10 Quick & Easy Tips For Avoiding
Embarrassing Auto Troubles
Is there any greater humiliation? Youâ€™re sitting in your car at a busy intersection during rush hour. Youâ€™re at the front of a long line of cars all eager to get home, and you can feel the tension.
As you sit there, youâ€™re thinking of all the things you need to do as soon as you get home. The kids. The shopping. Dinner. Then it happens. Sputter, chugâ€¦stop! Your engine quits. Your dash is lit up with glaring red and yellow lights. You panic.
Quickly you turn the keyâ€¦but nothing happens. Right then, the traffic light turns green. Cars on all sides of you start rushing by. You can feel your hands sweating as you fumble around your controls, trying anything to get your car going.
The car behind you surges forward. He starts to holler obscenities at you, as if you could control whatâ€™s happening. Through the glaring of horns, the pressure of people cursing youâ€¦you wonder why this happened. You scream at your car as you get out and try to move it to the side of the road or find help.
Most people donâ€™t think about their cars muchâ€”until thereâ€™s a problem. And they usually surface at the most inappropriate time. Short of filling up the gas tankâ€¦perhaps only when it drops below â€œemptyâ€â€¦some people donâ€™t give their cars a second thought.
But cars are like any other mechanical device. To keep your trusty steed in good shape, experts offer some tips on making sure your ride is dependable. Hereâ€™s a list of 10 simple check-ups you can do to avoid those stressful, embarrassing moments when your car decides to die at the most inappropriate time.
Tip #1: First and foremost, change your oil frequently and regularly. Experts say the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your car is to change the oil every 3,000 miles or three months. A quick stop to a Fast-Lube shop can extend the life of your car by years, and save thousands of dollars in the process.
Tip #2: Once a month, look under the hood. This 15-minute investment can prevent 70 percent of the problems that lead to embarrassing highway breakdowns. Check the fluid levels of oil, coolant, automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid, break fluid and windshield washer fluid. If you donâ€™t know where these items are located, ask a service station attendant for help.
Tip #3: Never let your gas tank go to almost empty before filling up. The bottom of your fuel tank is loaded with deposits, dirt, and residue thatâ€™s not good for your engine, fuel injectors, or carburetor.
Tip #4: Check tire inflation weekly, and alignment every six months. Properly inflated and aligned tires last longer, save money, and are safer.
Tip #5: Change your vehicleâ€™s filters. Changing the air, fuel, and oil filters extends the life of your car, and makes it operate more efficiently.
Tip #6: Change your engine coolant at least once a year, preferably every six months. But be careful, coolant can be toxic and harmful if ingested by children or pets.
Tip #7: Lubricate moving and rubber parts. This includes windshield wipers, door rubber, and exposed gaskets.
Tip #8: Get rid of rust immediately. Rust will eat away your car, causing a premature demise. If you find a rusty spot, scrape it away and sand the area. Then protect the bare metal with primer and paint.
Tip #9: Wash your car frequently and keep it out of the sun. Driving a clean car (with clean windshield) improves visibility and enhances your safety. Plus, ultraviolet rays can harm paint, especially metallic paints.
Tip #10: Most important: Schedule regular maintenance every 12,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first. Scheduled maintenance will keep warranties valid and maximize the value of your warranty. Plus, it prolongs the life of your vehicle, and will increase the value of your automobile when you decide to sell it.
No doubt, frequent auto maintenance can save you thousands, increase your carâ€™s valueâ€¦and most certainly remove the risk of sudden, embarrassing moments in traffic!