Auto Repair Chandler: Car Care Advice and Tips for the Non-Mechanically Inclined
It’s important to take good care of your car. If you don’t, you may find yourself dealing with expensive repairs or, even worse, end up needing to buy a new vehicle. There are a number of small, basic things you can do to keep your car in excellent condition that don’t require you to be a mechanic or know much about cars. Many of these things will not only help maintain your car but will also increase your gas mileage.
As the price of gas increases, there’s no better time to check over your car and make certain it’s in good running shape so you can save a little money. Tires The tires on our car take a lot of stress, but unless they look low, most people rarely think to check them. In fact, very few people perform the recommended monthly inflation check to make certain their tires have the proper air pressure. Tires lose air through permeation, so even if you don’t have a hole in the tire, it will still slowly lose pressure. Also note that when it’s colder, air pressure goes down more quickly. When a tire gets too under-inflated, it can lead to a blowout.
Tech Tip: Check your tire pressure when the tire is “cold” – when you’ve driven less than a mile on it.
You also need to make sure your tires have a proper tread on them. Tread wears down naturally as you drive, and worn down tires can more easily be punctured or have a blowout.
Tech Tip: how do you tell if your tire tread is worn down? Take a penny and hold it with Lincoln’s head towards the tire. Press it into the tread. If you can see any space above Lincoln’s head, you need to replace the tire.
Engine Oil Changing your oil regularly is another important maintenance item. Oil and oil filters should be changed at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals (found in your owner’s manual). This helps to reduce engine wear and prevents damage. You can check your oil when your car is turned off by opening the hood and removing the dipstick. Clean off the stick, put it back in the oil reservoir, then remove it and check if the oil is within the marked range.
Tech Tip: Most manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3,000 miles or every three to six months. Double check your owner’s manual to be certain, or give us a call and we can check the specification for your car.
Other Vital Fluids While most people know about changing their oil, many people forget to check other fluids in their cars. This includes transmission fluid, which is very important. You can check your transmission fluid by opening the hood and looking for the ATF reservoir. You check it the same way you check your oil, but you need to have the car running to check your transmission fluid.
Tech Tip: Most manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles.
Antifreeze You also want to make certain to change your antifreeze, which both keeps your engine cool and prevents freezing. It can be checked when the engine is cool by looking at the coolant reservoir. There’s no dipstick here, so you’ll have to decide if the tank looks low.
Tech Tip: Antifreeze should be changed every few years or every 30,000 miles. Newer antifreeze formulas may be able to go as long as 50,000 miles. Also, it’s almost never good to replace missing coolant with plain water. Most vehicles use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water (using distilled water can be even better). Check the owner’s manual for the specifications of your car, or give us a call and we can look it up for you.
These are just a few easy car care tips that can keep your vehicle in good condition, which helps make it both reliable and economical. It doesn’t hurt to have a free vehicle inspection once in a while as well. Give us a call today and setup a time for yours!
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