EXTERIOR CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Taking care of the outside of your vehicle is just as important as maintaining the rest of it. The paint on your vehicle is a barrier against all of the harmful pollutants in the air and rain, keeping it clean and properly waxed is vital to making it last the life of the vehicle (looks nice too). Always use cleaners designed for automotive applications, the soaps tend to not be as harsh, thus not damaging your paint. Your local parts store will have a large selection of all the cleaners and waxes you will need to keep your vehicle looking new and protected from the elements. While you are out there washing and waxing your vehicle, don’t forget to inspect the entire thing for broken or faded lenses, inoperative lights and other exterior damage. The exterior lights on your vehicle are safety devices, having them in proper working order benefits everyone.
PAINT TOUCH UP
Touching up little spots in your paint is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your vehicle looking new. Auto parts stores usually have a great selection of colors for touching up your paint, however the dealer can get you a closer match using the color code off your vehicle. Touch up paint is ideal for small rock chips or minor scratches; any area of size should be done by a body shop for the best result. Always clean the area to be painted completely of all waxes or foreign coatings. Let the paint dry for for a minimum of 30 days before attempting any waxing or polishing.
WAXES AND POLISHES
Waxing or polishing your vehicle is an important step to keeping it looking new and protected from the elements. There are several different kinds of waxes and polishes out there, each with a designed purpose. New vehicles or ones that have been professionally “cut” or rubbed out, would benefit more from a more from a pure wax or a straight polish, the cleaner waxes will leave very minute scratches that would only be visible on a “cut” or new finish. Cleaner waxes have a very fine abrasive that helps it clean off the grime that attaches to your paint, restoring its original shine. No matter what kind you use always be sure to get a product that is safe for “clear coat” paints, as most of today’s vehicles have a clear coat/ base coat paint. When cleaning and waxing your vehicles surface always follow the instructions carefully, and use the proper applicators and cleaning towels.
Whether you use a paste wax or a liquid, it will all be personal preference. Everyone’s eye is a little different, so try a few different ones, and you can always ask one of your paint Division Staff for a recommendation.
Factory service schedules should always be followed when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. Your vehicles engine oil doesn’t just lubricate the internal engine parts; it also helps to cool them. Over time the oil will break down, thus reducing its ability to lubricate and dissipate heat. Factory engineers take many variables into account when designing a service schedule, so they should be followed closely. Always use the recommended engine oil for your vehicle.
CHECK ENGINE / MAINTENANCE LIGHTS
Your vehicles instrument cluster contains many warning indicators; the “check engine” or the MIL (malfunction indicator light) is one of them. The check engine light is an indicator that one of the monitoring systems has detected a problem. These range from simple fixes to complex diagnostic journeys. A scanner is needed to retrieve the codes from your vehicles computer. The diagnostic code will give us a place to start troubleshooting the problem. The code is not always the exact problem, but it gives us someplace to begin diagnosing the problem. Whenever the MIL light comes on your vehicle is not working at its peak efficiency, the problem should be taken care of asap.
The “Change engine oil” light is not diagnostic related, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. It is simply a reminder that it is time to service your vehicle. Servicing your vehicle according to manufacturer specifications will do nothing but make your vehicle perform better and last longer. Always follow your schedule and use the recommended fluids.
FLAT TIRE ON FREEWAY
A flat tire on the freeway or any other busy high can be very dangerous. There are mainly two kinds of flat tires, either the tire is very low on air or the tire is already flat and starting to fall apart. In the first condition (tire very low) you have a chance to get off the freeway and into a safe place to change the tire or wait for service. In the second case (flat and falling apart) is it best to not worry about saving the tire, your main objective is to get to an freeway off-ramp or other safe position to change the tire or wait for service. The car will have more rolling resistance but will still move with a flat tire, proceed very slow and use caution. When pulling off the the road to a safe place make sure your as far off the road as possible. Most of the time when a tire is run very low on air it will breakdown the inner layers and render the tire useless. If there is no close off-ramp or safe place to stop get out of the car and walk to a more protected area. Be conscientious about the tire worth or the tire and the safety of you and your family. Too many times people try to avoid replacing old tire and get hurt in the process.
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