Look for winter damage before hitting the road
Prevention is the key to happy motoring
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.