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Tips for cold weather driving

(NewsUSA) – The experts at the non-profit National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) remind motorists that getting their vehicles serviced for cold-weather driving should be high on their list of things to do during autumn’s milder weather.

Breakdowns in winter storms can be deadly.

“Pay particular attention to engine performance problems such as hard starts, rough idling, stalling, or diminished power,” notes Martin Lawson, ASE’s editorial director. “Cold weather will make existing problems worse.” Other tips from ASE:

  • Read your owner’s manual, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.
  • Replace dirty filters such as  air, fuel and PCV. Change the oil and oil filter as specified in your manual.
  • The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled.) A certified auto technician should check the tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses.
  • The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment, but backyarders can perform routine care such as scraping corrosion from posts and cable connections.  (Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.)
  • Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget  your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line.

ASE was founded in 1972 to improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification, while their employers display the blue and white ASE sign. They can be found at all types of repair facilities from dealerships to independent garages and franchises. Visit www.ase.com for more information.

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