Monday, June 1, 2009

Healthy Cars Depreciate in Value Less

Here are just some general tips on how to keep your car, truck, van, or SUV in good running condition besides the outer body looking good with washing and waxing.

#1. I can't stress this enough, I don't know how many people understand that having new and a sufficient amount of oil for their vehicle is crucial to their engine wearing less, and overall a smoother running vehicle. (I worked for a period of time doing just oil & tire changes, and the number of people coming in with little to no oil, or sludge build up from inconsistent changes were unbelievable!) Do yourself a favor and change your oil regularly... suggested time for change would be every 5,000 km's or every 3 months. I personally like changing my own oil because some people in the business do not care for your car like it was their own, but if you don't know how to do one (which I will post instructions on the how to do later on) or you just don't have the time to do one, then find a reliable place and stick to it try to see the same person over and over. If you get to know them in a shop, and you are nice to them, they will do the utmost for you in return.

#2. Keep your tires bloated! Well not literally, you don't want to overfill but usually the recommended will say on your door panelling, the rule of thumb we went by was 32 psi (pounds per square inch) for light cars and 35 for trucks or heavier vehicles. It also depends on where you drive... In my city there are alot of potholes, and you tend to hit them a bit harder and it is hard on your struts...otherwise I would put in 35...36 psi for my car if it was smoothe roads all along. Keeping your tires inflated to their proper amount will also help keep your engine running a bit less and save you on your vehicles gas consumption.

#3. This one is simple enough, find out how to open your hood and actually look at your engine! Wow and you thought it somehow magically operated with a few lepricons and fairies inside of that thing eh?? Ok ok...Check your fluids, you will see as you go from left to right or right to left little plastic caps, or level indicators which are your vehicles essential fluids... and yes even your washer fluid is essential... maybe not for the car running correctly, but for your visibility when a semi splashes you with a bunch of mud. Anyways, check your oil level with the dip stick indicator, make sure the vehicle is not running while checking it. All dipsticks should have indicator lines on where to keep your oil level usually keep it to the highest point of the criss cross pattern, or between the | | bars indicated. Check your transmission fluid instead of me posting the procedure just click this link to get there
Other fluids to check regularly are your brake fluid, and power steering fluid, which will most likely be in a plastic container with that look like the pictures indicated here. They will have level indicators that let you know if you need to put some additional fluids in, make sure you read your owners manual to know how much and where to add them.
#4. Check your air filter, basically your car needs a mix of air, and gas to cause ignition and get the cylinder pumping, for clean air intake your car has an air filter that usually has clamps along a plastic encasing, or screws that hold the case together... find out where your air filter is and take it out, a way to see if it is still good it to hold it up to light and if you can still see the light coming through sufficiently then it is still good...if not you can clean it a bit, but be careful not to damage the fibers, just smack it lightly with your other hand and let some of the dust out....eventually though it will have to be changed, and they are inexpensive to do so... usually around $7 - $10 This will not only keep your vehicle in better running condition, but also again help with fuel consumption from your vehicle.

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