April is National Car Care Month and time to review your vehicle’s maintenance plan. Your car should get a lube and oil change every 2500 to 3000 miles based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Tires should be rotated and wheels balanced based on the vehicle and tire manufacturer.
Pennsylvania law requires vehicles to pass a safety and emissions test every year before new tabs or license plates are issued. Take advantage of Car Care Month to make sure your vehicle can pass the multipoint inspection when it’s due. Our vehicle service center by Philadelphia, is the perfect place to spoil your car this Car Care Month!
Every vehicle needs periodic routine maintenance with moving parts lubricated and the oil changed. The oil filter is replaced and a good maintenance program includes checking power steering fluid, coolant and battery fluids. The battery and terminal connections are checked for corrosion.
Tires and wheels are checked for balance and alignment. The manufacturer’s handbook will designate the proper tire pressure. All vehicles must carry a spare tire, jack and lug wrench.
A more detailed multipoint inspection will cover all areas of your vehicle including the engine and exhaust system.
A safety checklist is important for everyone, especially if you are buying a pre-owned vehicle. A good multipoint safety inspection that assures your car will pass Pennsylvania’s requirements covers:
- Seat belts and air bags
- Tires and wheels
- Windshield wipers
- Heating, defroster and air conditioning
- Doors and windows
- Exhaust system
Seat belts and airbags prevent serious injuries and save lives major accidents. Car manufacturers work to improve safety by adding more airbags and newer collision warning systems. Rear view cameras also prevent accidents.
Newer vehicles have traction control along with anti-lock brakes. Brake pads are checked for wear during safety inspections.
Windshields should not be cracked or pitted. They are easily repaired to prevent shattering in the event of a collision. Wipers must be replaced periodically and they must work efficiently in all-weather including snow.
The heater-defroster blower and rear-window defroster must also work. This may seem minor until summer or winter humidity fogs your windows. Air conditioning systems must work without any fluid leaks.
Lights and doors
Newer cars have LED lights in various combinations. Head lamps and tail lights on all vehicles must pass inspection. This includes stop lights, fog lights, parking lights and interior lights.
The dashboard lights are necessary at night and in dark weather so that all instruments can be read. All gauges and the speedometer must be working properly to pass inspection.
Doors and windows must work with manual and automatic controls. Automatic sliding doors, lift gates and trunk controls are checked. Doors and sun roofs must be easy to manipulate and close tightly.
The transmission should shift easily if it is automatic or manual. Power steering fluid should be full when applicable. The car must steer straight and the shock absorbers and struts must work.
Potholes create problems, especially after the snowy Pennsylvania winter. If your car bounces in and out of a pothole, it can damage the suspension and tires. Steering racks, bearings, seals, knuckle joints, rods and hub units can all be damaged with repeated driving in potholes. Exhaust systems can also be damaged.
Fuel injectors, mufflers and catalytic converters must be working properly to limit carbon emissions and pass inspection.
Have the exhaust system, suspension and steering checked as part of the multipoint inspection.
Pennsylvania has a good safety record due to vehicle safety inspections. Use Car Care month as an opportunity to correct any problems that could cause trouble later. Your car will benefit from a little spoiling at the Montgomeryville Nissan Service Center!