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CarMax Technicians Provide 'Spring Cleaning' Advice for Your Car

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How to Help Your Car Shake the Winter Blues

RICHMOND, VA - April 2, 2007: Spring has sprung and it's time to help your car shake those winter blues. To help you out, CarMax, Inc., the nation's largest retailer of used cars, has expert advice on how you can spruce up your car for spring.

"The low winter temperatures can put additional stress on your vehicle," said Todd Gartner, ASE Master Technician Trainer for CarMax. "Colder temperatures can adversely affect different operating systems of your vehicle."

To help your car recover from the damaging effects of winter, perform the following 5 tasks in the spring:

1. Take your car to an automatic car wash that has an under-carriage wash. This can help remove corrosive residues left behind by winter road treatments used to melt ice and snow.

2. Wash and wax your car. The wax will protect the paint from damaging UV rays.

3. Change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and have the air filter and PCV valve checked and replaced if needed. Winter temperatures can cause the formation of harmful condensation and acids in the engine oil.

4. Have a qualified automotive technician check the following:
-- The condition of the engine coolant, belts, and hoses; hoses deteriorate from the inside out and summer driving gives your cooling system a workout.
-- All the lights and lenses for cracks; you should also replace wiper blades each spring and fall to ensure optimum visibility in all weather conditions.
-- The tires for any abnormalities; the tire pressure should also be set at the level specified for your vehicle.
-- All the wheels and inspect the brakes thoroughly; during this process, it is also a good idea to have the tires rotated.
-- Your vehicle's steering and suspension for loose, worn, or damaged components often caused by potholes and other road irregularities.
-- The air conditioner now so you can avoid the wait if you need to have it repaired during the summer.

5. Have your vehicle diagnosed by an automotive professional if the engine is not running smoothly or any other conditions arise. Preventive measures can help extend the life of your vehicle and improve gas mileage.

"Maintaining your vehicle regularly avoids unexpected costly repairs. Check your car now so you don't end up stranded in the summer heat," Gartner said.