Houston Auto Blog by Shabana Motors Houston Auto Blog by Shabana Motors -->

What You Need to Know about Car Maintenance

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Image Courtesy of Flickr

While everyone wants to save money on car maintenance, there are some things that should not be skipped. Routine maintenance can prevent serious and expensive problems later. Many times, mechanics will attempt to sell you things you don’t need, so be aware of what needs to be done and what doesn’t.

What You Should Do

Change the Oil - Nothing can reduce the efficiency or cause a car to breakdown faster than neglecting to change your oil. How frequently this should be done depends on who you ask. Service stations claim your oil should be changed every 3,000 miles while some automakers say every 7,000 miles, normally with synthetic oils. No matter which rule of thumb you follow, always keep an eye on the level of oil in your car by checking it with the dipstick a couple of times each month.

Rotate Tires and Check Pressure - Tires are a critical area in vehicle maintenance. To prevent extensive wear tires need to be rotated for even wear on each tire every 5,000 miles. If your tires are underinflated, you will lose significant gas mileage. To protect against it you should use a tire pressure gauge every week or two to ensure proper psi.

Check Wiper Fluid and Replace Wiper Blades - Poorly working windshield wipers can cause automobile accidents by obscuring your view of the road and of the traffic around you. Wiper fluid clears debris and grime caused by dirt and bugs, thus ensuring clear glass. Replace your wiper blades once or twice a year and keep some wiper fluid on hand in case you run out.

What You Don’t Need

Flushing Your Engine - This process claims to rid your engine of sludge and gunk buildup using special chemicals. If you’ve been having the oil in your car changed regularly, there isn’t anything to flush out making this service a waste of time and money.

Gas Saver Gadgets - There are products ranging in price from $10 to $100 that purport to increase the fuel mileage of your auto significantly. In reality, not one of them performs as promised.

Additives for Your Oil - There is no discernible advantage in performance in cars treated with oil additives. Feel free to say no when offered this service.

In the end it boils down to proper care. Instead of wasting money on superfluous gadgets, services and chemicals, simply keep your vehicle in good working order with regular maintenance. It will extend the life of your car and prevent your wallet from being drained along with your oil.