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Brought to you by Jeffrey Feller, President - Canby Ford - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Jeffrey Feller The sun is out, flowers are blooming and many people set their sights on spring cleaning.

During winter weather, cooler weather and pavement potholes take their toll on vehicles.

Going to a professional for a spring checkup is wise.

Have your mechanic check the following areas:

Tires: Low pressure can cause a blowout, diminish handling and will cost you miles per gallon. It is a good idea to rotate tires about every 7,500 miles. Uneven wear can indicate wheel alignment is needed.

Low fluids: Check coolant levels and dipsticks for oil and transmission fluid level. Make sure the radiator and gas caps seal properly. Confirm that the gaskets inside aren't brittle.

Oil and filters: Use the recommended viscosity for warm weather. Change the filter each time you change the oil. This is also a good time to change the air filter to protect your engine.

Air-conditioning system: Check the compressor belt for cracks, fraying and wear. It is also good to have the refrigerant checked and recharged.

Hoses, belts and wiper blades: All of these deteriorate through use and age, but especially when temperatures vary.

Battery: Batteries work hard in the winter. Connections should be tight and free from corrosion. Have the charge checked.

Cooling system: Use a radiator flush product to remove rust, grease and other contaminants. Refill with a 50-50 mix of coolant and water.

Thorough cleaning: Wash the undercarriage to get rid of salt and sand.

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