From Top to Bottom: Spring Car Care Starts with Windshield Wipers
According to the Car Care Council, windshield wiper blades should be checked every six months or 6,000 miles. That time is now.
It’s very possible, especially in states where there is ice and snow and prolonged cold weather, the blades have been damaged. Replacement blades are a logical upsell.
With spring around the corner, wiper blades are just one the many vehicle systems and parts that should be checked so your customers do not have trouble when the weather breaks. The Car Care Council promotes April as National Car Care Month, which works hand-in-hand with your spring car care routine.
“Many businesses will hold free car care events or clinics at their shop or at a community event,” says the Car Care Council, which can help you promote the event with banners, kits and its Car Care Guide. You also can add a car care month logo to your website. Visit www.carcare.org/car-care-month for more information.
In addition to wiper blades, the Car Care Council also recommends checking the following every three months:
- Automatic transmission fluid.
- Battery and cables.
- Dashboard indicator light on.
- Engine air filter.
- Engine oil.
- Power steering fluid.
- Tire inflation and condition.
- Windshield wiper fluid.
The council goes a step further with windshield wipers: “Replace every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.”
The American Automobile Association (AAA) says millions of Americans “will face pricey vehicle repairs from rust damage caused by chemicals used to de-ice roadways.”
It suggests drivers, especially the 70% (150 million) who live in areas affected by snow and ice, take action to prevent dangerous rust-related vehicle damage to critical vehicle components.
“Brake lines, fuel tanks, exposed electrical components and floorboards are all susceptible to serious rust damage. In the last five years, 22 million U.S. drivers have experienced rust damage to their vehicles due to salt and liquid de-icers. The cost of repairing these damages can average almost $500 per occurrence.”
As the snow and ice melt, potholes are formed. A new AAA survey found nearly 30 million U.S. drivers experienced “pothole damage significant enough to require repair” in 2016. Repair bills ranged from under $250 to more than $1,000.
A hard pothole impact can dislodge wheel weights, damage a tire or wheel, bend or even break suspension components, and knock a car’s wheels out of alignment, says AAA.And that brings us back to wiper blades.
“Visibility is important to avoiding potholes, especially during the rainy season that follows winter,” says Bob Eyrolles, a AAA East Central Approved Auto Repair specialist. If wiper blades are “leaving streaks behind after two or three passes,” then it’s probably time for new ones.
The AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) network includes nearly 7,000 facilities which have met AAA’s high standards, including, certifications, technical training, cleanliness, insurance requirements, rigorous inspections and customer satisfaction.
Independent tire dealerships such as Conrad’s Tire Express & Total Car Care outlets in Northeast Ohio are included in the network. So are car dealerships, Goodyear company-owned stores and auto repair outlets. ■
Rock salt vs. liquid de-icers
If you are noticing more post-winter damage to the vehicles in your bays, you are not imagining things.
“In recent years, many state and local transportation departments have shifted from using rock salt to liquid de-icers to combat ice and snow on the roadways,” says the American Automotive Association, better known as AAA. “These newer alternatives are more effective than traditional salt because they can be applied before a snowstorm, have a lower freezing point and melt ice and snow faster.
“However, these same characteristics can be even more damaging to vehicles since the chemicals remain in liquid form longer and are more likely to coat components and seep into cracks and crevices where corrosion can accelerate.”