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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Do´s and don´ts of your car
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Monday, November 2,2015

Do´s and don´ts of your car

By Teresa Aquila  

 

How many of you ignore your cars until something happens where it turns from dependable to broken down? Cars are somewhat like people, they need tender loving care to keep them looking beautiful and operating at their peak performance. Owning a car does take a bit of responsibility especially if you want it to be there when you need it. So what is there to know?

As car owners, we sometimes are not familiar with the Do´s and Don’ts of our automobiles, have no fear, maybe the following can help. In this article I cover just the Do’s of what you should know.

Never take your vehicle for granted, it depends on the car owner to care for it, so make sure to do your weekly checks to insure a safe ride. Check your tire pressure, check under the hood for leaks, check your wiper fluid, check your spare tire for proper inflation, check your tire wear and check your oil with the engine off.

When fueling your vehicle, make sure to secure the fuel cap after fueling. If it is not secure, the sensor will activate the check engine light since fuel systems need to be a sealed system.

Walk around your vehicle at least once a week to insure no damage has occurred without your knowledge. Those shopping carts can end up hitting your car without you knowing causing the paint to chip and possible rust in time. Catching it early can allow you to give it a little touch up. If your fingernails became chipped, a definite touch up is in order.

Use the recommended grade of gasoline or diesel recommended by the dealer. Lower octane can cause premature failure of your engine and even Power fuel mileage. Read your owner’s manual to determine this.

Schedule to have your timing belt replaced on most vehicles at 60,000 miles. Again, your owner’s manual is a great resource for this information. Some vehicles can go as far as 90,000. Failure to do so can cause the belt to break which can bend exhaust or intake valves, and in turn means an engine overhaul. A preventable cost.

Rotate your tires regularly. This will allow your tires to go their full life expectancy.

Make sure to have your brake fluid replaced at regular intervals. Brake fluid will fail after a long extended use causing brakes to lock up or fail. This could be deadly. Check your owner’s manual.

Check often to see if your registration sticker is still on your license plate. Thieves love to steal them to place on their own vehicle in order not to register their car. When replacing the new sticker, ALWAYS remove the old stickers with a razor blade. This will prevent it from being stolen.

Check your antifreeze effectiveness monthly to make sure that it has the full protection needed. Antifreeze test strips are a fast and easy way of doing this. Caution, make sure the vehicle engine is cold. The cooling system creates pressure and can cause severe burns if opened under pressure. First thing in the morning is a great time to perform this check.

Check regularly to see that your registration and insurance forms are in the vehicle. Getting pulled over is not the time to find out you forgot to replace your insurance card with the new one that arrived days ago. Placing them together makes it quick access. Use a plastic bag to keep them safe and dry.

Check your lights weekly. Making sure your headlights and brake lights are in good working order. If your brake lights are not activating, being rear ended is a possibility.

Check back next month for the Don’ts of what to know.

Happy Motoring.

 

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