Roger Menard Insurance Home & Highway Fall/Winter 2006

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Wise drivers carry a survival kit in their car. Be sure to refresh yours with emergency gear in case you find yourself stranded during a road trip or on your way to the cottage.

  • Water — for you and for the radiator
  • Flares
  • Umbrella
  • Emergency cash
  • Snack foods such as chocolate or energy bars
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Extra windshield fluid
  • Empty gas can
  • Portable radio
  • Blanket
  • Moist towelettes with insect repellant
  • First-aid kit

If your brakes are starting to sing, it’s time to take your car in for service. Here are some warning signals that your brakes are begging for attention:

  • Squealing
  • Metallic grinding noises
  • Sinking brake pedal
  • Brake pedal requires pumping
  • Car pulls to one side
  • Brake judder (shaking or shuddering feedback from steering wheel when brakes are applied)

As part of your routine car maintenance, keep brake fluid at the level marked on the reservoir. Be sure to add only the type of fluid recommended in the owner’s manual, and replace the cap quickly, since many types of brake fluids absorb moisture, which compromises the effectiveness of the system and can necessitate expensive repairs to anti-lock braking (ABS) systems.

If frequent top-ups are required, have the car serviced — there could be a leak somewhere in the hydraulic system.

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada recommends that you have the brake fluid changed every 40,000 kilometres or every two years.

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Author: car health