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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Friday, September 21, 2012


Prepare your vehicle for winter Windshield repair When to replace your tires Oil and other fluid changes

Important car care tip: Do not put off strut replacement By Dan Marois Feature Writer / Photographer

Maine State inspection requires t h at t he s ho c k s /s t r ut s do not allow more than 1.5 freerocking oscillations and that they are not leaking.

you are hauling. If you carr y and that the job should be done by tools or heavy items beyond the automotive professionals. capacity of the vehicle, that will “Because of how they are conaffect the struts.” “Looks like you need some new structed and installed in the vestruts on your car. Do you want While regular vehicle inspec- hicle, struts have to be separated me to replace them?” According to Ed Lloyd, general tions can identif y problems, from the coil spring using a commanager at VIP Parts, Tires & Ser- Lloyd explained that the average pressing tool that squeezes the Admit it. We’ve all said yes to vice, there’s no predicting when driver can usually sense a prob- coil spring together and holds it have struts replaced with little struts will need to be replaced. lem with struts. while you disassemble and reasor no understanding of what semble the strut assembly,” exthey are and what they do for “Some are good for 60,000 to If there’s leaking f luid under plained Bonneau. “If a coil spring a vehicle. In talking with local 80,000 miles while others last the vehicle, that’s a sure sign,” were to let loose during strut reexperts, struts may be one of 30,000 to 50,000 miles,” said said Lloyd. “If you feel excessive placement, it could be very danthe most important parts on Lloyd. “You just can’t tell.” bouncing after hitting a bump, gerous. There is a lot of energy your vehicle. that could mean that it’s time to stored in a compressed spring replace them.” Putting off strut that routinely holds up tons of “The purpose of struts is to automobile and cargo. For that dampen spring oscillation after Dean Swindler, a manager at replacement can reason, it’s not a great do-it-yourhitting a bump. It is a form of Rowe Auburn, suggests using self type of project.” shock absorber,” said A ndre your body weight to push down lead to more Bon neau, v ice president of on the vehicle several times to I ndu st r y st a nda rd s d ic t ate serious problems Bonneau’s Garage in Lewiston. get it bouncing on the struts that if you replace one strut, and shocks. you should always replace the “Wit hout t hem our vehicles in a vehicle. other. “You can’t just replace wou ld cont i nue to bou nc e “Stop pushing and step back o r o s c i l l a t e a f t e r h i t t i n g L loyd note d t h at t he be st w h i le c ou nt i n g how m a n y one,” said Lloyd. t he or ig i na l bu mp. T h is is indicator of how long struts t i mes t he veh icle cont i nues “( Wit h failing struts) you’re Ed Lloyd, general manager at VIP Parts, Tires & Service in Lewiston, said dangerous because bouncing will last is in the type of vehicle t o b ou n c e u p a n d d o w n ,” adding pressure on ball joints affects steering and handling and the driving conditions it said Sw indler. “If the vehicle that it is hard to predict when you will need to replace struts. The store has and tie rods,” said Lloyd. “It can and can cause an accident or at routinely takes. b o u n c e s m o r e t h a n t h r e e also lead to excessive tire wear a display that demonstrates the pressure difference between new and old least make driving rather scary, times after you stop, t hat’s a and damage.” shocks and struts. “Driving on dirt roads or back especially at higher speeds.” fairly good indicator that you roads under construction can a re goi ng to have to replace Shocks and struts fail in the make a difference,” said Lloyd, the struts.” sa me ma nner; t hey become imply ing t hat Maine has its share of road hazards. “It also weak and cease to effectively Bonneau suggested that replacing da mpen spr i ng osci l lat ion. depends on how much weight struts is not a do-it-yourself project By Auto Parts —

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Shocks can be purchased individually whereas struts are single piece constructions with built in springs and shocks. This is the reason struts are more costly than shocks both when it comes to the cost of the parts in addition to the labor required for installation. You should also know that worn out shocks and struts can easily cause severe difficulties for you while driving and raise your braking distance. The difference in braking distance may be as much as 10 feet between a vehicle equipped with brand-new shocks and an automobile with worn-out shocks. You can check for worn-out shocks using a flashlight to examine them for signs of oil leaks. It is also easy to perform a bounce test by pushing down on the front and then the rear of the car. If the vehicle bounces up and down more than once or twice, this is a good indicator of worn-out struts and shocks. Remember that worn out struts and shocks also lower the life of your tires.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

Take note of recommended basic fall car care now By Sam Erickson Feature Writer

No one likes to think about it yet, but winter will soon be here.

that comes from a cold ride, but a properly working heating system is a lso essent ia l for safety. Because the heater is connected to your defroster, poor performance will mean longer times warming up and less visibility as you are driving.

T here a re plent y of t h i ngs to look for w a rd to i n t he Window scraper w i nter t i me – t he hol iday s, Wiper blades covered in rubber vacations, time with family – will fight the ice build-up assobut t he cold weat her brings ciated with bad climates. You’ll some responsibility with it, too. also want to keep your windEveryone knows to take care of shield washer full. Probably the their home, but not everyone most important element is a is up to speed on what it takes good hand scraper. Many come to get their car ready for the covered with gloves so you can long nig hts a nd shor t days. clean your windshields in the A l l ca rs need some genera l harshest conditions. maintenance during the winter.

Ice and fuel lines

Many people don’t know that he a v y s t op -a nd-g o t r a f f ic act ua l ly bu r ns t h roug h t he l i fe of oi l much qu icker. If you spend a lot of time on the freeway, changing your oil more frequently will benefit your car.

Heater and defroster If your heater isn’t work ing pr op e r l y, y ou’v e pr ob a b l y already noticed the discomfort

Of course, a ll of this adv ice depends on your location. If you are north of the nation’s capital, you’re going to want to take extra precautions.

Older cars Older cars will generally have more problems t ha n newer one s. A lw ay s c on su lt you r owner’s manual or a reputable dealer to make sure your car lasts as long as possible.

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Most people know that regular oil changes are essential for the long life of their car. If you are getting close to needing a change and bad weather is on the way, stop into your local shop or make time yourself to make sure the vital liquid elixir is up to date in your machine.

A flat tire in winter weather puts you in a much worse predicament than one in sunny weather.


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Finally, check your tires. Old, worn tires won’t keep you on the road in icy, wet conditions. Look for wearing, particularly if it is uneven, cupping and cuts or nicks on the tires.

Make sure your spare tire is in good shape when you do the inspection and all of the equipment is in place before the winter weather arrives.


Wa lk ing on ice can be a big problem on your way to your car, but it can severely damage the performance of your car if it gets inside it, specifically inside the fuel lines. A bottle of fuel de-icer once a month will help keep those lines open and the fuel flowing. Fuel lines are much more likely to ice up when tanks aren’t full, so keep your tank at least half full the entire winter, and you won’t have to worry.



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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

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Driving safely with the Four Bs By Sam Erickson Feature Writer With all of the things to keep track of – the batter y life on your phone, the kids’ schedules, plans for the weekend – it can be difficult to cram in all of t he necessit ies, l i ke ta k i ng good care of your car in the fall season. There are a lot of things to take care of in your car, but a ha ndy m nemon ic to help you remember is the Four Bs – blades, battery, brakes and belts.

Blades Wiper blades a re you r f i rst de fen s e a g a i n s t a c c ide nt s b e c au s e t he y help y ou to see clea rly a nd ma ke sma r t de c i s ion s . Bl a de s c a n ge t cracked or warped over time and their housing cases can become unbalanced, leading to poor visibility. Compound that poor visibility with dangerous driving conditions like snow or ice, and you could have a

real problem. Wiper blades are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive. You can pick up a cheap set at almost any store if your current wipers aren’t cleaning up to your standards.

particularly on bad roads. If your brake pedal has a little extra give or goes all the way down to the floor, it is definitely time to have your brakes looked at by a professional.

S ou nd i s of t e n y ou r b e s t indication of how your brakes Heat in summer can actually a re doi ng. If t here is noise reduce your battery life. A visual when you apply the brake, like inspection will show you if your metal on metal, there might be cables have corroded or if there too much wear on the disks. If is a problem with contact on the there is a grinding noise, you battery posts. Cleaning these is might have worn out the rotors something that can and should or disks. Your best option is to have your car towed to the shop be done by a professional. to prevent any possibility of an A professional mechanic can accident if your brakes are that also check the batter y power worn down. Have your brakes a n d r e c o m m e n d w h e t h e r checked regularly by an expert you should have the batter y to avoid these problems. replaced. The last thing you Your car’s brakes are one of your most important safety features. So it makes sense to be sure that they are want is to be stuck somewhere Belts (and hoses) maintained properly. But how can you tell if the parts are worn enough to need replacing? Jim Hyde, above, of in the middle of bad weather Mike Morin’s Auto Center, at 1122 Center St., Auburn, noted that since brakes wear out as part of normal operation, There are several different belts with a dead battery. and hoses in your engine. When the worn parts need to be identified and replaced as soon as possible. the engine is cool, squeeze the Brakes hose to check for soft or mushy Good brakes are essential to spots, which often occur around the safe operation of your car, the clamps. You can also look for cracks, bulges or contamination If you have any questions, have higher if there is a failure. There of any sort with your eyes and your car inspected by an expert. are a lot of things that can be with your hands. If hoses are checked in preparation for the damaged, replacement should T he si mple fac t i s t hat i n winter, but the simplicity of the take place immediately. A bust- inclement weat her you rely Four Bs makes it a really useful ed hose or belt will leave you more on your car than you do in way to approach fall car care. stranded on the side of the road. the summer, and the stakes are


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

Emergency in the car? No problem. By Sam Erickson Feature Writer

st ressf u l sit uat ions a re not necessarily the best prepared. The people who overcome these The most important things in obstacles a re t he ones who a car emergency are the same believe they can. t h i ng s t h at a r e i mp or t a nt e ver y ot her day : food a nd W hile they certainly provide water. Water is really the most physica l com for t, food a nd critical element. Most people water can go a long way toward don’t have loads of extra space providing that psychological in their car, but water can be comfort as well. stored in small drink boxes or Once you���ve taken care of these pouches in the trunk. essentials, you can look to a few Wa t e r i s a l s o u s e f u l f o r more important items. Staying sanitation or for taking care of dr y and warm w ill help you an overheated car. Food can be a preser ve energ y, so blankets problem because cars are often and a poncho or raincoat are the exposed to severe temperatures, next most important things to w h ich ma ke s food stor a ge get into your kit. difficult. Calorie-dense items, which are not perishable, are A solid mu lt i-tool g ives you you r best bet. T hese cou ld f le x i bi l it y w it hout a dd i n g include dried fruits, nuts and too much weight or the need energy bars designed for hiking for extra space, and a first aid k it is essent ia l to ta ke ca re or camping. of a ny s m a l l i nj u r ie s t h at Food and water can provide an might occur. If you have kids, important psychological boost consider providing some toys as wel l. Ma ny ex per ts have to occupy their time while you argued that people who survive wait for help. your car w ith an emergency preparedness kit.

Winter is the time when most car care emergencies happen. In t he wa rm days of spring and summer, few people are concerned about the occasional roadside problem. With alwayson com mu n icat ion a nd t he prol i ferat ion of roadside a ssista nce prog ra ms, ma ny people take it for granted that they will be able to call for help at a moment’s notice, regardless of the conditions. Mother Nature, however, has a way of humbling even the most prepared driver. In winter weather, the stakes are much higher in case of emergencies, particularly in northern parts of the United States. If you r a rea ha s i nclement weather, be prepared to meet any challenges by equipping

Commercial kits are available at big-box stores, hardware stores and many stores specializing in auto parts. These are often more expensive than building a k it you rself, but t hey a re convenient and can be used as a starting point for your kit. Only you can decide what the best option is to make sure that you don’t get stuck w it hout assistance. Being prepared in case of an emergency will give you t he tools-phy sica l a nd psychological – to get through the ordeal.

Car emergency kits can be purchased in the auto section of many stores, but it’s up to you to include items such as water, food, and blankets.



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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

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Your fall car care checklist By Sam Erickson Feature Writer

rotors, shoes, pads, drums, and calipers on your brakes. These are complicated systems. While some people feel comfortable October is Fall Car Care Month. handling this inspection and With the imminent onset of any repairs themselves, other winter, it’s time to give your car less-knowledgeable car owners a full system review. This handy rely on their mechanics to incheck l ist ca n let you k now spect and replace these. what you should do in order to get the most out of your car. If you’ve only got a short amount The engine of time, follow these in order to If your car runs rough on the maximize your efforts. road or when idling, it’s best to have it checked out by a meBrakes chanic. Winter is a time when you are relying more on your Heat and increased travel durcar, so it’s worth the investment. ing summer can wear out the

bat ter y post s or a bu lg i ng case can indicate problems. Professional tools are needed to test the juice in your battery.



Check the tires for their tread life and any worn or bald spots. Rotat i ng t i res reg u la rly ca n prevent uneven wearing and increase the life of every tire on your car. Checking for the right tire pressure is important to do every month, but it is even more important as you move into winter.

Your w ipers are your key to v isibilit y, and t hey are easy to replace a nd relat ively inexpensive. You can visually inspect your wipers for pits and cracks or you can check them as they work. If they have good contact and clear water cleanly, you probably won’t need to replace them for the winter.


Fluid levels

Increased battery problems in the winter are actually often the result of the summer heat and extended driving. Corroded

levels in your owner’s manual and make sure to top off these before the season. It won’t take long and it won’t be expensive. If you not ice a ny ver y low levels, it might be time to have a professional check for leaks.

You r c a r c ont a i n s s e v er a l different fluids: power steering, Belts and hoses br a ke, oi l, a nd w i nd sh ield wiper, to name a few. Check the Belt s a nd hos e s a ppe a r i n many places in a car. Check for cracks in belts and soft spots in hoses, which often appear near the clamps. formerly Joe’s Auto Repair

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Check the alignment on your headlights to make sure you aren’t binding other drivers and all of your taillights and signals are in good working order. This will make communication easier while on the road and may keep you from getting pulled over and receiving a ticket. Few things are more important t ha n good ca r ca re ma intenance. Take the time to inspect, check and fix any problems with your vehicle to ensure you have a safe winter driving season.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

Interior detailing: The secrets to having a good-looking car By Sam Erickson Feature Writer

specs on your car to ensure you use the right products.

Leather cleaners require special In the fall, people begin cleaning materials, so contact local expert to see what they to think about the harsh arecommend. The best option for roads of winter ahead. cloth seats is a good foam carpet cleaner, but that will require That means checking the tires, a wet/dr y vacuum to clea n. the oil and other mechanical With any product, try cleaning systems. If you’ve taken good a sma ll, hidden area first to care of your car during the year, ensure you won’t be removing then you might not have much the color or causing any other to do. In fact, you might want to harm to the interior. give yourself a treat and detail the interior of your car. Here are Detailing the interior is a job you some tips. can do on your own, although you may have to buy a few Basically, cars have two types products. Keeping the interior of su r faces : ha rd a nd sof t. in excellent shape will provide Vacuuming is really your first you with a better feel in the car step, and you’ll want to make and will add to the resale value. sure you have enough power You can put as much or as little in your vacuum to do the job. time into this interior remodel Often, plug-in vacuums just as you like, but the more energy don’t have the power, so haul you put in, t he hig her your your household vacuum or your return will be. shop vac out to the driveway. Be careful not to scratch any hard surfaces. Most vacuums come with a brush attachment t hat you c a n u se to clea n t he ha rd su r f ac e s w it hout scratching them. Ta ke the f loor mats out and wash t hem w it h a hose, detergent and scrubber. These are usually the dirtiest areas of the car, and taking them out will allow you to really put some elbow g rea se i nto clea n i ng them. Vinyl hard surfaces are the easiest to clean. Any surface cleaning agent will do, although you will want to make sure you read the label to check for any warnings. Saturate a towel with solution, swab the area and then use a microfiber towel to wipe off any excess. Stubborn stains might take a couple of washings. If you want to do a really thorough job, take the seats out. This will give you access to the entire seat as well as the surrounding area. Next, you’ll want to turn your attention to the soft surfaces. A re t he y le at her or clot h ? Often, the only real leather in a leather interior is on the seating surfaces and t he rest of t he surfaces are vinyl. Know the

What to do with a cracked windshield have collision insurance on their vehicle. However, not all windshields crack in a car accident. Many are damaged in nonaccident related circumstances, whether this be a tree branch that falls on the car or a rock kicked up from the roadway. It’s important to read an insurance policy thoroughly to be sure that nonaccident related cracks to the windshield will be covered.

If the crack is beyond the scope of a do-ityourself fix, a windshield repair service that specializes in this type of work might be necessary. These companies use products that harden quickly and reglaze the windshield so that the crack may not even be noticeable afterward.

Many small nicks can be repaired easily with a kit purchased from an automotive It’s important to note that liability car in- supply store. Inexpensive and user-friendsurance typically doesn’t cover a cracked ly, the instructions guide users through windshield that occurs in a collision. In- the process of sealing the crack and prestead, drivers hoping to be covered need to venting it from spreading.

While there is no way to prevent a cracked windshield entirely, there are certain ways to reduce the risk. This includes avoiding running over any debris on the road that can be kicked back at the windshield. Source: Metro

The scenario is all too common. Drivers are traveling down the road, and a pebble gets kicked up and hits into their windshield, causing a small chip to appear. Slowly but surely that chip turns into a spreading, snaking crack that only gets worse with each bump and pothole. Having a broken windshield is not only u n sig ht ly a nd a big i nconven ience, it ca n a lso be i llega l. That’s because t he crack reduces t he ef f icacy of t he w indow safet y composition, meaning it may shatter in the event of an impact accident and cause extensive injuries. The crack a lso may impede a driver’s ability to see the road clearly.

Upon inspection, a mechanic or a windshield replacement company may deterEven if the damage is covered, it may mine that the crack is not something that not be worth the expense of paying the can be mended. The entire windshield insurance deductible and filing a claim, will have to be replaced at this point. In which may end up raising your rate in the some cases the windshield can be removed and replaced in the same day. long run.



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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

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Warning lights send messages you can't ignore Safety on the road is no accident. For example, when a warning lig ht i l lum inates on a ca r’s dashboard, it is alerting you to a situation that requires your attention. While not all warning lights are a sign that disaster is imminent, no warning indicator should ever be ignored. T h at ’s t he w ord f r om t he experts at AAA, who encourage motorists to read their owner’s manual and know what each of the warning lights in their vehicle means. To help, they offer the following tips:

If this light comes on, shut down all unnecessary electrical loads such as the radio, heater or air The oil pressure light is usually conditioning, then drive the vean oilcan symbol or the word hicle to a repair facility immedi“OIL.” It comes on when there ately for further inspection. is a drop in engine oil pressure.

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Auto g lin e D tai & e ervic A/C Sable! l i a Av


Check Engine Light

Unless the engine temperature i s q u i c k l y br ou g ht u n d e r The check engine light comes cont rol, major da mage may on when t here is a problem occur. If there are any signs affecting the vehicle’s exhaust of a cooling system leak, pull If the oil pressure warning light emissions. If the light comes off the road at the earliest safe comes on and stays on, pull on a nd st ay s on, ma ke a n opportunity, shut off the engine off the road at the earliest safe appoi nt ment w it h a n auto and call for assistance. opportunity, shut off the engine repair shop to have the problem Be careful when opening the and call for assistance. checked in the near future. hood in the presence of steam, Charging System Light However, if the check engine and never remove the radiator light begins flashing repeatedly, cap when the engine is hot. The charging system light is the catalytic converter is overusually a battery symbol or the heating. Should this occur, drive Disregarding a f lashing check word “ALT” or “GEN.” It comes the vehicle to a repair shop im- engine light could start a fire, on when the vehicle’s electrical mediately for further diagnosis. destroy the catalytic converter and result in necessary repairs system is no longer being supthat could easily exceed $1,000. plied power by the alternator. Engine Temperature Of all the warning lights, the oil pressure light indicates the greatest potential for serious mechanical damage.


OW We N sed U l l e S !! Tires


To learn more, visit www.AAA. com or call (800) AAA-HELP. To The engine temperature light is locate an A A A Approved Auto usually a thermometer symbol Repair shop, visit w w w.A A A. or the word “TEMP.” It comes on com/repair. Source: NAPSI when the engine temperature is unsafe for your vehicle.


1844 Lisbon Rd. • Lewiston • Manager: Mike Fortin

Featuring a full line of Quality Vehicles at Wholesale Prices.

We WILL NOT be undersold!

Our vehicles are fully serviced and ready to go. They are backed by our 100% Parts & Labor Warranty. We are a Full Service Garage - bring in an estimate and


(Coupon good for Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep ONLY)

Chrysler Service Contracts provides you with the first step in proper vehicle maintenance to protect your investment - complete lube, oil and filter changes at a tremendous value. LOF24 is available now!

Up to 5QT. Oil - Most Vehicles expires 12/31/2012

Open M-F 8am - 5pm, Sat 8am - 2pm

Certified Mechanics A.S.E. Certified Master Mechanic

We’re Open Late! We’re Open Till Midnight Monday-Friday.



Open till Midnight Monday-Friday Because we know you’re busy too.



786-3541 Nam

A e Says it...


*SERVICE CONTRACT EXPIRES 24 MONTHS or "24,000 miles, whichever comes first" AFTER THE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL LUBE, OIL & FILTER PURCHASE AT THIS CHRYSLER GROUP LLC DEALERSHIP. (Up to 5 quarts only. Additional charges may be applied for HEMI @ and fluid disposal.) Service Contract Essential Car oil change offer is made by the dealer, who is solely rsponsible for it. Plan offered on 1983 to current year vehicles (excluding Crossfire, Viper, Prowler, Diesels, SRT10 and all other vehicles that require synthetic or semi-synthetic oils.) See Service Advisor for details.

Only at Bessey Motors! !

1296 Sabattus St. • Lewiston 8


Ask your Dealership Representative for Complete details about one of our Lube, Oil and Oil Filter packages Available exclusively through Bessey Motor Sales.

$70 Rebate on Goodyear Tires

Expert Automotive Repairs

Full service auto & truck repair! No job too big or too small!

Pre Pay for Your Oil and Filter Changes now!


New Owner James Lozis

409 Sabattus St., Lewiston • 333-3263



$ 49. 95

Reg. Price $29.95

Locally Owned... Serving Local People

209 MAIN ST., SO. PARIS, ME Visit Us At:



Auto Sales & Service 777-1965



743-6341 1-800-339-6341

Major Brand Tires at Employee Pricing

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Car Care 2012