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Frank Leutz

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Drive Confidently Into Monsoon Season

Desert Car Care Shares Tips to Handle the Season Safely

Summer in Phoenix means hot weather—and monsoons. Having your car in monsoon-ready condition can help protect not only the car, but keep you safe. Frank Leutz, COO of Desert Car Care of Chandler shares his tips.

Before the Monsoons

·      When were your wiper blades and battery last replaced? They require more attention in Arizona’s climate than in others, so make sure they are still in good condition.

·       Use a penny to check the depth of your tire’s tread pattern for excessive wear. Good tread improves traction when the roads are wet. Place the penny head-down. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, it’s time to replace your tires.

·      Check for leaks in the rubber moldings, particularly around the windshield.

·      Make sure headlights, taillights, and brake lights are properly functioning.

After the Monsoons

Leutz also recommends a post-monsoon inspection, where his team looks for water intrusion of the rubber moldings.

“The windshield wipers or car horn will function in a phantom way,” he explains.

That’s a sign that a leak has creeped into the electrical work in the car.

Leutz also offers driving tips for if you get stuck driving when a monsoon—or a dust storm—hits.

·      If it’s raining, drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility. However, if it’s a dust storm, safely pull off the road and turn them all off. Drivers behind you could mistake your lights as moving traffic and cause a collision. Wait in your vehicle with your seatbelt buckled for a dust storm to pass.

·      Slow down when roads are wet.

·      Create a safe distance between you and the cars ahead, especially if they are large semi-trucks that cause massive sprays that decrease visibility.

·      Don’t drive through excessive water. “Water damage on vehicles with air intakes positioned low to the ground could cost $8,000 to $10,000 to repair,” Leutz cautions.

·      If you’re hydroplaning do not hit the brakes. Ease off the gas pedal and carefully turn your steering wheel in the same direction of your slide.

Safety Programs

Desert Car Care advocates safe driving habits. As a panelist for the Arizona Distracted Driving Summit, Leutz stresses the importance of attentiveness behind the wheel despite advanced safety features in new vehicles.

The company alsohosts an annual Don’t Drink and Drive awareness campaign in honor of Chandler police officer David Payne, who tragically lost his life to an impaired driver in 2014. And, Leutz works closely with the DUI Task Force to demonstrate the consequences of driving while intoxicated. A brutally-crashed vehicle is displayed to new drivers of local high schools as a tough, but effective, message.

The shop is also deeply devoted to the community in other ways, as well. Teachers receive complimentary oil changes and a car safety inspection during their annual Back to School event in August.

Leutz also hosts an annual Canned Food Drive, where complimentary oil changes (valued at $65) are offered in exchange for donations of non-perishable foods.

“It’s crazy, people in our own backyard aren’t able to eat. They can’t afford food,” he says.

His goal is always to collect 600 to 1,000 food items, which are then donated to Chandler food bank AZCEND.

Leutz’s favorite aspects of being in the automotive industry are the connections with people and finding solutions to customers' unique vehicle challenges.

“We forget we fix cars, honestly,” he says, recognizing that cars are such personal items because it’s where people spend so much time. “There’s something about the trials and tribulations of one’s vehicle that opens people up.”

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  • Frank Leutz

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