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We all love the change of seasons. It gives some spice to life, shows us some beautiful changes in the world around us, and brings relief to weather that has begun to grow wearisome. Especially here in the Tampa Bay area where summer heat, though we love it, begins to grow old.

The fall weather has been wonderful and like so many others we like to get out more and more whenever we have the free time and experience the great out doors before the winter is fully here and shorts weather behind us.

But this change reminds us here at Rick Stroud Autos, Wheel Alignment Shop, that the change in temperature is both a great reminder of the need for some preventive maintenance and is a forerunner of some replacement parts.

One thing that you should get in the habit of periodically doing is a coolant flush. We’re not talking of just draining out your coolant, we are talking of actually flushing the system. The coolant works to keep your auto’s engine running within proper temperature ranges.

Coolant also lubricates the coolant system, but there are things that happen in the coolant system that can damage parts. One of those things is that rust, a natural reaction of metals and water, can build up in the system. That rust as it rushes through the system can act as a sandblaster and destroy plugs and wear down parts. Flushing the system helps remove those particles.

Also over time the coolant acids begin to build up a slight electrical charge much like what takes place in your battery. Yet another reason for the preventive maintenance flush.

Speaking about batteries, just a ten degree change in temperature up or down will affect how well your battery works and impacts its life expectancy. As your battery ages this impact becomes more and more obvious as things like wipers, lights, and AC draw upon it during operation.

So if you are noticing that starting your car is not as “snappy” or it doesn’t seem to be holding a charge well, then it is very likely that you need a battery change.

In Florida, our experience has been that you can expect your battery to last about three years because of the temperature extremes we have in our wonderful state.

If your car is giving you trouble with starting, bring it into us at our shop here in St.Petersburg / Pinellas and we can test the battery out and find out if it’s near its end of life or whether or not the problem could be something else like your starter.

We can also flush your coolant system too.

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