.

Jerry Erstad, Firestone Complete Auto Care:

• Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines for the specific make and model. Manufacturers recommend different repairs, replacements and general maintenance at different times. The details can be found the vehicle’s owners manual or online. Most repair shops also have that information.

Tom Sherman, owner of Usem’s Inc.:

• Proper maintenance of a vehicle not only improves safety, it also can increase gas mileage. Low-resistance tires can help improve mileage, but common sense driving habits will also help.

Bruce Turner, President of Hanson Tire Service:

• With spring comes potholes, which can do serious damage to a vehicle. Its wise to check a vehicle’s steering alignment every six months, get tires rotated every 6,000 miles and check tire inflation regularly.

Matt Belden, co-owner of CarNu Auto Body:

• Wash the vehicle at home with a garden hose instead of driving through a power wash. Use a hose to clean in wheel wells, inside and at the bottom of doors, and the back of the fender where road salts can sit all summer and eat away at the vehicle. A power wash won’t always reach these areas.

Ron Walk, partner at Complete Automotive Services (CAS):

• With the gas prices the way they are, an injection flush can go a long way toward improving fuel economy. Cleaning injectors helps fuel burn more efficiently. Spring is also a good time of year to check that the vehicles air conditioning is working properly.