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Winterize your ride

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October 26, 2005

Albany - With temperatures dipping into the 30's Wednesday night, you may wake up to frost on your windshield, but Albany Mazda Service manager Allen Saunders says you may not notice how the rest of your car is being affected underneath the hood.

He says, "We like for customers to come in, check their belts, hoses, check to make sure their coolant is adequate for the cold conditions."

As a rule of thumb, you should have your antifreeze changed out every two years, but at the very least, you need to make sure you have enough. Saunders says, "Check the battery for the status and condition, in case there's a problem that could be unforeseen."

Most battery and auto parts stores will do that for free. Also be sure to check out your tires. "This is a ware bar," points out Saunders, "so when it's worn down close to that, it's completely worn out." And if you've been using your windshield wipers for a while, they're probably worn out too, so you may want to look at having them replaced.

You don't have to make a special trip to a mechanic for a winter inspection. Just ask the mechanic to check each of the aforementioned points during your next oil change or tune up.

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