Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance...Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!
Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.
Getting Started--The best planning guide is your owner's manual. Read it; and follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedules.
Air Conditioning--A Marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician.
Cooling System--The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
DIYers, Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
OIL--Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual--more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
Engine Performance--Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended--more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard starts, rough idling, smiling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
Windshield Wipers--A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Tires--Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires "cool down" first.
Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Brakes--Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
Battery--Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery. caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly.
Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Lights--Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses.
To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Emergencies--Carry some basic tools--ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a CB radio.
The secret for getting oil for your car either absolutely free, or at pennies per gallon, is to realize that OIL DOES NOT WEAR OUT, IT JUST GETS DIRTY! If you remove the dirt and other particles from the oil it will be like new.
Car care is definitely a win-win situation.
Today's cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.
Because new cars are expensive, most people find themselves in the market for a used vehicle when they need wheels. And buying a used car isn't easy; you want to get the best car you can for the best deal you can.
Mechanical failure--an inconvenience any time it occurs--can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, will last longer, and could command a higher resale price.
No matter what you drive--sports car, family sedan, pick-up, or mini-van, when you go in for repairs or service, you want the job done right. The following advice should take much of the guesswork out of finding a good repair establishment.
FREEBIE: I extended my trailer tongue by three feet using the next size up square steel tubing. This allows me to keep my feet dry during launching and also allows me to use shallow ramps better.
Anyone who owns a car knows they're not foolproof mechanisms; they sometimes break down. Being able to diagnose a problem and to cure it can make your life a lot easier.
The surest way you can improve your fuel cost problem is to change your motoring habits. Listed below under four categories are 30 effective methods of doing so... no need to buy expensive add-on equipment.