Automotive Basics

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Automotive Basics

Post by John on Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:00 am

Difficulty - EASY

If you drive a car, you need to know the following things. Its just as easy as pumping gas, so don't be lazy and not do it because you will eventually blow up your car if you don't take care of it.

- Check your oil at least once a month. A lot of cars leak oil or burn oil. Running low on oil can be disastrous to engine internals.

- Make sure your anti-freeze is always full. Remember NEVER to remove the radiator cap when the car is hot. Let it sit for a few hours before you try opening it up or else you will wind up with 3rd degree burns from scalding coolant. If you run low and over heat your engine, you can cause serious damage like warped or cracked heads....and this leads to a several thousand dollar repair bill.

- Have your alignment checked at least once a year. A car out of alignment affects the handling of the vehicle, especially in bad weather conditions like ice and snow. It also contributes to fast tire wear.

- Check your tires for air pressure frequently. A good rule of thumb is 32psi for cars and 35psi for trucks. There is usually a label inside the drivers door jam that tells you precisely how much air to put in your tires. DO NOT look at the side of the tire and go off of "Max air pressure XXXpsi". All this tells you is how much psi that tire can safely handle.

- Make sure your transmission fluid is full. Most transmissions have to be checked after the vehicle has warmed up and running. Low transmission fluid can burn up an automatic transmission pretty fast.

- Check your brake fluid occasionally. DO NOT top it off. If you're low on brake fluid, it either means that you have a leak somewhere or your brake pads are worn out. If you see you're low on brake fluid, its probably time for a brake job. Most shops offer free brake inspections to let you know whats wrong with your brakes. If you ever have any questions about what a shop tells you, feel free to ask me and I will be more then happy to tell you if it sounds legit or not.

- If your car starts making weird noises or acting funny, take it in to be looked at. A lot of problems lead to other problems if they are not taken care of right away....Especially with brakes.

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