10624 Old US 52 Winston Salem, NC 27107 336-448-2256

What does Winterizing your car actually mean

What does Winterizing your car actually mean?

Every year you hear it, but what does winterizing your car actually mean? Extreme cold can be hard on your vehicle, it is always a good idea to get it checked out by a mechanic at Our Service Center before the onset of extreme cold temperatures. It is important that we make sure you do not have any leaks, or mechanical compromises that cold temperatures could cause further damage. In most cases, this regular maintenance can prevent catastrophic damage to your engine.

  • Check Engine Fluid Levels: Oil, Coolant, Washer Fluid, and other fluids.

  • Test Battery & Replace if Necessary

  • Use Deicing Washer Fluid: Clean Windshield at Low Temps.

  • Switch to Synthetic Oil: Handles the Cold Better

  • Inspect Tire Tread: Replace if Near Wear Limit

  • Install Snow Tires if You Own Or Purchase a Set

  • Test Headlights & Taillights

  • Add & Inspect Winter Survival Kit

If you are interested in replacing your vehicle please check out Our Inventory

Is Your Car Pulling You In The Wrong Direction

Wheel Alignment - Avoiding The Danger Signs Ahead

If you're experiencing problems with your car pulling to one side, it may be due to a misaligned wheel. A wheel alignment can correct this problem and ensure that your car drives in a straight line. Avoid the danger of driving with a misaligned wheel by getting it corrected at a reputable automotive shop.

Most people don't think about their vehicle's alignment until they experience unusual tire wear or handling concerns. However, just like any other component of your car, regular upkeep is critical to maintaining it in good working order. Here are four reasons why routine wheel alignments are essential.

Wheel Alignments Prevent Uneven Tire Wear

The number one reason to keep up with your wheel alignments is to prevent uneven tire wear. When your wheels are out of alignment, they put unnecessary stress on your tires. This can cause them to wear down faster on one side than the other. It also reduces the life of your tires and makes them more likely to fail unexpectedly.

Wheel Alignments Improve Handling

Another important reason to get regular wheel alignments is to improve the handling of your vehicle. When your wheels are out of alignment, it can make your car feel unstable on the road. This can be dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds or in adverse weather conditions.

Wheel Alignments Improve Fuel Efficiency

When your wheels are out of alignment, your car has to work harder to move forward. This extra effort means that your car will burn through fuel more quickly. In addition, drag from misaligned wheels can also cause your car to lose speed, which wastes even more fuel.

Wheel Alignments Extend the Life of Your Suspension

When your wheels are out of alignment, they place extra stress on your suspension components. Over time, this extra stress can cause these parts to wear out prematurely, resulting in a need for costly repairs or even replacement.

Regular wheel alignments are an important part of keeping your car running safely and efficiently. If you've noticed any unusual tire wear or handling problems, be sure to schedule an appointment with a qualified mechanic right away.

Can I Trade My Car With A Cracked Windshield

Yes but...... Should You Have It Repaired First?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to trade in your car with a cracked windshield. The first is the state in which you live. Some states require insurance companies to replace your windshield if it is cracked, while others will only repair it.

Obviously if your insurance company is going to replace it, that will not cost you anything out of pocket and will help maintain the value of your car. Anytime you trade in your car the dealer is going to evaluate it and give you a lower offer if there are any significant problems. So a cracked windshield would definitely affect how much money you get for your car.

It's always better to repair a cracked windshield as soon as possible. Not only will it help maintain the value of your car, but it's also much safer to drive with a windshield that is not cracked. In order for the dealer to resell your car, they will need to get the windshield repaired anyway.

If you have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy, then it will likely cover the replacement of your windshield if it needs to be replaced. However, if you only have liability coverage, then you will be responsible for the entire cost of replacing your windshield.

If you have a chipped windshield, don't panic. It can be repaired, but you need to take action quickly. The longer the chip remains unrepaired, the more likely it is to spread and require a full replacement.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Evaluate the chip. If it is smaller than a quarter, it can probably be repaired. If it is larger, or if it cracks when you tap it with your finger, you will need to replace the windshield.

  • Find a reputable glass repair shop. Be sure to get recommendations from friends or family members, and check online reviews.

  • Make an appointment for the repair. The sooner the better, as the chip is more likely to spread if it is not repaired quickly.

The Different Types of Windshield Chips and their Repairs

There are several things that cause your windshield to chip. The most common are small rocks or other objects that hit your windshield while driving. These types of chips are usually no more than 1/4 inch in diameter and can be repaired easily.

Another type of chip is caused by hailstones. These chips are usually much larger, up to an inch in diameter, and can be much more difficult to repair.

The last type of chip is called a crack. Cracks can be caused by any of the above, but are usually much longer, sometimes running the entire length of your windshield. Cracks can be very difficult to repair and often require replacement.

Not only driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous, but it is also illegal in most states. Some states require insurance companies to replace your windshield if it is cracked, while others will only repair it.

There are a few different ways to repair a chipped windshield. The first, and most common, is to use a resin or epoxy to fill the chip. This method is quick and easy, but does not always give the best results. The second way is to use a glass patch. This method is more time consuming, but will usually give a better result.

Are You Ready For A New Ride?

You've just spent the past few years of your life paying on your car. Now you're ready for a new one, but the thought of starting the process over again can feel overwhelming

You're not alone. A lot of people feel the same thing when they're ready to trade-in or sell their car. Don't worry we're here to make the process of trading in your car easy and stress-free. We'll help you figure out what your car is worth, and we'll handle all the paperwork for you. Plus, we have a wide variety of inventory to choose from and very competitive prices.

Call us today or fill out our online form to get started. We can't wait to help you find your next car!

Can You Rebuild Your Credit With A Used Car Loan

Used Car Loans - A Credit Tool You May Not Have Known About

Sometimes through no fault of your own, you may have bad credit. The economy, a job loss, medical bills, or other factors could have contributed to your current financial situation. But just because you have bad credit now doesn't mean that it will always be this way.

You can take steps to improve your credit score almost immediately by making all your household bills and payments on time and in full. Another option to help improve your credit score is to get a used car loan. A used car loan can help rebuild your credit in several ways.

First, when you make timely monthly payments on your loan, it will reflect positively on your credit report. This will help to gradually improve your credit score over time.

In addition, the act of getting a loan and making payments on time can show creditors that you are responsible and capable of handling debt. This can make it easier for you to get approved for other types of loans in the future, such as a mortgage.

Of course, not all used car loans are the same. To maximize the positive impact on your credit score, you'll want to get a loan with reasonable terms. This means getting a loan with a manageable monthly payment that you can comfortably make without straining your budget.

You may also want to consider a cosigner for your loan. A cosigner is someone who agrees to be responsible for the loan payments if you default on the loan. Having a cosigner can help you get approved for a loan with more favorable terms, which can in turn have a positive impact on your credit score.

Although a used car loan can be a great way to rebuild your credit, it's important to remember that there is no quick fix when it comes to credit scores. It takes time and effort to improve your credit score, but the rewards can be well worth it in the end.

Used car loans can help rebuild your credit, but there are also some risks to consider. Your interest rate will likely be higher than someone with good credit. This is because you're considered a higher risk borrower.

You may have to put down a larger down payment than someone with good credit. This is because the lender wants to minimize their risk in case you default on the loan.

If you default on the loan, the lender can repossess the car. This will damage your credit even further. You should only take out a used car loan if you're confident you can make the payments on time. Otherwise, you could end up doing more harm than good to your credit score

Are you in the market for a car and am not sure what the next step is? Contact us either by phone or fill out a vehicle inquiry on the car you are interested in, we would be more than happy to help get you anyway we can.

How To Keep Your Car On The Road Longer

One of the best ways to keep your car on the road longer is to perform regular maintenance. This includes things like oil changes, tire rotations, and engine tune-ups. By keeping up with these simple tasks, you can avoid more serious and expensive problems down the road.

Spark Plugs And Wires

In addition to regular maintenance, changing your spark plugs and wires proactively help extend the life of your car. Over time, these parts can wear out and cause problems with your engine.

Cabin Filter and Air Filter

Change your cabin air filter and engine air filter. One affects the airflow in your car and the other affects the airflow to your engine. Both are important for keeping your car running smoothly.

Fuel Injectors & EGR Valves

Check your fuel injectors.  Although not part of a standard service maintenance schedule, they start to deteriorate. You'll have a check engine light come on. Another major component that a lot of people fail to talk about when they just tune ups is the EGR valve or the exhaust gas recirculation valve. These should be checked and replaced according to your manufacturer's recommendations.

A faulty EGR valve can cause  all sorts of engine performance problems, including a loss of power and fuel economy.


Most people recognize the importance of having good tires on your car for  traction, safety, and gas mileage. But did you know that the condition of your tires can also have an impact on your electrical components. It's possible to have vibrations from your tires that will loosen battery terminals and other electrical connections. So, not only do you want to have good tread on your tires for safety, but you also want to keep an eye on any loose wires  or terminals.


By following these simple tips, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

Cars Get Cold Too

How To Check Your Antifreeze

It may not cross most people's minds, but checking your car's antifreeze protection level is an important part of regular maintenance. Anti-freeze helps protect your car from damage caused by cold weather, and keeping it at the proper level could save you from costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will show you how to check your car's antifreeze protection level and what to do if it needs to be adjusted.

What You Need

Before you begin, there are a few items you need for the job:

An anti-freeze tester: These are usually sold for just a few dollars at any auto parts store.

Paper towel or rag: This will help keep the anti-freeze off of surfaces like paint that could get damaged.

Ziplock bag: This will help keep dirt out of your anti-freeze tester while you’re not using it.

Step 1: Locate The Reservoir

The first step is to locate the reservoir where your car’s anti-freeze is stored. This is usually in the engine compartment, and it looks like a plastic container with a lid on top (as seen in Figure 1). There should also be a warning label telling you not to open the lid while the fluid is hot – so always make sure that your car has been sitting idle for at least two hours before proceeding! 

Step 2: Testing The Anti-Freeze

Now that you have located the reservoir, insert the end of your tester into the fluid (you may have to use a straw attached to the bottom of the tester). Then pump up and down until about half of the fluid has been drawn up into the glass chamber on top (Figure 2). Now look at how many “balls” are floating on top of the fluid; this number tells you how well protected your car is against extreme cold temperatures (see Table 1 below). Once done testing, pour any remaining liquid into its original container, then wipe off any residue with paper towel or rag. 

Step 3: Storing The Tester

After testing, take a ziplock bag and store your anti-freeze tester in it until its next use. This will help keep dust and dirt off of it when it’s not in use! And don't forget - always remember that antifreeze is poisonous so make sure none gets on any surfaces outside of its original container!   

Checking your car's antifreeze protection level doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; with these simple steps anyone can do it themselves! With regular testing every few months, you'll know exactly how well protected against extreme cold temperatures your vehicle really is - potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs down the line!

10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You

If you're new to car buying or haven't made a purchase in many years, it can be hard to know where to begin. How do you find the car that will exactly suit your needs for years to come? It just takes a little research and planning. When you know the kind of car you want, you can then decide whether you want to buy a new car, lease a new car, or buy a used car.

Step 1. Assess Your Needs
The "right car" depends on who you are and what you expect from a car. Some of us like to make a statement with our cars ("I'm rich and hip" or "I'm earth-loving and retro"). Some like to go for spirited drives on weekends ("Give me more horsepower and a loud engine"). In those cases, practicality tends to take a back seat to how the car makes you feel.

But for those who need a vehicle for daily duties, functionality should trump flash. Here are some practical considerations to keep in mind:

How many passengers do you need to carry?
What type of driving do you do? Is it primarily highway, surface streets, off-road?
Do you have a long commute and, because of that, is fuel economy important to you?
Do you need all-wheel drive?
What are your must-have features? Think backup camera, leather seats, Apple CarPlay, etc.
What safety features are important to you? Do you want blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking, for example?
What cargo capacity do you need?
Will you be using children's car seats?
Will you be doing any towing?
How much garage or parking space do you have?

Step 2. Set Your Budget
Unless you're paying cash for your car, you'll need to think about financing your purchase or lease. How much can you really afford to allocate toward a car payment each month? The general rule is that your monthly new-car payment should not exceed 15 percent of your monthly take-home pay. A used car will be less expensive, but the same rule should apply. If you're looking to lease, aim for a monthly payment that's less than 10 percent of your take-home pay. You'll also want to factor in an additional 7 percent of your monthly income to cover fuel and insurance costs. Knowing your budget beforehand will help you when negotiating your next car or truck.

Not sure what kind of vehicles fall under this monthly payment? Take a look at the Edmunds affordability calculator, which lists vehicles that fall into the price range you've predetermined. Keep in mind that the prices on the results page will change based on the trim level, options, taxes and finance fees.

Step 3. Decide If You Want to Lease or Buy
Leasing and buying each have pros and cons, and how you feel about these may help guide your decision on which route to take.

For example, a lease requires little or no money down and offers lower monthly payments. But when the lease ends, you have no car and will need to go shopping again. On the other hand, buying a car is more expensive initially, and the monthly payments are higher. But when you pay off the loan, you will own a car that you can drive for as long as it runs.

Here are a few more factors to consider when deciding between leasing and buying:

You can drive a more expensive car for less money.
You can drive a new car with the latest technology every few years.
Most repairs will be covered under the factory warranty.
There are no trade-in hassles at the end of the lease.

You have more flexibility to sell the car whenever you want.
You can modify the car to your tastes.
There are no mileage penalties if you drive a lot.
Your car expenses will be lower in the long run provided you pay off the car and keep it a while.

Step 4. Consider Other Cars in the Class
Do you have your mind (or heart) set on a specific car? Many shoppers do. But in today's ever-changing marketplace, new cars are always hitting the showrooms, and one that you've never even considered could be right for you. Edmunds lets you research and compare similar cars to find the one that truly fits you best.

If you already have a car in mind, you should still review other comparable vehicles in the same class to make sure you haven't overlooked an even better choice. You can do this by choosing the same vehicle type, as listed in our Car Finder tool, and setting the parameters that are important to you. Once you settle on a worthy prospect, you can easily check for detailed information on pricing, specifications and features. You can also compare vehicles you chose to more easily contrast features and specifications.

If, on the other hand, you only know what type of vehicle you want — an SUV for example — you can consult the corresponding Edmunds "car type" section. It lists the most researched vehicles in the class and their ratings, along with the top-rated picks from the Edmunds editors.

Step 5. Weigh the Costs of Ownership
Some cars may be cheaper to buy but more expensive to own. Even if two cars have about the same price, one might depreciate faster or cost more to insure and maintain.

Before you commit to a car, you should estimate its long-term ownership costs. These include depreciation, insurance, maintenance and fuel costs. Edmunds has a great evaluation tool: True Cost to Own® (TCO®), which presents this information in an easy-to-read format. It can help you make a smart decision up front that can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the car.

Step 6. Find Cars for Sale
The old method of car shopping had you visiting dealerships in person to see inventory and find out if the cars had the options you wanted. Now, using the dealer inventory tools on Edmunds, you can quickly cover more ground and save money. Once you have an idea of the car you want, you can easily see its availability.

If you don't find what you want in your immediate area, select a greater distance to search. You also can filter your search to find cars in a specific color, with different options or with Edmunds Special Offers.

Edmunds Special Offers apply to new-vehicle leases and purchases and give you an upfront, guaranteed price on a specific car. Once you're ready to lease or buy, we recommend getting a few of these offers since the prices may vary from one dealership to the next. You'll usually hear back from the dealership via an email or phone call soon after you request a special offer. This is the time to verify that the car is in stock, schedule a test drive, and ask any additional questions. If you're not ready to complete the deal, just make a note of which dealerships have the vehicle you want, and contact them when you're ready.

Step 7. Set Up a Test Drive
Now that you've found a car that seems as if it might be a good fit for you, call, text or email the dealership's internet department to schedule a day and time for a test drive. Dealerships' internet salespeople are great allies: They cater to informed buyers, tend to be more upfront with pricing, and they're familiar with Edmunds Special Offers.

By making a test-drive appointment with your local dealerships, you ensure that the car will be waiting for you when you arrive. We recommend test-driving about three different vehicles so that you don't limit your options. Try to schedule a few appointments back to back; it will make comparing the cars easier and give you a graceful exit from the dealership. While the salesperson will want to talk numbers after a test drive, you might not be ready.

Step 8. What to Look For in a Test Drive
A car might seem to have all the features you want, but the true test takes place when you are in the driver's seat. You should test-drive the car the way you would drive it during your everyday life.

If you commute, try driving the car in both stop-and-go traffic and at highway speeds. If you trek to the mountains, see if you can find some nearby steep hills to climb. Drive over bumps, take tight corners, and test the brakes in a safe location.

Get in and out of the car several times and be sure to sit in the back seat, especially if you plan on carrying passengers. Check out the cargo space. If you plan on using children's car seats, bring yours along to test for fit and ease of installation. Take pictures of the cars so you can reference them later.

While you are evaluating the car, don't be distracted. Take your time looking everything over. A good salesperson will respect your need to experience the car and will let you focus on the driving experience.

Turn off the stereo so you can listen to the sound of the engine. You can evaluate the sound system when you return to the dealership. If the conversation does turn to questions about whether you'd like to talk about purchasing or leasing, you can say that you're still in the test-drive stage.

Step 9. Pick Your Car
After test-driving several cars, the choice should be clear. If it isn't, sleep on it. In the morning, you might have your answer. If not, you might need to take a few steps back and drive more cars. It's better to take longer in the shopping phase than have buyer's remorse later.

While making the right decision is important, it's also good to realize that there isn't one perfect answer. Today's cars are safer than ever before. They get better gas mileage. They have amenities at a lower cost than in the past. In short, there could be several good vehicle choices, and the final decision is really a matter of individual taste.

Step 10. Time to Buy or Lease
Now that you've done research that, we hope, makes you feel confident you've found the right car for you, it's time to become a car buyer or lessee. Here are articles that will take you through the actual car-buying or car-leasing process, including brief refreshers of some steps: "10 Steps to Leasing a New Car", "8 Steps to Buying a New Car" and "10 Steps to Buying a Used Car."

Gears & Gasoline Tips for Towing

Gears and Gasoline: Tips for Towing
By Jerry Renshaw
How do you know if the weight is distributed correctly? Do you have the correct connections?
Even if you're in the habit of regularly inspecting the tires on your vehicle, it can be really easy to forget about the ones on the trailer. Nothing will wreck a trip quicker than a trailer with a blown tire, so inspect them for condition, tread depth, foreign objects and proper inflation. That last one is especially important — an under-inflated tire means excessive rolling resistance and heat buildup, which can soon lead to a shredded tire on a loaded-down trailer. And if that's the inside tire on a dual-wheel setup, well... you know.
That means tow something that's quite a bit lighter than that max towing capacity. Otherwise, you're putting your car or truck's brakes, transmission, engine and frame under a lot of stress. This is especially true if you're going to be negotiating hills; there's nothing like driving downhill with a heavy trailer and overheated brakes and transmission to make you reconsider your choices. It's not just for your vehicle, it's for the safety of everyone else on the road with you.
The turn signals, lights, safety chains, brakes, the cargo that's on the trailer, everything.
Of course it's tempting to open up the throttle and make better time, but don't do it. Higher speeds means more fuel, more stress on your vehicle and more heat buildup from the tires. Worse, it's unsafe due to longer stopping distances and can lead to the trailer swaying, reducing your control. Just leave a little early, allow more time for the trip, stay in the right lane and take your sweet time. You'll get there.
Can't stress this enough. That means make sure you've got fresh oil (synthetic is best), your tires are good, your brakes are good, your cooling system is good, you've got plenty of friction material on your brake pads and your trailer brake system is working 100% fine. Remember that heat is the enemy of any automatic transmission, and you may want to consider installing a transmission cooler if you expect to do a lot of towing. These devices look like a small radiator, with loops of aluminum tubing and fins to dissipate heat, and are not terribly difficult to install. They can make all the difference in a transmission's life expectancy if you're going to tow a trailer.

5 Tips Before Going On Vacation

Headed out for vacation? Don't forget to do these 5 things first! 
       First off, make sure that you're tires have enough tread and air to keep you safe on your journey. The last thing you want to do it have to replace a tire while you're gone or change it on the side of the interstate, where it's not safe. To ensure that you're tires have enough tread, take a penny and put it in the tread with the head pointing into the tire. If the tread reaches the hair of the man on the penny, then you are still in the clear. If not, you may want to consider replacing your tires before you leave.
     Secondly, make sure that your vehicle has plenty of oil and coolant. You don't want to take the chance of having any engine problems while you're gone. It's bad enough to have engine problems close to home, much less hours and miles away. If you don't feel comfortable checking these things yourself, take your vehicle to your local mechanics shop and let them check it for you.
    Next, make a list of all of the supplies you'll need. Some people make theirs more extensive than others. I recommend adding everything you could possibly need down to exactly how many pairs of socks. Make sure that you have a bug-out bag ready as well just in case you have any trouble and are parked on the side of the road for a while. Your list should also include the numbers for your roadside assistance program and insurance information so that you have it handy just in case. Take this list with you when you go so that you don't forget anything when you get ready to head home.
    Now that you have everything packed and checked, let's head back in the house to make sure everything is ready for your time away. If no one is staying in your home while you're gone, turn the air up or down to set it close to what they're calling for the temperature to be so that you're air conditioning isn't running so much while you're gone and save on power. If they're not calling for the temperature to be too hot outside, you could turn the system off completely. You also want to make sure that all of the water spigots are turned off. If you have a leaking faucet, you may want to go ahead and get that fixed before you leave so that it's not dripping the entire time you're gone.
    Last but most certainly not least, before you head out, make sure that your vehicle has a full tank of gas. There is nothing worse that being stuck on the side of the road. Especially for something that could've easily been prevented. Sometimes you can find it cheaper on down the road, but is it worth risking not making it there to get it a few cents cheaper?
    We hope that these 5 tips help you when you get ready to head out for vacation this year! Stay safe out there and know that our service department is here to help you when you need it! Wherever you're headed, we can get you there!  

8 Summer Maintenance tips

From our friends at Advance Auto Parts, here are some helpful tips to get you ready for whatever adventure you find yourself on this summer. Contact us today to schedule your maintenance or repair. 

You probably heard it from your dad a long time ago, and it’s just as true now as it was for his ’75 Buick wagon– get your motor oil changed at regular intervals. If anything, it’s more true now than it was then. If you’re still using conventional oil, a 3,000 to 5,000 mile interval between changes is good and for synthetic oil, intervals can be around 7,500 miles or more. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations on brand and weight of oil as well as oil change intervals. Some vehicles’ engines are actually engineered for the anti-corrosion agents, friction modifiers, gasket conditioners and other additives in proprietary formulations of motor oil. Using another type of oil can cause damage in the long run and can invalidate a warranty. Here are the current oil change specials.
The coolant in your vehicle's radiator works triple time in summer. In addition to keeping your car from overheating, coolant guards against corrosion and lubricates your water pump. However, coolant degrades and loses its effectiveness, so you should change out conventional coolant every one to two years, and extended life coolant every five years. Can't remember the last time you changed your coolant? No worries. Use an antifreeze tester to check the quality. Then read this handy guide to learn how to flush your radiator.
Summer can be harder on a battery than winter, so bring your battery to an Advance Auto Parts store near you for free testing. If you need a new battery, remember, we'll install it for free when you purchase from us.
Air conditioning systems have a way of quitting at the worst possible time. Take preemptive action and get your air-conditioning system checked before the summer months really heat up. Ask your trusted mechanic to run some diagnostic tests or learn to troubleshoot your A/C on your own. You can also review the basics for troubleshooting cooling system components. In many cases, if your A/C isn't blowing quite as cold, the fix is as simple as topping off the refrigerant with A/C Pro.
Check the tread on your vehicle's tires. Rain-slick roads shorten stopping distances and impair maneuverability. Poor tire tread worsens both conditions, so replace your tires as needed. Generally, tires should be replaced when the tread is 3-4/32". You should also rotate your tires and be sure to frequently check the air pressure.
Changes in temperature affect your tire pressure, with approximately 1 pound per square inch (psi) gained or lost per 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to check the pressure first thing in the morning. The heat of the day, and particularly driving, will inflate your tires a little and you want to check them when they’re cold. Low air pressure can lead to inferior performance and reduced gas mileage.
Big temperature drops will cause your tires to lose pressure more quickly. This can lead to inferior performance and reduced gas mileage.
Inspect your belts and hoses for evidence of damage. Belts should be replaced if they're cracked, fraying, or glazed. Hoses should also be checked for cracks, as well as swelling and leaks--especially around clamps. The heat and humidity of summer will only make these conditions worse and may cause a breakdown.
You'll want a sturdy set of windshield wiper blades to ensure good visibility during summer thunderstorms. Replace your blades if they're showing signs of wear, including splitting, cracking, or skipping, or if they're more than six months old.
Road trips to the mountains and towing boats or trailers will put your brakes to the test this summer. Make sure they ace the exam, with a basic checkup. 
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