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Car Care Tips

10 Tips To Make Your Car Last Longer

The Maintenance Difference

We all know somebody with an older, high-mileage vehicle that just keeps on running year after year. You might be wondering; “What’s their secret?” Regularly scheduled maintenance and lubrication using the manufacturers recommended type and formulation of oil, grease and fluids is what will give you the best results. Wear-and-tear on parts such as belts or hoses is normal. You should replace them before they fail.

Remember the type of oil, brake fluid, and grease used is just as important as when it is changed. The best oil in the world will do your engine no good if you never change it. Cleaning and protecting the finishes of the vehicle inside and out will keep things looking good. Paint, plastic, leather, and fabric need help to survive the constant assault of sun and other elements. By utilizing both of these plans together, you will enjoy a reliable and good looking vehicle for a long time. Follow the accompanying 10 handy tips for keeping your vehicle in top shape.

Tip 1

Engine oil: The best thing you can do to make your engine last longer is to regularly and consistently change the oil and filter. Over time your engine will begin to consume some oil, however having to add 1 quart every 2000 miles is not considered excessive. We recommend checking your oil level frequently, and following the manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule. If you are not sure how often you should change your oil, just give us a call.

Tip 2

Cooling system: Today’s vehicles use an extended life coolant or antifreeze to prevent corrosion and deposits inside the cooling system. Most manufacturers recommend a cooling system flush and new coolant every 3-5 years. A 50/50 mix of the correct coolant and distilled water will keep your vehicle’s cooling system in good shape. When you bring your car in for service, we will also inspect the belts, hoses, radiator, and water pump for leaks.

Tip 3

Change out transmission and differential oils. While not requiring frequent service, these fluids must be changed according to manufacturer service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity.

Tip 4

Keep it clean. While washing the outside of the vehicle is obvious, NEVER use dishwashing liquid, most everything the vehicle ran over can also get stuck to the underside. Hosing off winter muck and road grime is a good idea (some drive through car washes do a pretty fair “belly” wash).

Tip 5

Everything with moving parts needs lubrication to survive. Most modern vehicle parts are “lubed for life”, however we have found that means the life of the part, not the vehicle. Many vehicles are not getting the fluids checked and lubricated when required.

Tip 6

Brakes: Have your brakes checked when you have your tires are rotated. Thin brake linings can allow damage to the rotors or drums to happen. If you notice a pulsation in the brake pedal or a shimmy in the steering wheel, bring your car in for an inspection. It could be a result of the rotors or drums being warped. We recommend changing your brake fluid regularly because brake fluid can attract and hold moisture, which corrodes the metal parts of your brake system.

Tip 7

Wiper blades: We recommend replacing your wipers annually, in the fall. Also make sure your washer fluid is ‘topped off’ before winter driving.

Tip 8

Tires: Proper inflation is crucial to tire life and vehicle handling. If the vehicle has the stock tire size and load rating the correct pressure specs will be on a sticker on the door jamb - do NOT use the stamping on the tire, this is the maximum inflation for the tire, not for your vehicle. Tires more than 6 years old are at a greater risk of failure because of deteriorating rubber compounds, and should be replaced. Every 5-6000 miles have your tires rotated and inspected for abnormal wear.

Tip 9

Interior: Protect the interior plastic by parking the vehicle in the shade, using a window deflector screen, and applying a UV protectant to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.

Tip 10

Exterior: Nothing keeps paint looking good and protected like a coat of quality wax. Apply wax annually, more frequently if parked outdoors. Ever get tar on the sides of your car? Spray a little WD-40 on it, let it sit and it will clean right off.

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