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Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2006

Take care of your wheels while you’re at school

August 12, 2006

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Living away from home can be intimidating for freshmen, especially when their car breaks down for the first time.

AAA recommends drivers check their car's oil every time they stop at a gas station and have oil changes every three months or every 3,000 miles.

Automotive businesses in Lawrence stress preventive maintenance.

"College students' driving habits are hard on a car," said Eugene Ross, manager of Jiffy Lube, 2415 Iowa. "A quick trip for doughnuts doesn't allow the engine to get up to the proper running temperature."

According to Ross, a vehicle needs to run for at least 30 minutes to ensure the oil can properly lubricate all of the engine's moving parts. Otherwise excess moisture can build up in the oil.

Ross also suggests checking the oil level every time you stop for gas.

"When the oil level gets too low, a car will start burning oil, and sludge residue forms in the oil pan," Ross said.

Tires also can be an expensive maintenance item. According to Dana Drake, manager of Firestone Tire and Service Centers, 2425 Iowa, the cost to replace all four tires on a standard coupe or sedan averages $300 to $400.

"It's a good idea to have your tires checked every time you get your oil changed," Drake said. "What you should look for is obvious cracking or bulging in areas."

Some automotive businesses offer discounts to KU students, Drake said.

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