Safety and Other Miscellaneous Car Care Tips
  • Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled.
  • Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent trips, tow a trailer, or haul heavy loads.
  • A dirty windshield combined with poor windshield wipers can cause eye fatigue in poor weather conditions and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and top off windshield washer solvent.
  • Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressure once a month; making sure to let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good working condition.
  • SPRING

    Spring time; new buds on the trees, longer days, and warmer weather. We all love spring and your car does too. To get your car ready for those nice Sunday afternoon drives you should take a look at our springtime tips.

    Tires
    As the temperature rises so will the pressure in your tires. Check the air pressure to ensure proper inflation. Now is also a good time to look for uneven ware and tread depth.

    Lights
    This is a great time to check all the lights on your vehicle. It's nice enough outside now to spend some time checking and replacing any faulty lights.

    Wipers
    Spring is a great time to change your wiper blades. They have served you well all winter long and taken the abuse of running over ice on your windshield and the freezing cold. Now is a great time to change them out so you have fresh wipers for those spring storms.

    Liquids
    Winter is hard on the fluids in your car. Now is the time to check all your fluid levels and condition. Flush systems and replace fluids as necessary. Be sure to keep on your standard oil change schedule. If your not sure when you changed it last, do it now.

    Protectant
    Now is a great time to put a fresh coat of protectant on your vinyl top, dash, and tires. While your at it you may want to put a good coat of wax on the paint.

    Cleaning
    As it warms up your air conditioner will get more and more use. Now is the time to clean out the air conditioner coil and radiator mounted on the front of your car where dirt and road grime can reduce the air flow through these units.

    Cooling System
    Check all the hoses and belts before the torturous heat of summer arrives. No need to have a nice summer drive ruined from a broken hose or blown out coolant hose. This is a good time to flush your cooling system so it's ready for the summer heat.
  • SUMMER

    Now it's really getting hot outside and we will be hitting the road more. Vacations, baseball games, picnics, and hauling the boat to the lake. Lets get your car ready for the extra miles with some simple fuel saving tips.

    Tires
    Make sure your tires are properly inflated and the alignment is correct. In need of new tires? Take a look at the new fuel saver tires. The money you will save in fuel from putting on a new set of fuel saver tires may be well worth the investment. You could save as much as 4% on your fuel cost.

    Tune Up
    Make an appointment with Bowles to check the tune up on your car. If your car is not running it's best it could be costing you 4% to 12%. With the cost of fuel this is one of the biggest improvements you can make.

    Junk
    Clean out your car of all the extra junk that seems to make it to your trunk but never gets taken out. You may be surprised at how much extra weight you are carrying around. The heavier your vehicle, the worse the gas mileage.

    Air Filter
    This is a cheap one but oh so important. If your engine is struggling to get enough air your fuel mileage will suffer greatly. It's not always easy to tell when your air filter needs replaced. It may not look real dirty but may be clogged up with microscopic dust particles. To be on the safe side you may want to go ahead and replace it.

    Fluid Leaks
    This won't help your fuel mileage but summer is a good time to take care of some other fixes you keep putting off. Fluid leaks are hard on the environment, stain your driveway and the driveway of people you visit, and may indicate other mechanical problems such as clogged breathers or loose bolts.
  • FALL

    Fall car care mostly involves get ready for winter. Maintain your oil change schedule and keep your fluids topped off. The items in our fall car care tips below will help you get ready for much colder weather.

    Tires
    As the temperature goes down so will the pressure in your tires. You'll want to check the air pressure and inflate them to the recommended amount.

    Cooling System
    You don't want to get stranded with a frozen radiator or a broken block. Have your antifreeze checked to make sure you won't have a freeze up this winter.

    Wipers
    Your windshield wipers are going to get a work out this winter trying to keep the ice and snow off your windshield. Check them for any signs of cracking or drying out. Replace them if you see any problem at all.

    Fuel
    Is your fuel system ready for winter? You may consider putting a bottle of de-icer in your tank once a month through the colder months to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Keeping your gas tank full reduces the risk of getting moisture in the tank.

    Tune Up
    Hard starting, rough idling, stalling, and lack of power problems will only get worse as the weather gets colder. Now is the time to proactively address any driveability problems you have.

    Battery
    Winter can be very hard on your battery. It can be hard to predict a battery problem without going to your mechanic and letting him test your battery and charging system with high tech professional test equipment. Don't get stranded in a car that won't stat.

  • WINTER

    The cold weather is here. Winter car tips are all about getting you to spring time without needless car trouble. Take it easy on your car in the winter, it doesn't like being out in the cold either.

    Start Up
    Give your car a few minutes to warm up before hitting the road. Even after warming up the engine keep in mind the drive train warms up as you drive so take it easy for the first 5 miles or so.

    Tires
    Look at your tires. Do they have enough tread to get you to your destination in the snow and ice? This is not the time of year to be on questionable tires. A good set of all season tires will make all the difference in the world.

    Exhaust System
    Be safe, have your exhaust system checked for leaks, cracks, and holes. We tend to have our cars sealed up tighter in the winter time and we let them idle more to keep warm. Any leaks in the exhaust system could leak into the passenger compartment and you may never know it. Co2 from the exhaust is odorless and deadly.

    Emergency Kit
    You never know what might happing when you're out on the road. Always plan for the worst and have emergency gear in the car at all times. You want to have blankets, extra gloves, an extra sweatshirt or jacket (coveralls are good), boots, a small shovel, a bag of sand or kitty litter, a flashlight, some common tools, jumper cables, a chain or heavy cargo strap, and some snacks are a good idea just in case. Program emergency numbers into your cell phone or if you don't have a cell phone write them down and carry them in the car. You'll want numbers for friends that may be able to help, the local Sheriffs office, AAA, a local towing company, and your insurance agent and claim reporting numbers.
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