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Car Owners Protecting Their Investments With Money-Saving Seasonal Maintenance


CHICAGO - July 8, 2009: Many drivers don't realize that summer's heat can be as hard on a car as winter's cold. When temperatures are extreme, parts can become brittle and crack, fluids can quickly break down, and tire pressure can drop. All of these compromise safety and lessen gasoline mileage.

"Seasonal auto maintenance and repairs are generally less expensive and more convenient when they're done as preventive measures, before a system meltdown occurs," said Tom West, President and CEO of JC Whitney, the nation's oldest and largest auto parts supplier. "Plus, maintained vehicles almost always last longer and command a higher resale price."

JC Whitney has some suggestions to help motorists enjoy a more reliable and efficient ride this summer, and its website ( offers over 6 million parts and accessories that car owners need to keep their vehicles running their best -- all at the lowest guaranteed prices.

-- Cooling System: In summer, the cooling system has to work harder to prevent the engine from overheating. Check the radiator, belts and hoses for leaks or cracks. Be sure all the connections are snug, and make sure all the fluids are "topped off". When towing boats, campers, or trailers, be sure to install additional transmission or oil coolers. In all cases, take great care with a hot engine - it's very easy to get burned by hot engine parts or fluids.

-- Air Conditioning: The engine belts also drive the air conditioner's compressor, so also inspect this system for worn or damaged belts. Have a local mechanic inspect the compressor's cooling fluids.

-- Tires: In contrast to winter tires, summer tires provide more speed, better handling, and better fuel efficiency. Many drivers keep two sets of wheels: one set mounted with snow tires and one set mounted with summer or all-season tires. For maximum mileage and wear, make sure tires are inflated to the maker's specifications.

-- Brakes: Hot weather can increase the temperature of brake systems, causing pads to wear more quickly, so it's important to inspect the pads and rotors for wear more frequently in summer.

"A qualified technician can check the systems that often suffer from the summer heat," added West. "Following the diagnosis, car owners can save money by buying the parts they need from JC Whitney and then having their local mechanic install them."