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Kenny "The Car Guy" Walters

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Kenny the Car Guy Walters owns Mufflers and More at 490 N. Pontiac Trail in Walled Lake. Click here for more information.

Be My Car-entine - Basking in the Glow of Headlights, Get Intimate in the Garage this Valentine's Day - By Kenny the Car Guy Walters.

 

Tender rubdowns. Lubricants. Rich chocolately oils.  Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like an engine flush or a car wash.  Everyone wants relationships that will last over the long haul, right? No one wants to be in a relationship that strands you on the side of the road.

 

And, as we travel along love's highway, who doesn't prefer a smooth purr to high-pitched screeching?

Battle-tested couples can attest that showing love and appreciation is the key to keeping the rust off long-lasting, happy relationships, and it's no different with your car.

This Valentine's Day, include your car in your celebration of love. In a town where we rely on our autos to get us pretty much everywhere, it doesn't matter if the "Blue Book" value is $2,000 or $200,000; the true value of your car lies in its reliability to get you where you're going, safely, reliably and comfortably.

Plan a "date night" with your car this month. Unlike romantic date nights, though, don't turn the lights down. Turn them on bright. Check your headlights, taillights, turn signal lights and hazard lights, making sure all are functioning properly.

Then, give your car a long, appraising look, bottom to top. How are the tires? Are the treads worn down? Are there any nails or rocks embedded in the treads?

Give a love tap to your tires with an air pressure gauge and make sure they are at the proper PSI, usually between 32 and 40 PSI, depending on the car. February is a good time for this, as cold weather tends to cause a loss in pressure. Check the pressure of the spare tire, too, and top off, if necessary.

Get closer to your love-mobile; pop the hood. Look at fluid levels, including the windshield wiper reservoir and engine oil. Replenish anything that's low - you want to stay well-lubricated.

Get more physical: grab the floor mats and give them a shake. Go over the seats and floor with a vacuum. Spot-clean any stains with upholstery cleaner. February is a good time for a cleaning, as rock salt and wintertime gunk can leave lasting marks on your car's interior if you don't catch them early.

Lubricate door hinges so the cold and ice don't make them whine.

Lastly, give your car a rub-down, either yourself or hire a professional at the automotive equivalent of a massage parlor: the car wash.

Staying on top of your car's maintenance schedule and changing the oil regularly go a long way in keeping your relationship with your car from going up in (black) smoke.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American automobile commuter travels 10,000 miles a year to work alone, without factoring in trips to the store, outings with the kids and road trips.

Like relationships, cars feel the wear-and-tear of the daily grind, especially if they're being taken for granted.

This Valentine's Day, show your car a little heart. Do the little things that add up to a long, happy, mutually beneficial relationship.

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