Look for win­ter dam­age be­fore hit­ting the road

Preven­tion is the key to happy mo­tor­ing

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

While many peo­ple of­ten like to get them­selves fit for the start of Spring, they also should get their ve­hi­cles in tip-top shape, too, to iden­tify and fix any dam­age their cars sus­tained from pot­holes or frigid tem­per­a­tures over the win­ter.

At Romeo’s Ser­vice Cen­tre in Alexandria, co-owner Romeo Lacombe says pot­holes con­tinue to be a big prob­lem in many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. They can do con­sid­er­able dam­age to a ve­hi­cle’s shock ab­sorbers and are hard on ball joints and tire rods.

“We see a lot more older cars than the deal­ers,” adds Mr. Lacombe. “If a car is 20 years old it is like a hu­man be­ing who is 80.” He adds, “A lot of the prob­lem is that in win­ter the salt causes cor­ro­sion.”

As part of a check-up, Mr. Lacombe as­sesses the con­di­tion of a cus­tomer’s win­ter tires, to see if they will need to be re­placed for next win­ter. The team also in­spects brakes and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem.

Mr. Lacombe adds driv­ers of­ten do not know there is any­thing wrong with the car un­til they bring it in for re­pairs. “It’s re­ally im­por­tant to have an in­spec­tion,” he re­it­er­ates.

The older a ve­hi­cle is, the more its sus­pen­sion will be im­pacted. A ve­hi­cle that has trav­elled 100,000 kilo­me­tres will have bet­ter sus­pen­sion than one that has trav­elled 200,000 kilo­me­tres and will likely start to sink low from all the wear and tear.

Mr. Lacombe says get­ting an oil change is “re­ally im­por­tant,” so the car will run cleaner and cre­ate less pol­lu­tion in the air.

St-Pierre Au­to­pro co-owner and man­ager Thomas St-Pierre and his wife, Kelly, will be tak­ing over own­er­ship of the 175 Mil­i­tary Rd., Lan­caster busi­ness from his fa­ther Pat at the end of April.

Thomas also cau­tions mo­torists about the dam­age pot­holes can cause. The steer­ing com­po­nent on the ve­hi­cle may have “ex­ces­sive play,” in­di­cat­ing that the steer­ing is loose. “It can cause ten­sion on other com­po­nents as well. Some­one has to hold that back. It causes ex­treme strain on the other com­po­nents,” said Mr. St-Pierre.

The ex­treme cold is dif­fi­cult for most ve­hi­cles since it can have an ef­fect on the bat­tery.

Mr. St-Pierre says driv­ers should dis­cuss any prob­lems with their me­chan­ics.

“We want to keep you in your ve­hi­cle so you can save money,” he added. “The best thing is to talk to your ser­vice ad­vi­sor. They could an­swer any ques­tions or con­cerns you have.”


ROAD READY: Romeo Lacombe, at Romeo’s Ser­vice Cen­tre in Alexandria, checks a car bat­tery.

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