64 Mechanics Ways To Make Your Car Last Longer

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Every 2 weeks or 3,000 miles:

1. Check engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant.

Once a month or 1,000 miles:

2. Check tire pressure - with tire gauge.

3. Check transmission fluid.

4. Check brake fluid.

5. Wax car (to protect finish).

6. Check belts and hoses.

Every 3 months or 3,000 miles:

7. Change oil and oil filter (every 6 months or 3,000 miles).

8. Lubricate chassis.

9. Check transmission fluid.

10. Check all drive belts (fan belts) frayed or cracked belts.

Every 6 months or 6,000 miles:

11. Change oil and filter (every 6 months or 3,000 miles).

12. Inspect suspension.

13. Rotate tires.

Every 12 months or 12,000 miles:

14. Flush radiator, replace anti-freeze, check air conditioning system.

15. Replace air filters.

16. Lubricate chassis.

Every 2 years or 24,000 miles.

17. Replace spark plugs (30,000 miles average suggested for unleaded gas) and
PC valve.

18. Change automatic transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket.

19. Inspect brake linings.

Every 3 years or 30,000 miles:

20. Check and test ignition wires (replace if needed).

21. Test cooling system and heating hoses (replace if needed).

22. Check drive belts (replace if needed).

23. Replace fluid in differential and manual transmission. Every 50,000

24. Check brake shoes (replace if needed)

25. If you have a major repair to do, it's wise to get at least 3
estimates, if possible, before you decide.

26. Read and follow your car owner's manual - it's your car's bible for
making your car last longer.

27. Whether you are a man, woman, boy or girl, learn to do some routine
maintenance on your car yourself. A multitude of books, videos, magazines and
classes are available at your local library that will teach you for free if
you don't know. Learn how to check your own oil, transmission fluid, tire
pressure and coolant, etc.

28. If you find a good mechanic who you can trust, stick with him even
if his prices are a bit higher - all things being equal. You'll always save
time, money and aggravation in the long run.

29. Don't race or gun your engine when you start it up. Accelerate
slowly and smoothly when your engine is cold.

30. Avoid burning rubber - it places excessive wear on the
transmission, rear end, not to mention your tires.

31. An international tire company estimated that 33% of all tires on
the road are under-inflated (low air). Under-inflated tires wear out quicker
and have a tendency to blow out easier.

32. A garaged car lasts longer. A car port is next best, and a car
cover is a distant third.

33. Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops. Stop and accelerate gradually.

34. Avoid tailgating, tire squealing turns, flying over speed bumps,
pot holes and revving your engine.

35. When possible, avoid driving your car during rush hour stop and go
traffic periods.

36. Keep front-end aligned, for longer tire life and better gas

37. Make sure you get promised repairs in writing including how much it
will cost.

38. Avoid car dealers except to have highly specialised repairs done
that can't be done properly anywhere else.

39. It's hard to be overcharged when you get three estimates before you
have the work done.

40. Beware: Cheapest is not always the best. Normally, the best
mechanics with the best equipment and training cost more.

41. Often mechanics that charge extremely low prices have inferior or
out-dated equipment, little to no formal training or are under-insured.

42. Complex electrical problems are so involved that serious electrical
work should be done in an "Auto Electric" shop. They have the
equipment, tool and training to do the job more efficiently than the average

43. If your car has "Cruise Control" use it. Using cruise
control will save you 5% to 10% of a gallon of gas on long trips.

44. Avoid constantly pressing and releasing the accelerator when
driving. This practice not only wastes fuel, but it puts excessive wear on
the drive train of your car.

45. Don't ride your brake pedal, this wears out your brake linings
pre-maturely, and wastes fuel.

46. Driving with your windows all the way down at higher speeds, will
waste 10% more gallons of gasoline than driving with them closed.

47. Research by a major car manufacturer has revealed that neglect of
proper routine maintenance is the number one reason for the enormous increase
in car repairs being required.

48. Tires purchased at department stores such as Sears, Montgomery
Wards, K-Mart etc., can be an excellent value because many are made by
leading tire manufacturers. For a list of what manufacturer makes which tires
for what department store, write to: Tire Information Centre, P.O. Box 677,
Syosset, NY 11791

49. When purchasing or changing tires, make sure you have them spin

50. Avoid cleaning your windshield with a dry rag or towel. Always dampen
with water or some other cleaning liquid. Dry towels grind and scratch your
windshield hindering your visibility.

51. Avoid turning on the car air-conditioning while running at highway
speeds as this tends to put an immediate heavy load on your compressor and
clutch. This could cause excessive wear and tear on these components. Instead
turn your air conditioner on at car speeds below 25 to 30 m.p.h. This helps
to preserve your expensive compressor.

52. Try to avoid running your car with the tank low on gas. Keeping a
low tank of gas increases the chance of dirt, water/moisture and rust forming
in your fuel system. Keeping a full tank decreases the chance of dirt and
other foreign matter forming in your fuel system.

53. Tires driven at 70 m.p.h. wear out almost twice as fast as cars
that go 50 m.p.h.

54. A government study has confirmed, the top three causes of car
breakdowns while on the road are: (a) running out of gas (b) tire troubles
(c) cooling system problems (overheating)

55. The best as well as the easiest ways to find a good car repair shop
is by recommendation or referrals from satisfied customers.

56. To work on a late model computer-controlled engines, make sure the
shop you choose has the equipment to handle computer-electric service/repair.
Sophisticated diagnostic equipment is a must.

57. To choose the right repair shop for you, it's wise to have a small
or minor maintenance or repair job done first to see how the repair shop and
mechanic treat you and your car.

58. Give detailed description of your car's problem when you take it in
for repairs. The more you can describe what your car is doing or not doing
(thumping, squealing, clacking sound, etc.) the faster and less it will cost
for your mechanic to fix it.

59. When in doubt about the cost of a repair or a mechanic's honesty
get a second opinion. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself from
being ripped-off until you can find a permanent repair shop.

60. Regular oil changes are the most important thing you can do to
protect your engine and make it last longer.

61. If you have a manual transmission, down shift to slow your car down
instead of using your brakes. This will save wear and tear on your braking

62. Each time you have your engine oil checked, have your transmission
fluid checked also.

63. Protect your car's interior and make it last longer - park your car
in the shade or place a windshield guard or cover in the windshield.

64. If you spill something inside your car, clean it up immediately before
it dries. Delaying even 30 minutes can sometimes leave a permanent stain or
spot. NOTE: To better protect your car seats have them treated with scotch

NOTE: According to current auto insurance statistics, the average U.S.
car's useful life is 10 years or 100,000 miles. By following proper
preventative maintenance you can often double your car's useful life, and
spend less time visiting your local mechanic.

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