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Is Your Car Ready for 2012?

Another year has slipped by with record speed. It seems like yesterday everyone was worried about Y2K. Now we are worried about other items that take up room on the evening news. No matter how much the world throws at us, as a nation, we adapt and change. What has not changed is the importance of keeping the family automobile up and running, to be dependable when it is time to move about our great country. Even if you never travel outside of Bay County, having a dependable mode of transportation is needed. To help you maintain your vehicle it is important to remain vigilant for “signs” of pending problems. That little oil leak on the driveway, or that vibration at highway speeds. No matter how small, these symptoms should not be ignored until a major failure occurs, by that time, it may be too late. So here are a few tips to make 2012 not so stressful, when it comes to car maintenance. 1) Check your fluid levels weekly on your car BEFORE you start the engine. 2) Check your tires and air pressure every week to make sure that your tires will last longer and better fuel mileage can be maintained. 3) Change your oil to FULL synthetic, so that you can go longer between oil changes and save money in fuel costs. With full synthetic oil it is advisable to change your oil every 6 to 8 thousand miles. (This does not mean check your oil level every 6 to 8,000 miles) 4) Clean your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor at every oil change to insure optimum fuel mileage. (if your car has one) 5) Antifreeze must be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles whichever comes first, with the CORRECT antifreeze. Failure to do this MAY mean costly repairs down the road that is preventable. 6) Change your transmission fluid and filter every 50,000 miles if you don’t pull a trailer or you do a lot of road trips. If you pull a trailer or drive in stop and go traffic, change every 30,000 miles to avoid having to have your transmission rebuilt. 7) Don’t drive a car that has tires 5 years old or older. They may fail without any warning causing you to lose control of your car. (The last 4 digits of the DOT # will tell you the week and year the tires were made.) 8) ALWAYS put the best tires (if you are only changing two) on the rear of a car, no matter if it is front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Go to to see why you should. 9) Change your brake fluid every 2 years or 30,000 miles to help your brakes last longer and stop better. 10) Establish a relationship with the repair facility you choose to insure that they listen and understand your needs and desires. Picking a shop because of “cheap price” may cost you more money down the road. From our family to yours, James, Anna Marie, Sherrie, Paul, Pete, Russ and Mike, we all wish you a happy and prosperous 2012.


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