Posted by: mexiconewsonline | August 25, 2009

Non-Mexico Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Car Last

Here’s an email I received a little while ago. While it’s not really Mexico News related, it’s still very useful and I wanted to pass it along.
-Doug Jones

5 Ways to Make Your Car Last

Labor Day is fast approaching, which means many of us may be heading out on our last road trip of the summer. With this in mind, here are some great tips to keep your car in great shape while you are on the road…and any time of year.

Your Battery…

It’s important to keep your car battery at full charge since this will extend its lifetime. Avoid using your radio, headlights, interior lights or other accessories when your engine is off. In addition, if you don’t drive your car regularly, you can use an automatic “trickle charger” which is connected to your car battery via cables and plugged into an electrical outlet in your home to charge the battery. Trickle chargers can be purchased at most auto-part stores for less than $50.

Your Gas Tank…

Keep your gas tank as full as possible at all times, and never let the level fall below half a tank. This is not solely to keep you from running out of gas! Most gas tanks are made of metal, which means a partially empty tank could rust, causing rust particles to flake off and clog fuel lines and filters. And while this could take years to happen, if you want to make your car last, you want to do everything possible to save yourself from a costly fuel system repair down the road.

Your Tires…

It’s so important to keep your tires properly inflated, since underinflated tires not only hurt gas mileage but also cause your tires to wear out faster. Most new cars have built in pressure monitors, which makes checking your tire pressure easy. For older cars, check tire pressure with a handheld gauge when the tires are cold (i.e. haven’t just been driven on) at least every two weeks. Add air whenever the tire pressure is below the car manufacturer’s recommended level (visit your carmaker’s Web site for this information or look in your owner’s manual).

Your Oil…

Having regular oil changes is one of the most important ways you can make your car last. Why? Because oil captures contaminants that can contribute to your car’s wear and tear, and the less often you change your oil the more these contaminants build up. Make sure you change your oil at the recommended time and never go longer than one month or several hundred miles past that recommended point without having your oil changed.

Your Clutch…

While it’s normal for a clutch to wear down during the course of regular use, there are several things you can do to extend your clutch’s lifetime. And since a clutch can cost $1,000 (or more) to replace, these steps can definitely come in handy. First, change gears as smoothly as possible to minimize friction. Also, try to anticipate traffic flow and signals so you can maintain momentum instead of having to constantly shift out of a full stop in first gear. This will also help minimize the wear and tear on your clutch. Now you can see why being an alert driver isn’t just important for safety reasons!

Use these tips so you’re spending less time and money at the repair shop…and more time heading somewhere fun!


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