‘Winter service – get it done’
Getting vehicles inspected twice a year can give drivers peace of mind
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Boy Scouts have it figured out. Their motto — “Be Prepared” — applies to so many facets of everyday life, and one of those areas is the use of motor vehicles.
And when it comes to ensuring the safety of you, your passengers and those you share the road with, it is paramount that drivers have their vehicles examined for deficiencies at least twice a year, or more.
“Winter service — get it done,” says John Morris, owner and technician at Morris Service Station Ltd. on Freshwater Road in St. John’s. “Old cars, new cars, it doesn’t matter. They can all have issues. There are lots of things that can cause problems. We have a lot of rust here in Newfoundland. There are potholes that jar things loose. You should pay a few extra bucks and get your car checked for these and other problems to make sure you are safe.”
Morris said it doesn’t matter where people take their vehicle, as long as they are getting regular service from a certified technician. Unfortunately, he said, most people don’t do this. Instead they are “tires only” people in the fall and the spring.
“These are good times to have your car serviced while it is in for tires. You should check your oil, fluids, brakes, windshield wipers, the front end,” he said.
“You don’t know what problems could have developed since you were in last. Could be a tie rod end, brakes or other damage that could make driving your vehicle dangerous. If you don’t have it checked, you will never know until it’s too late.”
Morris, like most technicians, has his own checklist of items he feels are necessary to ensure vehicle safety.
Because of the high salt content in the St. John’s area, for example, rust is an issue with most vehicles, and so rustproofing is a good idea. He says people should have it done seasonally to extend the life of the car.
Tires are another area he feels a lot of people overlook. He said a lot of drivers don’t use goodquality tires on their vehicles and often, during seasonal switchovers, those tires don’t get inspected to ensure they are up for the job.
“You always should inspect them before they go on to ensure they have lots of tread wear remaining, that they have no dry rot and are properly inflated and installed,” Morris said.
“For me, studded tires are preferred in my mind for winter driving. People who live outside of town and do lots of driving should use studded tires. The government recommends four studded tires, but if you don’t want studs, the ice radials they are making now do the same thing,” he added.
Ed Hearn, a technician at Morris Service Station Ltd. on Freshwater Road in St. John’s, replaces front brakes on a vehicle in preparation for winter driving.
Potholes are a problem for drivers throughout the province. This rim was the recent casualty of a pothole. Checking tires and rims is important when doing a seasonal check. Even though your rim may not have split in two like this one did, unforeseen damage could make your vehicle unsafe.
Getting winter tires mounted and operational is something drivers shouldn’t wait to do, according to Wayne Dinn, head technician at Morris Service Station Ltd. in St. John’s.
Keeping the windshield clear during winter driving is important. Cy Morris, owner of Morris Service Station Ltd. in St. John’s, checks wiper blades to ensure they’re in good condition.
A properly charged battery can make all the difference in the operation of your vehicle. John Morris, owner of Morris Service Station Ltd. on Freshwater Road in St. John’s, checks this vehicle’s charge as part of a winter driving inspection.