Auto Car Care Anyone Can Do

Just like your home, your car will be one of the larger investments you will make in your lifetime. In order for it to last, auto car care and maintenance is key.

Everyone dreads having to take their care to a mechanic. In the back of your mind you are thinking, "cha-ching". Yes, some things pertaining to your vehicle may need the attention of a mechanic. But, there are several things you can do at home to keep your car running in tip top shape.

Having basic knowledge of your vehicle is a must. There are several checkpoints in your vehicle that require frequent maintainence to keep it running the way you want it to. These checkpoints include the following:

* oil

* wipers

* lights

* battery

* engine

* tires

You don't need to be a professional mechanic to take care of these basic points of your vehicle. Anyone can learn how to check these points to keep their car purring like a cat.

Oil

Change it regularly. Most manufacturers recomend changing the oil and oil filter in a vehicle every 3000 miles or every 3 months. Which ever comes first. The oil in the engine is responsible for lubrication. It ensures that the engine does not overheat. Clean oil will keep your car in better shape, cut down on repairs to the engine, and give you better gas mileage. To change your oil, you may take it to a place that specializes in oil change for a minimal cost.

Wipers

Chipped, cracked, or blunt wiper blades are a driving hazzard. Don't wait till a downpour to discover your blades are not in working order. Wipers are easily replaced at home.

Washer fluid is important as well. You can make a homemade version by combining a little water, ammonia, and anti-freeze together or most stores carry it cheap enough.



Lights

Check your lights often. If any of these lights are not in working order, you can be legaly fined. Check headlights, both dims and brights and don't forget the tail lights. Most of the time if any of these lights are not working, all you will need is a fuse.

Battery

Make sure all the connections are good and there is no corosion. Most batteries today have an indicator level on them that will show when the battery is getting low. Batteries are easily replaced at home.

Engine

Listen to your car. Strange sounds should always be check out. It is much better to catch a problem early on as it may end up costing you much more if you let it fester.

The engine has belts. You shouldn't change these yourself, but it is important to keep an eye out for worn or frayed belts. If they looked cracked or shiny or look slack, they need to be replaced right away. Loose belts cuts the proformance of the engine dramatically and will also decrease gas milage.

The engine also has hoses. 18 to 24 months is the recomended life span of these hoses. Check every six months or so for cracked hoses or hoses missing clamps. Those should be replaced immediatly by a mechanic.

Tires

30 lbs. That is the recomended amount of presure for a properly inflated tire. Underinflated tires wear quickly and may require you to prematurely purchase new tires. Over inflated tires will make them more prone to blowouts. Use a tire gauge to check preasure periodically. It could save you a lot of headaches not to mention money in the future.

Tires should also be rotated. They don't wear evenly, so rotation greatly increases the lifespan.

It does not take a mechanic to check these checkpoints on a vehcile. With a little knowledge and common sence, anyone can learn what to look for before it is too late.

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