Recycled Parts Can Equal Summer Savings
As soon as the temperatures start to rise, the traffic cones go down. Construction sites contribute to the summer stop-and-go traffic that can cause wear and tear on vehicles. Couple summer’s heat and dust with the harshness of last year’s long winter and most of your customers are in desperate need of some vehicle maintenance.
The ASE - the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (www.ASE.com) suggests replacing certain parts early in the summer months to lessen the odds of mechanical failure and prolong the life of a vehicle. These parts include air conditioning and cooling systems, tires, brakes, wipers, filters and lights.
Think about the possibility of using recycled auto parts for some of these repairs. Full-service auto recycling facilities carry almost every part needed for summertime vehicle maintenance, specifically, AC systems including compressors, headlights and taillights, tires, brake components and batteries. Plus reputable auto recycling facilities will deliver the parts to you, usually within 24 hours. Many times these used auto parts are much cheaper than OE parts, saving customers money. For Do-It-Yourselfers, there is also the option to pull the part at a self-service recycling facility.
The ASE and DMV.org offer these suggestions to “summarize” a vehicle:
Cooling System - Check the radiator and hoses for leaks and cracks. The reservoir levels should be half-full and if it is low, add coolant or antifreeze. Most manufacturers recommend a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. The ASE recommends completely flushing the cooling system every 24 months and warns to never remove a vehicle’s radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. Used AC compressors and condensers can be found at most auto recycling facilities.
Lights - Inspect lights and bulbs. Replace burned out bulbs. The ASE warns to never use a dry rag to clean lights, which can scratch the lamps. Auto recyclers make headlight replacement easy because they sell full assemblies. Usually there’s no need to buy extra brackets or small parts.
Tires - Check tires for tread depth and nicks and cuts in the sidewall. Tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles and the pressure should be checked once a month. Also, don’t forget to check the spare. Upgrade the spare with a used tire. Vehicles with new tires get into accidents too. Changing out winter tires to summer tires is also a good idea. Summer tires offer better speed, handling and fuel efficiency due to their shorter sidewalls.
Brakes - Hot weather can increase the temperature of brake pads, causing pads to wear more quickly. Wet brakes can also be less responsive. Keep an ear open for pulsations, grabbing noises or longer stopping distances. These should be corrected as soon as possible. Brake components, like cylinders, calipers and boosters, can all be found at auto recycling facilities.
Batteries - Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections. Clean all surfaces and re-tighten connections. The ASE recommends wearing eye protection and rubber gloves when dealing with batteries due to their corrosive material. Recycled batteries are a great value. Many auto recycling facilities offer set prices that are more than 50 percent lower than new battery prices.
Oil - A vehicle’s oil and oil filter may have to be changed more often than recommended if the vehicle makes frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tows a boat or trailer.
Engine Performance - Similarly to oil filters, other filters may need to be replaced sooner than usual in the summer due to dusty conditions - air, fuel, PCV, etc.
- Windshield Wipers - Ice and snow wreaks havoc on wiper blades. Replace blades and make sure the vehicle’s windshield washer solvent is full. Check out a local auto recycler or one online if a wiper motor needs replacing.