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3 Simple Tips for Buying Used Auto Parts
You may be dubious about buying after-market auto parts: you need to make sure, above all else, that any parts you use are safe, warrantied, professionally installed, etc. So here are quick tips to get you started on a cost saving journey. Read the whole article: 3 Shockingly Simple Tips for Buying Used Auto Parts.
10 Simple and Effective Car Maintenance Tips
Your car is a big investment – other than your house, it’s likely the most money you’ll spend on a single item in your lifetime. It makes sense to take care of your investment so that it will last as long as possible. Even if you’re planning on selling it or trading it in for a new car in 4 or 5 years, it’s still important to follow a regular maintenance schedule to keep the car in good shape – you’ll get more money when you sell or trade in. Following these 10 basic maintenance tips will help keep your car on the road and out of the repair shop.
Most car batteries today are maintenance-free- they’re sealed and can last more than three years. Usually, the first sign your battery should be replaced is that you’ll have trouble starting the engine.
Your tires can lose one psi (pound per square inch) every month – or for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature drops. It’s important to make a tire pressure check part of your monthly maintenance checklist. Find the recommended pressure in your owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb. Make sure you remember to check your spare as well. **With winter weather approaching, you should pay special attention to your tire pressure.**
You should rotate your tires every 6,000 miles to prevent uneven wear. When they become worn, you should replace them as soon as possible. If your car pulls to either side when you’re driving, or if you notice uneven wear on a tire, get your alignment checked immediately.
To keep today’s engines running properly and efficiently, you have to stay on top of checking and changing your oil. While most mechanics will recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, you should check your owner’s manual. Most modern cars can safely go for longer intervals between oil changes.
When you check your oil level, make sure the engine is off and the car is parked on a level surface. Open the hood, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel, then return it to the oil reservoir. Then you’ll take it out again and see whether the level is within the acceptable range marked on the dipstick. If you add oil, make sure you don’t overfill – too much oil can damage the engine.
Windshield Wipers & Wiper Fluid
Of all basic car maintenance tips, windshield wiper care is the most often ignored. Wiper blades should actually be replaced every six to 12 months or whenever the rubber becomes worn. You should also check the wiper fluid reservoir at least once a month and top it off so that it stays full.
Headlights & Brake Lights
Checking your lights is one of the easiest maintenance tasks. Just turn your car on and switch on your lights, then walk around to see that your lights are working. Check all your lights – headlights, brake and tail lights, turn signals, and any other external lights your car might have.
Depending on your car, replacing the lights can be a challenge. Many modern cars require a mechanic do the job, especially replacing and aiming headlights. A professional mechanic will also know if the problem is a blown fuse, not a burned out bulb.
It’s also important to regularly check your transmission fluid. Just pop your hood and look for a reservoir labeled “ATF,” which stands for Automatic Transmission Fluid. You’ll check your transmission fluid level just like you check your oil, except you’ll want to check it while the engine is running. Check your owner’s manual and follow the recommendations for when to change the fluid, usually around every 30,000 miles.
Like transmission fluid, you’ll need to replace your engine coolant around every 30,000 miles (which is usually every 2-3 years). There are several new formulas of coolant that will last up to 50,000 miles, so check your owner’s manual to be sure about your coolant change interval. You’ll need to check your engine coolant level when the car is turned off and the engine is cool. Open your hood and look for the coolant reservoir – usually it’s a translucent plastic tank. Check the level of the coolant against the integrated level indicators on the tank.
Power Steering Fluid
The standard recommendation is to change your power steering fluid every 3 years or 50,000 miles. Again, you’ll want to check your owner’s manual for your car’s specific replacement schedule. You can check your fluid level visually if you have a power steering fluid reservoir under your hood. If you don’t have a visible tank, you’ll have a dipstick that you can use to check your levels. If your fluid level is low, it could indicate a leak – you should have it checked by a mechanic immediately.
Brakes & Brake Fluid
You should check your brake fluid levels monthly to be sure that they’re within the correct range. Your personal driving style and your typical driving area will determine how often you need to change your brake pads. If you hear any noise when braking, if you feel vibration, or if you feel any “grabbing” sensation, you’ll need to get your brakes checked immediately.
A clean air filter helps your engine breathe – the cleaner the air intake, the more efficient your engine is. Not only will your harmful emissions be reduced, your fuel efficiency will be greatly increased. Standard maintenance guidelines suggest changing your air filter every 12,00-15,000 miles, or once a year.
If you follow these basic maintenance tips, your car will run better, and you’ll spend less time in the repair shop. Many of these tips will prevent potential safety hazards as well, so you’ll be a more responsible driver. If you have any other questions about basic vehicle maintenance, or to see a list of the recycled auto parts we have in stock don’t hesitate to call 925-224-9944