I'm a pretty together girl for the most part. My parents did a great job equipping me for the trials & turbulence of life when it came to work and relationships but there was one thing they really failed on impressing upon me: the importance of car maintenance. I mean, of course I know it's important to maintain your car but I really didn't think too much about it. My father, a car lover, usually just told me when I needed to get stuff done and I did it. That or some light would turn on and I did it. Either way, it was never because of my own foresight.
This lack of foresight cost me about a thousand bucks last month, which is more than a hefty sum for a girl who bounces from gig to gig in this unstable economy and has yet to even get herself health care- aka, most young Americans. Turned out if I had known I was up for some of these key car maintenance tasks, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money.
Don't get caught in a tug-of-war with your car & your bank account by staying up to snuff on these regular repairs!
Oil is probably one of the things you do remember you should do but are you doing it enough? Oil is key in your engine's performance because it lubricates the metal surfaces of your engine and works as a sealant, a coolant and a cleaner. When your oil gets low, harmful deposits start to gather in your engine and generally just start to screw everything up.The recommended oil change is every 3,000 miles or every three months.
i'm sure you understand the function of a tire so I won't waste our time but are you keeping an eye on yours? Tires should be checked regularly for wear on tread. If you can see any metal showing through, get new tires IMMEDIATELY. If you're on the fence about whether or not you need new ones, here's a trick: take a penny and put in between the grooves of the tire. If you can see the top of Abe's head, time for a new tire. Seems easy enough but it is something that is just as easily overlooked. Tires can also and should be rotated. This keeps your tires longer as the weight and wear is more evenly distributed over the tires. The recommended tire rotation is every 5,000 miles.
Basically what it sounds like, a spark plug sends bolts of electricity to start your engine. You'll see signs of when you need to replace these bad boys. Your car may start misfiring, indicating that one or more of the spark plugs is worn out or your car may stop turning over all together. Each spark plug puts out an equal amount of energy so if just one of the plugs are out on your four cylinder, you're losing 25% of your engine's power output right there. The recommended replacement of spark plugs is every 30,000 - 50,000 miles.
Every time you fill up your tank, your fuel filter collects all the large particles in the gasoline before it hits your engine, keeping your engine running smoothly. If the filter is clogged, you will start to notice a decrease in the quality of your car's performance. You may notice faulty starts, increased stalls and you may not notice but your wallet will- decreased fuel efficiency. The recommended replacement of a fuel filter is every 30,000 - 40,000 miles.
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Photo: flickr / Doctorious