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Top Ten Car Care Tips - 10 Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle in Top Shape
Is your car not running its best? Have trouble keeping it in top shape? Over long use, your car will succumb to a number of different ailments which can test the vehicle's operation. When this happens, it generally means a trip to the mechanic to fix the problem before it becomes much worse. The problem is that some complications which can occur with your vehicle can be prevented or prolonged only if you know what you're doing and read the signs before they turn bad.
Regular maintenance of your vehicle is one of the best things you can do for your vehicle. Generally, the manufacturer of the vehicle will have recommendations on when your vehicle will need a proper service. Many manufacturers will tell you, if serviced on time, every time when they recommend it, the vehicle will not only last longer, but will also run smoother on the roads. Taking care of your vehicle before it goes beyond repair is the key between having to spend a lot of money on buying a new car or having a great-looking, reliable, and long-lasting machine at your disposal. The following are some of the best tips you can use to help maintain the integrity of your vehicle, without it costing a lot in repairs.
Top Tips That Everyone Should Know
When looking to keep your car in top form, the following are some simple tips that you can do to help keep your vehicle running better for longer.
Tip #1 - Oil Change: Checking and changing the oil in your car is the first step you can take to help keep your car running better. Checking and changing the oil will help keep your engine operating according to its standards. Changing the oil filter will also help to ensure proper operation of the engine. Without checking or changing your oil regularly, it can compromise and risk the engine seizing up. A new engine can cost you thousands of dollars in replacement.
Tip #2 - Change Coolant: It's advised that all vehicles should have their cooling system flushed at least once per year. New coolant should be introduced into the vehicle after the system has been flushed. The best mixture to keep your cooling system in great shape is a mix of fifty percent coolant and fifty percent distilled water. This mixture will help to prevent deposit build up and corrosion from occurring within the cooling system.
Tip #3 - Change Transmission Oils: Changing the transmission oils every once in a while is important. Although it isn't required as frequently as other oils changes and services, it should be done from time to time throughout the life of your vehicle. It's also important to remember that transmission fluid or gear oil is different, depending on the type of vehicle.
Tip #4 - Keep Your Car Clean: Keeping your car clean is important to help prevent debris build-up or any rust which might occur. When cleaning your car, it's important to not only clean the outside of the vehicle, but the inside and underneath of the car. The underneath of your car is generally exposed to a great deal of debris from the road, which can affect the operation of the vehicle.
Tip #5 - Keep Everything Lubricated: Moving parts, in order to function correctly and smoothly, need to be lubricated with grease to survive the harsh conditions of the environment around them. For example, ball joints which aren't lubricated can break down and go into early retirement from poor lubrication.
Tip #6 - Wax Your Vehicle: Waxing the exterior of your vehicle is a great way to help keep the paint protected and looking great. It is advised that a car should be waxed at least every six months for optimal protection and shine.
Tip #7 - Driveline Lubrication: Driveline components, including the U-joints, are an important part of the car. Because of this, it's important to make sure these components are regularly lubricated to maximum operation. In order to help lubricate these components, the driveline may need to be removed in order to access the zerk grease fitting.
Tip #8 - Park Your Vehicle in the Shade: When parking your vehicle, it's advisable to park in the shade as much as you can. Parking in the shade helps to reduce the risk of the interior plastic from cracking from high sun and heat exposure. If you can't find a shady spot, the use of a window deflector screen is also a great choice. Another method you can use is applying a UV protectant. This helps to prevent the vinyl and plastic from becoming dry.
Tip #9 - Wheel Bearings: Checking, inspecting, cleaning, and repacking the wheel bearings of your vehicle with wheel bearing grease is also important. This procedure should be completed in accordance with recommended service intervals. The wheel bearing grease is inexpensive and is a lot cheaper than having to replace the spindle and hub if a wheel falls off your vehicle.
Tip #10 - Brake Fluid: Changing your brake fluid once a year is a great way to help maintain optimal brake operation. Brake fluid is known to be hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture. Constant moisture on the vehicle's components will cause problems with them corroding and failing over time. This is why it's important to replace your brake fluid and bleed the system at least once a year. While brake fluid is cheap, other components, such as sensors, hoses and callipers, aren't.
Although what seem like minor maintenance issues, these changes to your vehicle can really make an overall difference in the way it drives, operates, and handles on the road.
Advantages of Having Your Vehicle Serviced Regularly
Having your vehicle serviced regularly comes with many advantages to the vehicle, and you, the driver. Some of these advantages include:
Increases Driver Safety
No matter how well you can drive your vehicle, the safety of you and those around you relies heavily on how good the condition of your car is. Letting the condition of your car deteriorate over time increase your risk of an accident by fifty percent. A simple check of your tires, oil, and brake fluid can help to keep you and others on the road safe at all times.
Enhances Fuel Economy and Boosts Performance
These days, with the increase in fuel prices, it's important to get the most out of your vehicle when driving. Having a regular vehicle service can mean the difference between a fuel guzzler and how efficient your vehicle can be. When a vehicle has been serviced, drivers have noted a ten to fifteen percent enhancement in their fuel economy. Not only that, but their vehicle's performance also exceeded expectations.
Extends Your Cars Lifespan
These days, not everyone has the opportunity to replace their vehicle. Another advantage of having your vehicle regularly serviced and maintained is that it will extend the life of your vehicle greatly. This is why many manufacturers have warranties which state that all vehicles must be serviced, for the warranty to be effective. It's important, however, to remember that, when having your car serviced, it needs to be serviced by a trained professional, and that the work carried out on the vehicle needs to be in accordance with the guidelines that have been set in place by the manufacturer.
Improves Selling Price
Regular maintenance of your vehicle will also help to ensure that you can sell your vehicle at a higher price, if needed. Buyers like vehicles that are well maintained and will generally pay a little more for a well-cared for vehicle. If you plan to sell your car at a later date, it's important to keep this in mind if you want the best price for your used car.
Saves Unnecessary Costs
Servicing your vehicle regularly can help to reduce the risk of having to pay for preventable and unnecessary costs. For example, if the oil level isn't checked, and it becomes low, it can cause the motor to seize up. This means the motor is no longer viable, resulting in a replacement motor which can cost you from $3000 and up, depending on the vehicle you own. Compare this to a small regular servicing, which could cost you a couple hundred dollars; it's no wonder many people are opting for the regular service.
Risks of Not Having Your Vehicle Serviced Regularly
For some, having the vehicle serviced on a regular basis isn't something that is thought of. Many people don't know the risks involved with not maintaining their car properly. When a vehicle is serviced regularly, the mechanic takes special care and attention of the various parts, systems, and components of the vehicle to ensure all of them are working correctly. Without doing this, many complications can occur. The following are some of the risks that can occur when you don't have your car serviced regularly.
- Build Up of Oil Sludge in the Engine - A build-up of oil can occur on the inside parts of your engine when a regular check isn't performed. This build-up of sludge can cause the engine to decrease in overall performance, and can cause the engine and engine oil to become over-stressed.
- Mechanical Failure - There's nothing worse than having your vehicle fail or break down while driving on the road. Some mechanical failures can cause risks to the driver and others on the road. There have been many fatalities from an un-serviced vehicle that has broken down on a busy roadway.
- Excessive Wear and Tear of Components - Not having your car serviced regularly also increases the wear and tear on the components of your vehicle. Because no service has been done, your vehicle has to work twice as hard, resulting in deterioration of the vehicle at a faster rate.
- Vehicle Damage - Driving your vehicle without having it serviced can also cause costly damage, especially if the motor or other major components break down. Some vehicle damage is costlier than buying a new second-hand vehicle and, unfortunately, not everyone has the money to spend on a new vehicle.
- Poor Fuel Economy - Higher fuel consumption can be seen in vehicles which aren't regularly serviced. Fuel isn't as cheap as it used to be, and,these days,many people want to get the most mileage out of their vehicle as possible. Not having your vehicle serviced regularly can really affect how much your vehicle goes through fuel.
- Exemption from Warranty - When purchasing a new car, the warranty states that the vehicle must be serviced regularly to keep the warranty in check. Unfortunately, many people don't do this, and then expect their vehicle to still be under warranty when something bad occurs. To help keep your new vehicle's warranty in check, always have it serviced regularly. Otherwise, you may have to pay more if the warranty doesn't cover it.
How to Select the Right Mechanic for Your Car Service
When it comes to having your car repaired, you want a mechanic company that is reliable, great at what they do, and affordable in price. Although it seems impossible to find, from time to time, it is doable. The following are some top tips you can use to find a mechanic that is right for you:
Sometimes some of the best mechanic suggestions are from referrals by your friends or family who've had experience in using the different mechanics in the area. You'll find the best mechanics will be the ones that many people talk about. You'll also know that they aren't a scam, and they offer honest work.
Shop Around Before an Emergency Strikes
In an emergency, you tend to use the first mechanic that's available. This can sometimes cause problems, as you may end up spending more than you need to on a service that isn't as good as it could have been. If you're new to owning a car, it's a great idea to shop around the different mechanics before an emergency strikes, to allow you to have a good idea of the ones to consider and the ones to leave alone.
Don't Choose a Mechanic Based Only on Price
Although price can be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing a mechanic, it shouldn't be the sole reason why you should choose one. It's always best to compare companies, to match the service that you'll receive against the price being offered. Always get estimates for the job that's required.
Make Them Explain the Problem to You
Although you may not be mechanically savvy, it's important to know what's wrong with your vehicle and what to look out for so you can prevent it from happening again. A mechanic should be willing to give you an explanation of the problem you're about to pay for, and should help you understand any steps that may be needed to prevent the problem from reoccurring.
When it comes to caring for your vehicle, it's important to make sure you consider having it serviced regularly by a trained mechanic. Although it may seem a little costly, in the end it can save you thousands of dollars. So, are you looking to have your vehicle serviced soon?