More tips and reminders on making your vehicle last and keeping vehicle maintenance costs down.
Be sure to read the vehicle’s owners manual and do the recommended scheduled maintenance. This keeps the vehicle in great running condition and keeps the manufactures warranty in good order.
Make it count when you get behind the wheel. Avoid quick trips to the store. Cold starts are hard on an engine and shorten the life of your muffler. Combine errands, walk when you can.
On the other hand, do drive the vehicle at least once a week or so. If you must leave the vehicle parked for an extended length of time, see your mechanic about draining the fluids.
Start the vehicle and drive off slowly until it reaches operating temperature. This reduces engine strain while the oil is still cold. Or, you might consider using electric engine space heater. Don’t forget changing the air filter can help keep temperature changing costs down. Easy to do. Easy to find at any auto parts store.
More: Vehicle Maintenance Tips
Checking your vehicle fluids
Be sure to check your antifreeze, oil, transmission, power steering and brake fluids often as a way to keep your vehicle maintenance costs down. Don’t forget the color of the fluids is a great way to check their status:
- Antifreeze should be pink, green or yellow depending on the vehicle type. Don’t mix kinds of antifreeze!
- Oil should be slightly clear to brown.
- Oil that appears white and milk-like may be contaminated with antifreeze/ coolant or even condensation. Take to your mechanics if this is the case.
- Transmission fluid should be bright red, and should not smell burnt.
- If it looks or smells burnt, have your transmission fluid flushed. There’s a chance you may have an internal transmission problem, especially if you are having problems with shifting or engaging the gears.
- Flush all fluids every two years! Change transmission fluid and filter at least every 50,000 miles!
Maintaining Your Tires
Rotate your tires every 6,000 to 7,500 miles, and always keep your tires properly inflated.
Monitor your tire tread with a penny. Insert the penny into the tread with the top of Lincoln’s head down. If his head is not totally obscured by the tread, replace your tires.
Maintain your front-end alignment. If the car shakes while driving at high speeds or your tread is wearing unevenly, then you might need an alignment.
Watch those brake pads and change them when they start to wear down! Brake pads protect the metal. Allowing them to wear down will damage your brake rotors/discs and possibly even your calipers. These are much more expensive to replace than pads.
Title Loan and Title Pawn Maintenance
If you have a high interest title loan or pawn, it’s time to do a little maintenance here too! Another way to help with keeping vehicle maintenance costs down is to lower your payments.
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