Making Summer Travel Safe with These Tips

Is Your Car Road-Worthy This Summer?

Like many Americans who think of ways to beat the summer heat, road trips are fun, family excursions. It’s a chance to hit the road, see the sights and smell the smells of the open spaces. Going by car, van or truck is part of the exhilaration. If so, then it’s essential to take precautions to ensure your vehicle is ready for traveling these warmer months. Here are five simple summer safety tips you should follow before hitting the road.

Better check first for recalls.

Did you know that millions of cars are recalled every year for factory defects? Is your car’s make, model and batch one of them? This thought may make you feel anxious, so before hitting the road, it’s best to check and see if your vehicle is on the recall list. Sign up for recall alerts and do this ahead of summer. Now if you are fortunate not to be included, inspect your car and ready it for repairs, If need be. 

Make repairs on your car.

Inspect your car first. Do a full inspection of your vehicle. Check the tire pressure and condition, the windshield wiper fluid, and oil. Make sure your wiper blades and lights are working. If your car is overdue for an oil change or tune-up, now is the perfect time to get it done so you can avoid any issues on the road.

Be sure you have your emergency roadside kit.

In case of an emergency, you don’t want to get stuck on the side of the road because you forgot your kit or lack certain provisions to deal with a mishap you did not plan for. It will be frustrating just waiting for help to arrive.

Therefore, always keep this emergency kit in your trunk. Your kit should include first-aid, flashlights and extra batteries, flares, reflectors, jumper cables, blankets, and water. Be sure you also have wheel wrench, tripod jack, complete tool set,  a quart or more of motor oil, a gallon of coolant, and a compass among others.

Before you go, practice safety first.

Before hitting the gas, make sure everyone in the car is buckled up. All children and infants should be in car seats. Your focus should be driving. Don’t text and drive. Eliminate all possible distractions so that you and your loved ones get to your destination safely.

Share the road.

On the road, you will meet other cars and trucks, as well as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Be cautious while driving around them. Keep your distance, stop when needed, maintain speed, and adjust your mirrors so that you can see correctly. Most importantly, have patience. Arrive  safe.


3 of the Best Car Cleaning Tasks for Spring

Top Spring Maintenance Tasks

Did you know that cleaning your car or truck is a simple maintenance task that keeps your vehicle in great shape, saving you time and money down the line? A good cleaning can remove about 70% to 90% of the plugged ash in your truck’s DPF. Here are the best 3 tasks you should be doing regularly, especially in spring. 

Refilling/replacing your fluids.

See that you keep your car in good condition by checking and changing the fluids regularly. Check your engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluids as needed. Serious issues can come out of failure to refill or replace fluids as stated in your vehicle’s manual. Fluids in your car can get dirty and sludge-like. The build-up causes the vehicle to have to work harder to run. 

Get new windshield wipers.

To be able to drive safely, your windshield should be kept clean and clear so you can see properly. Consider not only cleaning but replacing your windshield wipers. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the car’s windshield which can hinder the ability to see. Remove this buildup with the use of a glass cleaner and paper towels. Replace old and ripped windshield wipers. It’s a low-cost and easy task that can make a big difference when you’re on the road.

Keep your engine clean.

Because not all of us can be automotive engineers, or are tech-savvy about cars, you should still keep the exterior of your engine clean and in good condition. While many people focus on keeping the outside of their vehicle looking good, the condition of the exterior of the engine is important, too. Debris like grease and dirt can buildup and can do damage to the engine if not taken care of. So invest in a good cleaner and give your engine a gentle but thorough cleaning.

Even if you have little to no experience in car maintenance, all of the above tasks can be done quickly and easily. So if you have been slacking on your car maintenance, consider completing these tasks to keep your vehicle in good shape.


Ready To Help in Car Maintenance in Seattle

While you might be able to accomplish these three simple tasks, Greenwood Collision says we can always lend you a hand in keeping your car in optimal running condition.

Great Tips For National Car Care Month

Inside-Out Simple Car Care Tips

Are you getting your car ready for spring-cleaning? April is National Car Care Month, and it’s a great way to remind all car owners of the role you play in maintaining your vehicle. After a long, harsh winter, here are some simple at-home cleaning and maintenance tips to always get you and your car in top form.

Clean the carpeting and upholstery.

Your floor mats take a beating during winter, everything from slush to road salt. Improve the appearance of your interior by removing floor mats and using a power washer to do a deep clean. Vacuum the upholstery, paying special attention to the seams of your seats.

Detail the interior.

A good wash and rinse can prevent deterioration of your interiors. Use a ph-balanced soap if you are hand washing your vehicle. It’s designed to clean without stripping the finish. Then, wax finish your car, which will keep it shiny while strengthening the paint and preventing chipping.

Inspect and replace windshield wipers.

Wiper blades can get damaged and break during winter due to constant contact with ice, snow, and sleet. Clean or, better, replace them especially if you expect significant rainfall in your area in the coming months. 

Replace winter tires.

Swap your heavy-duty winter tires, if any, with the appropriate tires for the season. Winter tires are strictly designed for handling icy roads, so using them in the spring and summer can cause the rubber compound to wear faster. Experts recommend installing all-season tires as soon as spring begins.

Clean under the hood.

Winter’s debris such as dirt and leaves can easily collect on or near the engine, impacting your vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Ensure your safety first by turning off the engine and removing the battery cables. A simple damp cloth is a good cleaning tool to use under the hood. Baking soda can remove any oxidation from the batteries.

Clean out the trunk.

Remove stuff from your trunk that you’ve used in winter – like shovels, window scrapers, boots, etc. Check your emergency kit. See if there are things you need to replace. Examine your spare tire and see if it needs fixing. 


Celebrating National Car Care Month in Seattle

Let your auto body shop in Seattle help your vehicle recover from the rigors of winter. Visit us and we’ll show you how.

Basic Car Care Tips Every Motorist Should Know

Know the Basics of Caring for your Car

Inspect your cooling system. Cooling systems have to cope with the summer heat and cold winters all year long. Look for swelled, chafed, cracked or weeping hoses. If they burst they can leave you stranded. Also make sure there’s enough coolant in the overflow reservoir; add more as required. Your system needs flushing if the antifreeze looks discolored or rusty.

Check your car belt. If it isn’t concealed by layer after layer of plastic shrouds it should be easy to give it a quick look. If the belt shows heavy abrasion, cracking across the grooves, lengthwise tearing or other obvious signs of damage you’ll want to replace it soon. You might need help to get the belt positioned exactly where it needs to be.

Replace your air filter. If it’s clogged with dirt and debris it won’t flow as much as it should, reducing the engine’s output. Without a free-flowing supply of oxygen, internal combustion simply can’t take place. However, it’s easy to replace. Many modern cars and trucks have the air filter often found underneath a large rectangular housing with a lid.

Know how to jump start a vehicle that has a dead battery. It requires a set of cables, a car or truck that’s fully charged (or a portable jump starter) and a little bit of know-how.

Make sure you don’t mix up the leads. A positive terminal must connect to a positive terminal, negative to negative; or the color red is associated with positive and black with negative. In modern vehicles, the negative cable doesn’t necessarily have to connect directly to the battery as the negative side is grounded to the engine and body structure, an engine bracket or metal part of the body will work just as well as a terminal. If in doubt, go for the battery.

Know how to change a flat tire. The ability to jack a vehicle up, remove a flat and install a spare is an important skill to have. That is even as temporary spares have become less and less common, replaced by space-and-weight-saving emergency inflation kits. A process that is time-consuming is rotating the tires. Done right can prolong tire life. You might have to reprogram the tire-pressure monitoring system so it accurately shows which tire is affected. Likewise, check your tire gauge pressure. It is best to maintain the factory-recommended pressure.

Add your oil. You should know if you are low on lube. Locate the filler cap and pour the correct oil consistency down in there, then check the dipstick again. Add small amounts at a time until the correct level is reached to avoid overfilling. Car engines typically take between four and five quarts, with variations. Check the owner’s manual for specific details. It would be great if you are able to also change the oil and filter.

Replace windshield wipers and add washer fluid. A fresh set of windshield wipers is commendable. It’s easy to swap them as they essentially clip into place. To release a blade, you can push a small button or slide it into a hook on the end of the arm. Do this simple task when you see that instead of your blades wiping, they are smearing your windshield. It’s simple to keep the reservoir filled with plenty of this windshield wiper fluid. Look for a cap with a windshield icon on it, usually blue or yellow for easy spotting. Then, just pop it off and pour your liquid.


Know More Car Care Tips and Be A Pro in Seattle

If you need to fix up your car, come by our auto shop in Seattle. We’re conveniently located in Greenwood.

Money-Saving Car Care Tips After Winter

Care Tips Best Done in Spring

When it’s spring, not too hot or too cold, it’s the best time to have a car care maintenance. Service centers aren’t packed with too many people getting their vehicles checked up. But did you know that this is a misconception of most motorists – most people prepare for winter driving, but forget about spring and summer just because the weather is better. 

Here are the best tips to help you save money.

Get your battery tested because heat is actually harder on your battery than the cold is. A lot of people think during winter time they need to have their battery checked. While that is true, but the heat during summer is actually worse on your battery than the cold.

Spring car checks are about more than the oil. Make sure the belts are in good shape, no chunks missing and they are not glazed. Be sure there are no bubbles in the hoses. Check all fluid levels. Above the hood, check the wipe blades, especially their shapes. 

A simple wash and wax is important after winter. Give your vehicle a great underbody wash. Know that salt from the road gets up inside and underneath the car and it can rust out your vehicle.

Be sure to check all your exterior lights. Your turn signals, brake lights, fog lights, and headlights are working. Other systems to be checked may not seem vital until they stop working. 

Your air conditioning should be working this time of year. 

Another is proper tire inflation. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can make a big difference in the quality of your ride and the longevity of the tires. Under-inflated tires can impact your fuel economy and wear out the outsides. Over-inflated tires wear out more on the center. Check your sidewalls to make sure there are no bubbles or any kind of damage from hitting potholes. 

Hence, take care of your car so it takes care of you.


Getting Your Car’s Best Maintenance in Spring

After winter time, think about the best maintenance care you can give your car or truck. Visit Greenwood Collision in Seattle and save more money for the year.