Car Care Tips
- Author Mary Grace Jackson
- Published May 9, 2011
- Word count 440
According to recent studies, 5% of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.
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 certified technician.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your owner manual more often (usually every 3000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a certified shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a potential safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures at least once per month. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
Check your vehicle owner manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.
Always keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
Lighten the load! Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean our unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result can be up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you will use. For example, driving at 75 mph rather than 65 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20%.
Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.
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