Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Weather the Weather

Maintenance tips to help your car survive the changing weather
If you live where it snows, you know what kind of “heat” a vehicle will be facing this winter. Prepare your advertisers to provide information for the rusty nicks, failing heater and a windshield dealing with the stress of a warm interior and a below freezing exterior.

With the cooler weather approaching, we’re getting ready to face the changing needs of the advertisers in the newspaper industry.  Advertisers will be looking to you to show them creative ways to engage their customer within their ads.

If you live where it snows, you know what kind of “heat” you’re vehicle will be facing.  Prepare for the rust from nicks, your hard working heater being a little out of shape after months of the cool air streaming in, and your windshield dealing with the stress of a warm interior and a below freezing exterior.

Rust, Dings and Nicks:
Avoid the expensive bodywork by nipping the problem before it starts.  Paint restoration corrects numerous spots, from nicks to rust.  Evade the road salt’s damage to minor nicks and dings, turning them into rust that will weaken the body of your vehicle.  

Windshield:
The thermal shock your windshield endures can cause major damage if you’re not prepared.  If you have a minor ding in the glass, it could turn into a major crack if not taken care of. “Once a ding or star (star-shaped with points spreading out) expands, windshield replacement is often the only option,” said Leo Cyr, vice president for marketing at NOVUS Windshield Repair. Windshield fluid is also an essential.  If you’ve driven after a salt truck, you know how important the ability to clean your windshield is.

Advertisers will be looking to you to show them creative ways to engage their customer within their ads."

Fluids:
I’m not just talking about the obvious here.  Checking the oil approximately every 3000 miles, and the coolant (diluted so it doesn’t freeze) and transmission fluid are standard every two years. Other fluids necessary for a smooth ride, like power steering, radiator, battery and brake fluid, may go unnoticed.

Batteries and Cables:
The average life of a battery is three to five years according to auto-fact.org.  You can have a mechanic check the battery and cables to make sure your car starts reliably.

Tires:
Worn, bald, poorly aligned tires can lead to accidents on slick roads.  Check for proper inflation and alignment and rotate them in a “modified x” pattern (for all-season tires) every 4000-8000 miles according to Goodyear Tires.  If necessary keep chains in your trunk to get you through heavy snowfall.

Spark Plugs:
Worn spark plugs can lead to misfiring and can affect how a vehicle burns the fuel/air mixture.  Worn spark plugs can waste gas, causing you to throw money out the door.

Brakes:
If you need brake work, don’t postpone, get it done as soon as you can. It’s dangerous in any conditions to drive with poor brakes, and especially on slick roads, you’re just asking for an accident.  In addition, holding off on servicing them could mean a full overhaul on the brake system.

Lights:
Make sure your lights are working properly.  A mechanic can check them, change them and send you on your way for little expense but major reassurance as we approach the short winter days.