Auto Tips and Tricks
A motor vehicle is probably the second most expensive purchase you will ever make. It is very important to perform regular maintenance to extend its life, and keep you safe on the highway.
In addition, if you are vigilant to small changes in your vehicle’s operation, you can prevent some costly repairs and keep your vehicle running safely. Here are some simple tips and tricks that can keep you driving safely and save you some money!
Wiper Blades – Do your wiper blades skip or streak on the windscreen? Perhaps they need replacing, but before you spend your money try cleaning them and your windscreen! Use some warm water with dishwasher detergent and wash your windscreen. This will remove any greasy film; then using the same solution on a soft cloth, wipe the rubber of your wiper blades until no more dirt comes off. This simple cleaning can make your wiper blades “like new.”
Turn Signals – Are you sure yours are working correctly? Well, something simple to take notice of is if your turn signal dashboard light starts blinking faster. This (in most makes and models) means that a turn signal light is out and NOT flashing faster! To check this, just park and put on your turn signals and check to see which one is not working. Once you have located the faulty bulb, you can replace it yourself or have your mechanic to replace it. In either case you keep your vehicle safe so everyone will know your turning intentions. A lot of accidents are caused by people not using their turn signals, or by non-working signals!
Check Engine Light – Your check engine light can come on for many different reasons, and when it comes on, it needs to be checked by your service center. In many cases you can still drive your vehicle safely, but if your check engine light is flashing on and off, STOP DRIVING or you could cause expensive damage.
Fluid Leaks – Have you noticed some drops of fluid on your driveway or garage floor? The color of the fluid can tell you what is leaking.
Clear water is probably just condensation from the air-conditioner.
Engine oil is brown/black
Reddish fluid comes from your automatic transmission or power steering unit.
Green/yellow fluid is antifreeze from the cooling system.
Lighter/clear brown fluid is from axles
Emergency Brake – Because owners of automatic transmission vehicles can put their vehicle in park, it is easy for them not to use the emergency brake. But, you should ALWAYS use the emergency brake as well. The use of the emergency brake maintains the adjustment of the vehicles rear brakes. Also, regular use of the emergency brake will prolong the life of your rear brakes and reduce the chance of your rear brakes not working correctly.
Engine Oil – With most of today’s vehicles it is no longer necessary to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Your vehicle and the type of driving and the total miles you drive each year are factors that affect when you should change your oil. In some cases you could even go up to 15,000 miles between oil changes! Now, don’t just stop changing your oil every 3,000 miles! You should talk to your service provider and discuss your driving habits with them for the best advice on your oil change periods. Or visit our website www.britishamericanauto.com and click on services and then the oil change icon and we will provide a free evaluation based on your answers to some simple questions. It may be possible to extend your oil change and help the environment by not using so much oil.
These are just a few tips and tricks that can help you save money and keep your vehicle running smoothly. But remember, there is no substitute to regular preventive maintenance services. Regardless of how many miles you drive a year, you should have your vehicle professionally serviced every six months whether you need an oil change or not. Preventive maintenance, which includes carefully checking safety items, should be performed every six months.
Additional posts by Brian England
- New Diet, New Exercise Program, or New Car?, 04 Feb 2013 in Business
- Don’t be Sold Non-Essential Services, 05 Dec 2012 in Business
- Think Oil Changes Every 3,000 Miles Are All You Need?, 13 Aug 2012 in Business&Home & Garden
- Oil Change or Service or Both?, 12 Apr 2012 in Home & Garden
- Should I Buy an SUV?, 02 Feb 2012 in Home & Garden
- How to Drive in Snow, 05 Dec 2011 in Home & Garden
- How to Drive Through Floods, 27 Sep 2011 in Home & Garden
- Increasing Your Miles Per Gallon, 08 Aug 2011 in Home & Garden
- Beyond Green Car Repair to the Wood Elves Watershed Project, 02 Jun 2011 in Home & Garden