Maintain your existing vehicle properly so it goes a long way

Sunday, October 4, 2009, 6:20 AM | Leave Comment

With the prices of the new vehicles so high, experts advise to maintain your existing vehicle properly so it goes a long way at a fraction of the cost of a new vehicle.

There are a variety of ways you can do that some of which are explained here.

In any case, talk to your knowledgeable mechanic about these points:

  • Start at the pump

    Check your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Use the specified Octane Number gas, no more no less. Some auto experts suggest anything different will deposit more carbon in the combustion chambers. Most engines with low to moderate compression are designed to run on regular 87 octane.

  • Wash, rinse and then repeat

    Regular washing and waxing preserves paint and prevents rust from gaining a foothold. Remember to clean the interior by vacuuming and detailing.

  • Prepare your vehicle for the seasonal changes

    For many drivers, winter and summer are the most demanding on their vehicle batteries, coolant and tires, among other components. Extra attention to those critical areas could mean the difference between getting there and getting stranded.

  • Research any recalls on your vehicle

    This tip is easy to follow by searching the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for defects and recalls.

  • Pay attention whenever you see the Check Engine light come on

    Most shops and auto-parts stores can scan the codes and translate the issues. It could be a loose gas cap or it could be a serious power-train issue developing – knowing makes all the difference.

  • Treat your vehicle nicely – don’t abuse it

    Don’t get your vehicle in pain. It feels it and can send you straight to the mechanic. You can damage your car by extended idling, even in cold climates, is pointless and wasteful. At the very least, it can promote carbon buildup and catalytic converter deterioration, all while wasting gas and pumping more emissions into the atmosphere than necessary.

  • The manufacturer knows best – follow its instructions

    Following the engine and transmission maintenance recommendations in your owner’s manual will extend your car’s life and save you money in the long run.

  • You need to know the status of your vehicle at all times

    You need to keep tabs on fluid levels and tire pressure. Checking lights and signals at the same time doesn’t hurt, either. Make it a regular habit and you’re less likely to get caught by surprise.

  • Use the right oil when changing it

    Your owner’s manual spells out accepted viscosity and possibly even the recommended brand. If it does, it probably means your vehicle was designed to run best with it.

  • More importantly, ask the experts and then ask for second opinion

    If you sense even the slightest odd behavior, have your auto tech check your vehicle. It’s better to spend a little time at the shop than to allow conditions to worsen and repairs to become even more expensive.

In a Nutshell
Business wisdom suggests you have to spend money to make money, and in a way, the same philosophy applies to your vehicle. Years of looking good and running well don’t just happen. You have to give a little to get something in return.

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