Car Maintenance Tips That Can Add Life to Your Car
Is auto repair something you have thought about tackling yourself? Perform your own auto repairs when possible by adhering to the following helpful guide.
Don’t forget to ask tons of questions when taking your car to an auto repair service. These questions should be geared around the problems that you faced and what actions you can take so that they will not happen again. Preventing issues with your vehicle is an excellent way to save money.
Always keep an eye on the radiator to make sure that it is full. Run your engine for several minutes, and then turn it off and pop your hood. Also check the coolant level, but make sure the car is not running. You do not want the coolant to get hot; it is dangerous. Check just how much fluid is in the radiator with a dipstick and keep in mind that you should always mix coolant with water before pouring it in your radiator.
To prevent your car from getting rusty, wash it consistently. When you keep your car clean, rust will be prevented. Additionally, find a wax that offers an extra layer of protection.
Keep car records handy. Put these records in the glove compartment in your car for easy access. Auto repair mechanics and professionals will need these records. They can find problems much quicker by doing this.
Repairs like burned out taillights or headlights can be fixed on your own. It’s simpler in some vehicles than others, but doing this yourself is more affordable than hiring a mechanic. Speak with people that you’re familiar with if you know they’re good at car repairs.
Do not forget about your windshield wipers. If you don’t have wipers that work well or streak your windows, you may need to purchase newer ones. Aim to replace these blades yearly so that you can drive safely in the rain.
You should not have a lot of heavy items on your keychain. Ignitions are not meant to hold a great deal weight. If your key begins sticking, the tumblers need replacing.
Understand that visiting your dealer for auto repair work is not always necessary. There are great auto service and repair shops around your local area. But whether you decide to go into a shop or whether you decide to go to the dealer further away, the most important thing is you go where you are most comfortable with.
Check the tire pressure each time you fill up on gas. Look at your tires and ensure that there’s nothing stuck on them. If you notice problems, resolve them immediately. Do not take a chance by driving on damaged tires.
Don’t buy parts from anyone claiming that they’ll last a lifetime. Often, this is how businesses try to reel you in. For example, there are cars that are sold with “lifetime” radiator fluid. You will need to change your fluid as it is not an unlimited resource.
If you don’t have basic knowledge about the car, you will maybe have a hard time recognizing if something is going wrong. Consider taking a class on auto repair and maintenance. While spending money on a course may not be something you want to do, it can actually help you save money later on down the road because you’ll have a better idea about how cars work.
Don’t feel intimidated about doing your own auto repairs. It may seem difficult at first, but once you learn more about it, it’s not that hard. Remember this article and review all the tips when you require a reference. With their use, auto repair is possible.
Having said all that, sometimes we cannot avoid problems that comes with owning a vehicle. It is true that modern engineering has made driving a car easier on the ears than ever. But there are some car noises you don’t want to hear, because they can signal trouble. Every once in a while, roll down the windows and start listening for “any sound that is odd,” says Mike Peth, director of technical training at Ohio Technical College in Cleveland. “You know your car, so you can often pick up something that may become a problem.”
These seven noises might be warning signs of car trouble:
- A sound like a coin in a clothes dryer.
What it means: If you hear something rattling around inside a wheel at low speeds (and then stops as you drive faster) it could be a loose lug nut inside a hub cap. That might mean your wheel wasn’t tightened properly the last time it was removed and replaced. Take your car to a mechanic ASAP.
- Brakes squealing, grinding or growling.
What it means: If you hear a squealing noise, your brake pads or shoes might be nearing the end of their service life and must be replaced. If they grind or growl, get your brakes checked out immediately. It could be a sign that pads are so worn that metal is touching metal– a serious problem that could affect braking efficiency.
- A finger-snapping, popping or clicking sound when you turn.
What it means: If you have a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive vehicle and hear this sound when you turn or corner (but the noise stops when you steer straight) one or both of the constant velocity (CV) joints on your front axle could need replacing.
- A rhythmic squeak that speeds up as you accelerate.
What it means: If you have rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and hear this sound, the culprit could be the universal joint (U-joint), which are found in pairs and are components of the driveshaft. Get it checked by a mechanic immediately.
- A howling, whining or even “singing”.
What it means: This is usually a sign that your bearings– tiny metal balls that help parts rotate smoothly– aren’t doing their job. Which ones? If you have front-wheel drive, and the sound changes as you turn left, right and back again, it’s likely your front-wheel bearings; a gradually growing, steady howl signals rear-wheel bearings. If you have rear-wheel drive and the whine gets louder as you accelerate, your differential, which allows your wheels to spin at different rates when needed, could be leaking fluid. Get it fixed immediately.
- Rhythmic clunking, tapping or banging from under the hood.
What it means: There could be a serious problem with valves, connecting rods or pistons. Get to a mechanic ASAP.
- Squealing under the hood at start-up or when accelerating.
What it means: This could come from worn or loose accessory belts that drive things like your power steering pump, air conditioner compressor and alternator. With newer cars, it may point to the serpentine belt, which drives multiple accessories at once, and is relatively easy and cheap to fix.