SEASONAL CAR CARE TIPS FROM COLONY TIRE
At Colony Tire, we believe that following a good maintenance schedule is the key to preserving the exceptional performance of your vehicle. Our seasonal car tips below will help you stay on track.
Not only will sticking to a seasonal schedule provide an easy way to keep up with your routine auto maintenance — it’ll also ensure that your car, truck or SUV is running smoothly whether it’s hot, cold, snowy, rainy or anything in between!
Wet Driving Tips
- We will check your tires to see that they offer the proper amount of tread. (Click here to learn the Penny Test.)
- Tires that offer maximum grip in wet weather are best; we are happy to make some recommendations.
- Always drive with two hands.
- Slow down before turning, and maintain a consistent speed throughout the turn.
- While turning, don’t make any sudden steering wheel movements.
- Only brake in a straight line before the turn, and do so gradually. Do not brake during the turn.
- Significantly increase your following distance from other cars.
- If hydroplaning, do not accelerate or brake suddenly. Keep your foot lightly on the gas and steer the car forward until your tires regain traction.
Recommended Spring Services
Breathe easier with a new cabin air filter!
If you change your air filters at home, have you considered your car’s cabin air filter? Most people don’t think about the filter in your car, but it helps protect those with allergies from airborne particles. It also helps keep the interior of your vehicle clean and fresh. And lastly, it purifies the air in your passenger compartment by filtering pollen, dust and other contaminants.
How did your wipers work the last time it rained?
Be clear, be safe. Let us check your wiper blades today.
Is your vehicle about to have a stroke?
Your vehicle’s engine and cooling system are like its heart and arteries! Deposits can build up, restricting the flow of liquids vital to the life of your car. Ask us about our cooling system services to keep your engine running clean, clear and cool.
Do you say a little prayer before you pass?
In a passing situation, you want your engine operating at peak performance. Whether you accelerate smoothly or sputter and strain past that truck depends a lot on a clean fuel system. Ask us about our fast and inexpensive fuel system services.
Does your power steering still have that smooth, easy feel?
Old and dirty fluid or low fluid levels drain the power and make steering hard! For maximum control and driving safety, your power steering system should be kept clean. Ask us to check the condition of your system today.
Tire Pressure Tips
Make sure you check your tire pressure regularly (including the spare) — at least once per month and before every long trip — and keep it at the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
- The correct cold inflation pressure for your tires is listed on the vehicle label on the door post, fuel door, glove box or in the owners’ manual. “Cold inflation pressure” refers to the pressure in a tire that has not
- been driven for at least three hours. As tires warm during driving, it is normal for pressure to build up. Never reduce air pressure when tires are hot.
- The tire pressure listed on your sidewalls is the maximum pressure and is not intended to serve as notification of the correct pressure.
- Under inflation creates excessive stress and heat, and may lead to tire failure. It is also important to guard against over inflation, which can cause uneven wear, plus handling and stopping problems.
- Vehicles equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) can help motorists detect loss of inflation pressure. Federal regulations require TPMS to warn drivers when tires are 25% under inflated. For many vehicles this warning may be too late to prevent damage caused by under inflation. TPMS units are NOT a replacement for monthly tire pressure checks with a gauge.
Recommended Summer Services
Replace your air filter
It’s beneficial to replace your air filter twice a year, and we can take care of that for you in less than 10 minutes!
How’s that tread wearing?
Summer traveling means driving in the rain at some point. The tread on your tires must be adequate for rainy weather, otherwise you could end up in a ditch, or worse. Checking the tread depth on your tires only takes a minute. While you’re at it, check your tire pressure too. Not sure how? Stop by your local Colony Tire, and we will check them both for free.
Are the windshield wipers working properly?
Winter weather can be brutal to your windshield wipers, making them almost useless if you get caught in a summer rain shower. Check to see if they need replacing at the beginning of the summer, and you won’t have to worry.
It’s a good idea to have your brakes inspected twice a year just to be sure everything is up to snuff. We’ll check your brake fluid as well.
Don’t be left stranded!
Corrosion is very likely to build up during winter weather driving, but hot weather is actually harder on your battery than the cold. We will perform a battery test free of charge, and check your battery posts and cables to ensure you’ll have no starting problems.
Is transmission trouble just around the bend?
Not if you’re keeping it cleaned and maintained! Ask us about the fast and inexpensive transmission services we can perform for you now to avoid trouble down the road.
Tire Tread Tips
Special attention should be paid to the tread on your tires, especially for the gray, rainy days that often occur this time of year. Without sufficient tread depth, your vehicle can’t properly grip the road. Under wet weather conditions, insufficient tread depth can cause a vehicle to hydroplane — skim over the surface of the road with little or no traction, which can lead to a crash. So check your tread. All you need is a Lincoln penny.
- Insert Abe’s head into the tread in a couple of spots on each tire. If you can see the entire top of his head, your tread is less that one-sixteenth of an inch deep — below the level where you can count on it in slippery conditions. It should be replaced.
- When the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, tires must be replaced.
- All tires have “wear bars,” which are small, raised bars of rubber in the groove that indicate when tires are worn out. If your tread is worn down to the wear bars, it’s time for a new tire.
Recommended Fall Services
The coolant in your radiator doesn’t last forever. Over time it can break down and start to corrode the inside of your radiator. This can lead to cooling problems and radiator repair. A radiator flush once a year is cheap insurance against radiator repairs.
Check your headlights
Sometimes you don’t notice that you have a bulb out. Now’s a good time to take a look to see if you need to replace a headlight bulb. Not only is it unsafe to drive with one headlight, you can get a ticket!
Belts & Hoses
Have belts and hoses checked to ensure that belts are not worn and fittings are tight.
Winter Weather Tips
- Ensure that the battery is charged and that contacts are clean.
- Check the tire pressure. Cold weather can reduce tire pressure by 1 psi for every 10 degree drop in temperature.
- Cold weather also makes tire rubber less pliable, which can cause air leaks. Check your tire sidewalls for signs of damage or cracking.
- If you have a spare tire in the trunk, check it for damage and pressure as well.
- Remember that in winter weather, stopping is often the hard part, and it’s the tires that do the stopping. So take proper care of them. *All-season tires are nice, as they have a tread designed to give you better traction in the wet and in the snow.
Recommended Winter Services
Check your antifreeze
Your antifreeze (the juice that goes in your radiator) is an essential part of your car’s winter protection. Your car contains a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Make sure the level is full and the mixture is close to 50/50. We will check this mixture for free, or you can buy a tester for around $5. You did remember to perform a radiator flush last spring, didn’t you?
Check your windshield washer fluid
You’ll be using lots of washer fluid as you try to keep your windshield sparkly. *Tip: Don’t fill your washer fluid reservoir with anything except washer fluid, it won’t freeze!
Inspect your spark plug wires
Cracked up plug wires affect performance, gas mileage and general reliability. Be sure yours are in top shape.