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AUTO MAINTENANCE AND CARE
Preventative maintenance is the best kind of maintenance when discussing matters concerning cars. In this section covers a wide variety of automotive problems and fixes. Included are tips on how how to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Other topics addressed are tire, engine, air conditioning and heater questions. There is also a Q&A section where our experts field automotive questions.
Ten Good Reasons To Invest In an Annual Car "Physical" And Needed Maintenance
1. Cut repair costs. Discovering a worn component before it creates major problems can save big money.
2. Safety. A poorly maintained vehicle can drive you into a serious accident,
3. Better performance. This translates to improved fuel economy as well as "drivability".
4. Saving the environment. Under maintained vehicles is a serious contributor to air pollution.
5. Improved trade-in/resale value. A well maintained vehicle can be worth 2-3 times as much as one that's been neglected.
6. Better handling. Incorrect wheel alignment, worn suspension components and/or tires cause poor ride and handling.
7. Ability to plan ahead. When a checkup indicates future need for replacement of a part you can budget accordingly.
8. Dependability. A well maintained vehicle is less likely to stall, fail to start or otherwise leave you stranded.
9. Driving enjoyment. It's more comfortable and more fun to drive a car that holds the road and rides well.
10. Pride of ownership. It's said that your car is an extension of your personality. Keeps it looking like you care? (BACK TO TOP)
A cars engine generates enough heat to destroy itself. The cooling
system protects against damage keeping the engine operating within
the correct temperature range. Regular checks and maintenance help
assure long life of vulnerable engine parts.
Here's what's involved in proper cooling system maintenance
Check condition of water pump
1. Inspect radiator for leaks, corrosion
2. Be sure you have plenty of coolant. Caution: never open or remove pressure cap when engine is hot
3. Look for leaking hoses and connections tighten loose clamps
4. Check condition of the radiator pressure cap replace if rubber gasket is damaged
5. If the engine runs too cool the thermostat is probably at fault and should be replaced
6. Inspect condition of hoses. Cracked, mushy or otherwise deteriorated hoses should be replaced
7. Heater hoses demand attention, too. Look for leaks, cracks, rotted rubber. Replace faulty clamps
8. Check belts for wear and tension. Replace when cracked or frayed. Usual life is about 4 years. (BACK TO TOP)
COOLING SYSTEM CHECK
Unfortunately, many motorists wait until the first severe cold snap
or the hottest day of the year before paying attention to their
cars' cooling system.
How are your tires? Deep tread can make a big difference in safety and traction on wet roads. Tire inflation, which should be checked about once a month, decreases about one pound for every 10 degrees of temperature drop. This means tires that Were inflated to 34 pounds when the temperature was 85 o F. will be under inflated by 6 pounds at 25 degrees. That's enough to shorten tire life, affect vehicle control and waste gas. Properly functioning windshield defrosters, lights and windshield wipers can be life savers when driving at night in bad weather. (BACK TO TOP)
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