10 Preventive Maintenance Auto Care Tips

Fix it before it breaks – keep your car clean and running well. These auto care tips can save you time, money and lots of hassles. These are tips on what to check and how often, but if your car has a warning light on, check it right away. Also look into it ASAP if you hear a strange sound, or notice anything unusual. Remember to always keep records of any work done to your car. This will be a long-term asset and will keep your car’s resale value high. This check up takes about an hour and won’t cost you a cent (unless you need to replace fluids or parts).

  1. Engine Oil – Check once a month, and if it’s low fill it up with your manufacturer’s recommended grade. Change approximately every 3000 miles (about three months). Go to MYNRMA to learn how to check your oil.

  2. Fluids – Check the levels for radiator coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, hydraulic clutch level fluid, and automatic transmission fluid. If the level is low, replace with the same brand. If your car is over seven years old, check your fluids and oil more frequently – about every 500 miles. Older cars tend to leak fluid, and a little attention can prevent a problem like overheating or even mechanic failure.

  3. Lights – All your lights should be working – dash lights, headlights, brake lights, back-up lights, and turn signals. For detailed instructions on lights troubleshooting, go to autorepair.com

  4. Hoses, Belts – Check for stains, which mean leakage. Also, if two hoses are rubbing together a leak could develop. Belts and hoses should be replaced every two years.

  5. Battery – The fluid inside the battery should be about 1/4 of an inch above the plates. If the level is low, top up with distilled water. Remember to check the battery away from flames and cigarettes. Avoid contact with the fluid inside the battery – it’s corrosive. For an easy way to clean your battery, go to doityourself.com

  6. Wipers – Windshield wipers ought to be changed with regularity. We’re often surprised at the difference new blades can make, they’re quite cheap and you can do it yourself Also remember to refill your washer fluid often, and never use a household detergent.

  7. Tires – For safety and durability reasons, it’s a good idea to regularly check your tire pressure. Make sure your spare tire is inflated as well. Worn tires will mean bad gas mileage. A good tip is to rotate your tires every 6000 miles, and have the wheel alignment and balance checked.

  8. Spark Plugs – If these are worn out or dirty, your car will be wasting gas and emitting more exhaust. Your engine won’t be too happy either. Clean them or replace them when needed.

  9. Air Filter – Replace your car air filter if it’s clogged or damaged (If clogged, it can cut gas mileage by up to 20%).

  10. Wash Your Car – Make it a regular practice to keep your car clean. Washing your car about once a week will keep it looking as good on the outside as it is on the inside. Regular washing and waxing keeps your paint healthy.

For more preventive maintenance tips go to Ehow.

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