April 18, 2007

Mazda offers tips to “summer-ize” your car

Toronto, Ontario – While everyone talks about “winterizing cars”, Mazda Canada reminds motorists that vehicles should also be prepared for summer. The company offers maintenance tips to keep your vehicle running smoothly, help prevent roadside emergencies and avoid problems before they arise:

  • Clean the top of the battery; dirt on a battery can conduct electrical current and drain the battery power even when the car is parked. Make sure terminals and connections are clean and tight.
  • Check the air conditioner; a marginally-operating system is likely to fail in hot weather. Maintenance is especially important in older vehicles, which use R-12 refrigerant that has been banned in Canada; if the system must be repaired, even for a small leak, the air conditioning system will have to be converted to run on alternative refrigerant.
  • Replace worn-out windshield wiper blades. Severe temperature fluctuations and removing ice and snow can crack or tear blades, reducing their effectiveness and the driver’s visibility.
  • Check tire pressure and tread wear. Worn tread can cause the tires to lose contact with the pavement, reducing braking and steering performance. Under-inflation reduces tread life, increases fuel consumption and could result in tire damage or failure, while rising temperatures can cause over-inflation. The correct tire inflation can be found on a placard, usually attached to the driver’s door, door post, fuel door or glovebox, or in the owner’s manual.
  • Check fluids; the main cause of summer breakdowns is overheating, which can be caused by low coolant and oil levels.
  • Thoroughly flush the underbody and wheel housings with lukewarm or cold water at the end of each winter, to remove road chemicals and salt. Pay special attention to areas that hide mud and dirt, as it will do more harm than good to wet the road grime without removing it.

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