So you got a new set of wheels – congratulations! You’re going to want to hang onto it as long as possible, so you’ll want to keep it maintained as well as you can. Here are some suggestions:
First, read the owner’s manual carefully and stick to manufacturer’s recommendations for service intervals. There are certain things that are critical enough that failure to adhere to recommendations can void a new car warranty. Don’t let that happen!
For instance, just about every manufacturer recommends synthetic oil for their engines; it provides better protection in just about every respect, and it’s more stable at high and low temperatures. If your owner’s manual prescribes a 10,000-mile oil change, stick with that and be sure to use the bra ...[more]
As long as your brakes stop your car, you may assume they are doing fine. However, your brakes use friction to stop your car, and that friction comes from brake pads rubbing and clamping on metal discs called rotors. In the case of drum brakes, the pads are called shoes, and they rub on the inside of your drums much like pads work on rotors.
Either way, every time you hit your brakes you are wearing the pads or shoes a little. Eventually, no matter how well you take care of your car, it will be time to replace them. Your front brakes, especially, need regular attention as they do about 70% of the work.
So you understand that brakes need regular maintenance, but the question is, ...[more]
You rely on your car every day, and you have a lot of money tied up in it. It’s probably one of the more valuable things you own…so make sure you get the most out of that investment:
Oil changes: Changing your motor oil at regular intervals will ensure long engine life by cutting wear and friction and helping to prevent the buildup of sludge and carbon on internal engine assemblies.
Cooling system: Older cast-iron engines could overheat with no serious consequences, but not so with today’s aluminum blocks and heads. Your engine’s coolant has a finite life and should be changed and flushed at regular intervals to prevent accumulation of scale and corrosion in the radiator, heater core and water pump.
At one time, there were only a couple of choices for motor oil. Today, that is no longer the case, and hasn't been for quite some time. Here's a quick breakdown of what you need to consider when it's time for an oil change:
- Viscosity: Viscosity is how thick your oil is, and how it retains its pour properties at various temperatures. In this respect, synthetic oil is far superior. Conventional oils will thicken in cold weather and thin out when very hot, while the viscosity of synthetic is much more uniform. Check your owner's manual -- many newer models require a thinner, lower-viscosity oil, which also helps the engine run more efficiently. Viscosity is expressed as a numerical value -- the lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many are designed to work a ...[more]
Let's address a maintenance item for everyone – timing belt replacement. It's important because letting this one slide can lead to engine damage.
Your timing belt is what makes all the moving parts inside the engine open and close at the precise
time needed in order for your engine to run smoothly and efficiently.
The worst case for drivers is that a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars or damage the engine beyond repair.
Now, timing belts just wear out naturally so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner's manual o ...[more]