Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summerize Your Car & It Will Take You Far




Like most of us at Mike’s Auto Body, summer is vacation time, especially if you have school age kids. Disneyland, the beach, Lego Land and other attractions await you. So, if you’re going to drive any distance this summer, it would be wise to Summerize! Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance...Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

Air Conditioning: A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval

Cooling System: The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Oil: Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

Engine Performance: Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drive-ability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

Windshield Wipers: A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

Lights: Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Tires: Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

Brakes: Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

Battery: Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Emergencies: Carry some basic tools — ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight.

Fixing cars to their pre-accident condition since 1972, Mike Rose and his family has built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being an outstanding business partner in every city where it serves the public. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Leaving Kids Alone in Hot Cars — Know the Risks and Consequences




Message to Parents and Caregivers: Now that the weather is heating up, the people at Mike’s Auto Body are once again offering timely and helpful safety tips. This advice is being provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTA) and most of it is basic common sense.

Tips:
·         -Never leave a child alone in a car.
·         -Don’t let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.
·         -Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.
·         -Keep a large teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it’s empty. -Move the teddy bear to the front seat when you place the child in the seat as a visual reminder.
·         -If you are dropping your children off at childcare, but normally your spouse or partner drops them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure they were not left in the car.
·        -Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the door. Always look front and back before walking away — always!
-Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, but caregivers who are unaccustomed to transporting children are especially prone to forgetting. Think about the last time your routine was interrupted. Maybe you forgot something, or were afraid you might forget something. Or maybe you decided to leave your child alone in the car, thinking “I’ll just run into the store for a minute.” In either case, it’s important to know the risks and consequences associated with leaving kids in cars — especially hot cars.

Risks:
·       - In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
·         -Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.
·         -With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.
·         -A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.
·         -Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!
·        - A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.
-Don’t become a tragic statistic and pay attention. Be vigilant and safe, courtesy of 

Mike’s Auto Body, a company that has been fixing cars to their pre-accident condition for thousands of satisfied customers since 1972. Mike Rose and his family have built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being a company that cares.