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NAPA Offers Winter Season Maintenance Tips

NAPA Technician of the Year Identifies Four Major Preventive Maintenance Problem Areas

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ATLANTA – According to the National Weather Service, 70% of injuries due to snow and ice are the result of automobile accidents. With millions of motorists driving on potentially hazardous roadways this winter season, NAPA recommend motorists prepare their vehicle to ensure it is properly equipped to handle the effects of harsh roadway conditions.

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"Not only is a well-maintained vehicle safer for drivers and their passengers, it’s also more efficient and reliable while driving on
snow and ice," said Kit Johnson, 2007 NAPA Technician of the Year. "Before hitting the road for holiday travel, I recommend that motorists have their vehicle’s battery, brakes, tires and windshield wipers inspected by an ASE-certified technician at their local NAPA AutoCare Center."

Battery
A car battery will lose about 30% of power in freezing temperatures and 60% during zero degree temperatures. To keep your battery juiced up throughout the long winter season, Johnson recommends regularly cleaning the terminals to prevent corrosion. With a simple solution of baking soda and warm water, motorists can wipe away corrosion and keep their vehicle’s battery working like new. If, however, your battery is showing signs of weakness, it’s a good idea to have it looked at by a service technician. With the proper equipment, a technician can better detect the estimated life of your battery.

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Brakes
Properly functioning brakes are extremely important when having to stop abruptly on snow and ice. Before the first winter storm of the season, it’s a good idea to have your brakes professionally inspected.
A trained service technician will inspect brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, as well as brake and warning lights.

Tires
The majority of winter driving involves operating your vehicle on snowy or icy road conditions, which can be extra dangerous if your tires do not have sufficient air pressure. As the weather gets colder, the air pressure in your tires begins to drop, which can greatly impact tire traction if overlooked. According to Johnson, you can generally expect your tires to lose one pound per square inch of air pressure each time the temperature drops 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Motorists should refer to their owner’s manual to find out what their vehicle’s target tire pressure should be and check them once a month to ensure proper air pressure levels.
Motorists may even want to consider purchasing snow tires. "Winter tires are more reliable when driving on hazardous roadways," said Johnson. "They help improve traction and provide much better snow and ice performance than regular all-season tires."

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Windshield Wiper Blades
Worn wiper blades that seemed to work fine during the occasional summer storm will usually display their wear when the first snowfall hits. Johnson suggests replacing them with winter wiper blades, which can be purchased at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS Store. These heavy duty blades are specially constructed to move heavy snow and slush off of the windshield.
"Dealing with a vehicle problem at any time is difficult, but can be especially challenging during winter months," said Johnson. "By following these four main maintenance tips, motorists will be better prepared for winter’s harshest driving conditions."

NAPA AutoCare Centers offer a preventive maintenance program that includes a complete inspection and regular monitoring of vehicle systems. Consumers can learn more about this program by contacting their local NAPA AutoCare Center or by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

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