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Automotive maintenance tips.

We love our cars or we at least hope to have a car we love soon. A dependable vehicle is a must for most any family, it allows you to do all the important things like take kids in for a check up and to go out and earn a living. It's important to take good care of our vehicles to ensure they are ready when we need them.

New car or used they are a critical component and maintenance is usually done on a schedule. Oil changes, replacement of plugs and other parts, flushing out a radiator, these are all important things that should be kept up on to ensure your ride serves you for many years.
With new cars and some used cars you can often purchase maintenance contracts and sometimes they are offered free as part of the purchase. For any one that would rather not or feels they cant do most of simple maintenance these are a great deal. They often notify you ahead of time so you can make scheduled maintenance appointments.

Check Fluids.
Keeping an eye on things like your brake fluid, power steering, and engine coolant and oil levels are important and can help you avoid a damaged motor. With automatics you should also check the transmition fluids at the same time as the oil and coolant. With newer cars once a week al
l fluids should be checked and with cars that are older or seem to be "acting up" they should be checked more often.

Oil Changes.
These can be a messy chore that should be done about every 4,000 miles. On older cars that are acting up it can be a good idea to get an oil pan gasket and remove the oil pan to search for bits of broken metal.

Often it is less expensive to have it done at one of the franchise places that specialize in this. For fewer than fifty dollars you get an oil change and thorough inspection of the underside of your car. One other advantage is you don't have to worry about disposing of the used oil.

Change Air Filter.
How often you change your air filter depends on where you live and drive your vehicle. Usually these are very easy to remove and replace. The idea is to allow as much air to pass through while keeping out any dirt or particulates that could damage your motor.
When you car does not get enough air due to clogged filters you gas mileage and performance will suffer. Your cars manual will show you how to remove the air filter so that you can inspect it and replace it if necessary. If you live in a dusty area you should check them more often and be sure the
air intake system has no leaks.

Your Cars Tires.
You should inspect your cars tires often. Every time you fill up with gas is a good time to look them over but you should look at them every time you walk up to your car. Tires that have a flaw or are wearing badly put you and others at risk of accidents.

Looking over your tires can help you spot problems with a vehicle. An uneven wear across the tire often indicates a problem with the suspension of your car and should prompt you to have your car inspected.
Tire rotation is a good idea every 4,000 to 5,000 miles. Purchase your tires where you get a warranty that allows for free rotations and other services. By following up on this maintenance chore you get to have experts look at your car while its up in the air and they can often spot small problem
before they become expensive repairs.

Tune Ups.
The manufacturer of your car will have a regular schedule for full tune ups and maintenance checks. It is very wise to perform these on time, this can save you fuel cost as well as maintain performance. Remember anytime you have a professional under your hood they can spot things you mig
ht not even know to check.

Belts, Batteries and Other Things.
Belts should be looked at when you check the fluid levels and if they look worn you should either replace them or at least have a mechanic look at them.

Batteries do wear out, some will last longer and cost you more. Most batteries are guaranteed for a certain amount of months and if they fail in that time you can get a prorated refund.

There are many other parts of your car that may need attention. Having regular check ups with a mechanic you trust is a great way to get the most value from it. Mechanics know cars, they know what breaks and about when and can help you avoid the most costly repairs.

A good relationship with a mechanic has many advantages, when you shop for a used car you can often bring them in while on a test drive. They can also tell you when your car is truly not worth repairing and even suggest that it's a good time to trade it in on something else.

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