TIS THE SEASON
Now that I’ve gotten your attention, I guess the first question that would come to your mind is; is this a repeat story or a typo? Well, it’s neither, it is the time of the season, which season you might ask, well let’s pick some.
First and foremost, it’s September and we’ve already seen many 100 degree days. What should we be looking for? I would guess that the cooling systems would be first on my preventive service list. We always see vehicles on the side of the road with their hoods up and the billowing plume of steam rising from the engine compartment. Belts and hoses are so forgotten and ignored these days, because of the changes made in their construction and appearance on the rare occasions that you can actually see them under the hood. A great rule of the thumb is that at 60,000 miles or 6 years pay special attention to these components, at 9 years or 90,000 miles change them period. This should include the belt you never see, the timing belt. Failure of this belt WILL ruin your engine. The second system that is pivotal in the summer is your air condition system. This is especially important if you have any respiratory issues. What is the preventive measures needed to keep the air conditioning system working properly? The very first and most important is to make sure that your cooling system is working properly. The second most important part of the air conditioning system is the cabin air filter. This filter which is usually buried somewhere under the dash and behind the glove box (which is ALWAYS crammed full of papers, bank statements, receipts, perfume, and assorted prescription drugs), ends up being dumped on the floor of the vehicle by the technician that has to remove the glove box to gain access to this filter. We have seen some really bad filters as you can see by the adjoining pictures. This is the stuff you are breathing people, it is lung disease looking for a place to happen. And last make sure that your air conditioning system is charged to the proper specifications. Too low of a charge creates excessive moisture that flood the evaporator case and makes it a breeding place for mold and mildew. The last preventive measure that you can take is to have the evaporator core flushed and cleaned with an active moldicide and freshener.
The summer also is commonly known as the “rainy season”. Rain on the roads of southwest Florida have their own dangers. Most residents know the difference between an afternoon shower that may drop a half inch of rain in a half hour and a “frog drowner” that may drop up to 2-4 inches of rain in an hour or so. After a draught like the one we are experiencing now those rain showers are usually welcomed by the populace. But those quick rains bring up all of the oils that have accumulated in the roadbed, and since oil is lighter than water it floats on top of the rain making a slippery surface deadly, especially for those that travel on two wheels instead of four. Preventive issues for the rainy season? First how about a really good set of wiper blades! I mean a good set not the ones that you may buy in the Dollar Store. On top of that you should have your windshields cleaned regularly and water repellant installed on the windshield to help move the water off of the windshield and not smearing all of the crud from the atmosphere all over it so that you can’t see the front of the hood. In Florida it is law that if your wipers are on so must be your headlamps. Well just because your headlight switch is on it doesn’t count if your lamps are out or the lenses are so fogged up that you cannot see for 140 feet which is state law.
And of course last to check but most important is your tires. You know the saying when the rubber it’s the road. Check the tread depth frequently and also the tire pressures. Use the placard on the front left door pillar for the correct tire pressures and if your tires are over 5-7 years old check for dry rot. This looks like little cracks in the side wall or sometimes between the tread bars. A quick test for checking the tread depth is to put a dime in the groove and if you can See Roosevelt’s head it’s time for new tires.
Remember preventive maintenance saves you money and sometimes it could save your life!
LACK OF COMMON SENSE WILL CERTAINLY COST YOU DOLLARS AND CENTS!!!
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