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Winterizing Your Car

Anchorage Meineke Car Care Center Offers Advice
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Grassroots Newswire) October 7, 2009 - That chill in the
air is a reminder that all too soon, winter will be here. Now is a good
time to prepare your car for those cold, snowy months ahead.
Anchorage-area auto experts agree that the right preparation can keep your
car running smoothly and safely this winter.

According to AutoHeroes, the first place to start is your tires. Make sure
you have a good amount of tread on your tires, so they have a firm grip on
snowy, icy roads. Snow tires can make winter driving much easier, so if
you have a rear-wheel drive car, a car with high performance tires, or a
lightweight vehicle, you might want to consider snow tires.

Joel Walker, owner of Meineke Car Care Center in Anchorage, agrees that
tires are one of the keys to safe winter driving.

"To see if your tires need replacing, look at the grooves and make sure
that the tires have not worn down to the tire wear bars," Walker said.
"These are ridges of rubber that run perpendicular to the grooves in your
tires. If your tires are past this point, you should replace them. You can
also always stop in at your local Meineke and we can assess your tires for
you. If you decide to purchase snow tires for winter, have them mounted on
their own set of rims for easy seasonal change-over."

DriveWerks emphasizes that you should always start the winter with new
windshield wiper blades, and replace them again come spring, after they
have endured rough weather conditions.

"When replacing your blades, be sure to ask for winter-style ones which
can prevent ice buildup," says Wayne R. Dempsey, owner of DriveWerks.
Since visibility is key when driving in stormy conditions, make sure your
window washer fluid is full at all times. A good rule of thumb is to have
it checked at every gas fill-up; keeping a spare gallon in your trunk is
also recommended.

AutoHereos urges all car owners to schedule a complete vehicle checkup
before winter hits, noting that your car's engine performs differently in
winter conditions, and needs to be in tip top shape to deal with the
extreme cold.

"We recommend having your belts, hoses, battery and coolant checked before
temperatures really drop," says Walker. "Making sure everything is working
as it should helps minimize wear and tear. You may also need to switch to
a lower weight of oil in the winter month. At cold temperatures, you want
your oil to be thin and able to flow more easily. Your mechanic can advise
you as to whether a change is needed.

"I also suggest having your heater and defrosters checked, as well as your
battery, and your anti-freeze," Walker says. "These are all critical
components for winter driving. You don't want to be cold, you need your
windshield clear, and both your anti-freeze and battery are crucial for
the starting and operating of your car. If your battery is more than five
years old, it may be worth replacing it."

Auto care experts, and officials from Emergency Management, agree that all
winter drivers should keep certain essentials in the car, including a
shovel, windshield scraper, kitty litter, sand, or rock salt for when you
need traction, jumper cables, snow chains, working flashlight and extra
batteries, first aid kit, signal flares, a blanket or extra jacket and
gloves, emergency tool kit, bottled water, and non-perishable high energy
foods, such as granola bars, raisins or peanut butter (in case you are
trapped in your car during a storm).

"No one wants to be stuck in a snow bank or break down in a blizzard, but
you can greatly increase your chances of a positive outcome if you are
prepared," says Walker. "Investing in these kinds of items, and taking the
time to plan now for winter can have a big impact on your safety this
winter."

For more information about Meineke Car Care Centers, please contact Joel
Walker at Meineke Car Care Center in Anchorage, located at 3200 Seward
Highway, Suite 101, at 907-279-4541.

About Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc.
In 1972, Sam Meineke began with a single shop specializing in exhaust work
and built the brand on the concept of quality products and workmanship at
a fair price. First known as Meineke Discount Mufflers, the chain adopted
the name Meineke Car Care Centers in 2003 to reflect the company's
expansion into total car care service. Meineke now represents over 900
franchised service centers both domestically and internationally.

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