Driving school can teach you the important things about road safety and how to be best prepared to be a good driver. What you won’t learn are the tricks and tips that can save you money on general maintenance and service fees. You know you need to save for gas and insurance, but a $15 pack of windshield wipers may cost you a lot more should you need to take it to your local mechanic for service. As a car owner, you can save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a single vehicle by being aware of workarounds to being a car owner and finding the bestdeals, both online and in-store, that you can.
Motor Oil Checkup
This is considered as one of the easiest DIY maintenance tips. Ask someone to show you what needs to be done once, and you will likely be able to do it on your own for future oil changes and checkups. What you need to be cautious of is changing the oil after using your car recently because the oil tends to be very hot. Make sure you have a ratchet, oil filter, new oil, funnel, and wrench with you, and a good motor oil review to get you started.
Why Do You Need to Worry about Oil?
- It lubricates the engine: when the car moves, a lot of heat is created by moving parts like valves and pistons. The heat is responsible for wearing down the engine in general, and the general lubrication from the oil can help to prolong that.
- Acts as a coolant: it is through friction that the moving parts emit heat. Making sure that there is enough clean oil will prevent excess heating by reducing friction.
- Enhances gas mileage: if the engine is not well lubricated, the gas consumption will be higher.
- Increase longevity of the car: regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of your car. If you leave the dirty oil to build up, it triggers a higher consumption of gas and makes moving parts work harder. Overworking makes the engine wear quickly.
Replacement of Air Filter
The respiratory system of a car is composed of an air filter. Its work is mainly to ensure that the air entering the engine compartment is clean. This is the air that will combine with the gas for combustion purposes. Consider changing your air filter after the car has a mileage of 15,000-30,000 miles.
Problems Associated with Failure of Air Filter Replacement
- Visible dirt, soot in the air filter
- The gas mileage will reduce
- Problems with spark plugs will be frequent; car ignition will be difficult due to a blend of dirty air and fuel.
- The service lights will come on; meaning that there are many deposits in the engine
When to Replace Brake Pads and Brake Disks
If you are driving and you happen to hear a squealing sound upon applying pressure to the brakes, then you need to have your pads replaced. If you press the brakes and you hear a grinding noise, then will likely need to replace the rotors as well.
- Calipers: they are a part of the brakes that presses the brake pads against the rotor, bringing the car to a halt. They are found on top of the rotor.
- Brake pads: they are part of the brakes, which apply the frictional force that finally stops the car.
- Rotor: it is a disk where the pads cling to. It is the one that is connected to the wheel.
Know When Battery and Alternator Needs to be Changed
What are an alternator and a battery? The battery is the black box that is located under the hood of a car, which has both positive and negative terminals. It is basically the core of the electrical mechanism of a car. It is the one in charge of starting a car, supplying and filtering power when igniting, and electrical lighting. It is the one thing responsible for supplying power to the alternator. As for the alternator, it is the gadget that combines with the battery to provide power to the car accessories.
When you start your car, and it is not turning on, or when there is no power flowing to the accessories, then as a car owner, you should consider the alternator and the battery to be the ones responsible. If you find yourself in this situation, a multimeter can be used to test so as to determine if they are dead or not. By, chance, you forgot to switch off the lights, and they remained on throughout the night, then probably you’ll have to jump-start the battery. In short, knowing how to jump-start a battery is very vital.
Coming to the cleaning of the battery, you can use water, some elbow grease, and baking soda to clean the connections. A clean battery will have a longer life than a dirty one.
When to Replace or Tighten Your Drive Belts
When starting the car or using some accessories and you hear the car making some squeals, the chances are that the drive belt is the one that needs to be tightened or replaced. You always need to conduct a visual check-up to look for any looseness, cracks, or wear. Do not wait to hear the noises then start inspecting.
Constantly repairing the car can cost you thousands of dollars. The good news is that you can do some of the repairs yourself without the help of a mechanic. For repairs that should be carried out by a professional, you can save money by using a credit card for buying a car to pay for your maintenance expenses. As a car owner, you need to have a general knowledge of how to change the oil, alternators, jump-starting battery, replace air filters, and much more.
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