Expert Tips on Handling Winter Driving Challenges
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Northborough??”Lamy Automotive offers comprehensive maintenance and repair service on all makes and models of cars and trucks.
Kevin Lamy has been fixing cars since 1984 and opened his own shop in 1990. He and Ray Everitt, who joined Lamy's shop a few years ago, after operating his own auto air conditioning repair business in Westborough, provide tune-ups, oil changes, brake service, engine and transmission service, computer diagnostics, radiators and heating repairs on both domestic and foreign brands.? The shop also sells tires and offers full tire service.
Lamy Automotive does fleet maintenance for light trucks and emergency snowplow repairs during winter storms.
And as the region gears up for those winter storms, Lamy offered some advice to make sure an automobile is ready to handle winter conditions safely.
“Tires are the most important part of winter driving,” he noted.
Most cars today feature front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, and the need for special winter snow tires is “almost a thing of the past,” he said, but drivers should be sure their tires are in good shape with ample tread depth.
Check tire inflation before the car has been driven far, when the tires are still cold, and inflate to the tire pressure recommend on the sticker inside the driver's door.
The second step in being prepared for the cold weather is to have the car battery checked and charged if necessary. “A weak battery can charge all summer, but stop when it gets cold.”
“Don's ignore the antilock brake system (ABS) light if it comes on. It's part of the braking system, and those antilock brakes help you stop in the snow. You need to fix any problem with the ABS system,” Lamy emphasized.
The antifreeze level should be adjusted so the car is safe from freezing to temperatures as low as 35 degrees below zero, he said. And while you are having that done, check the oil, transmission fluid and other routine maintenance items. Make sure the window washer fluid reservoir is full and the pump works, and don's forget to put an ice scraper inside the car, not in the trunk.
When you start your car in very cold weather, let it warm up a few minutes before you drive it. “It's better for the car, and it's safer. The windows won's fog up,” Lamy said.
It's a good idea, he added, not to let the gasoline tank get close to empty in the winter. The fuel pump, located in the bottom of the tank, should be kept covered with gasoline, and a full tank will give you that much extra weight when you need traction. You'sl also have gas if a severe storm knocks out power for a few days.
Lamy moved his business to the current location on Bartlett Street four years ago, providing a spacious work space that can accommodate several automobiles at a time, as well as a comfortable waiting area for customers.
If a customer needs to leave the car, Lamy offers a shuttle service to local destinations, either home or office.
“Weather permitting, we also wash all the cars after we finish working on them,” he added.
Lamy urges customers to make appointments for service, though he makes every effort to squeeze people in when they have an emergency. Scheduled appointments are generally available within a day or two of a call.
Lamy Automotive is open Monday through from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and is closed on weekends. The shop is located at 200 Bartlett St. in Northborough. For an appointment or information, call Lamy at 508-393-9399.
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