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Car Maintenance Advice

When it comes to car maintenance you can spend hours poring over manuals to assist you. However, there are plenty of places online which offer simple and easy steps to follow that allow you to be able to carry out the more basic kinds of maintenance tasks that will keep your vehicle in tip top condition.

But there is not only advice available for carrying out general maintenance of your car there are some sites which offer advice about washing, cleaning and doing detailing or pin striping on the vehicle also. However in this article we are going to be taking a look at some of the more essential car maintenance jobs that one should be learning about and trying to do for oneself. Certainly by doing these jobs yourself you could end up saving yourself money each year because no longer will you need to pay a mechanic to do them for you.

Every 5,000 miles it is a good idea to rotate the tires on your car as well, which means swapping those on the left for those on the right. Plus when taking off the tires remove any dust that has accumulated on the brakes. This is crucial because the dust contains all sorts of objects which if left on can actually prevent them from working as effectively as they should. To clean the brakes all you need is a damp sponge which has been dipped into clean cold water.

When it comes to checking the pressure in the tires this should be done once a week. Low tire pressure can have an effect on the fuel economy of your car and it will prove difficult to handle and the ride won’t be as comfortable. Checking tire pressure is very simple to do and certainly you have no excuse for not doing it. Whilst checking the tire pressure it is also a good idea to check the depth of the tread on the tire. Once it falls below a certain level then this is time to arrange to get the tires replaced.

Today actually checking the depth of the tread on a tire has become even simpler as most come with wear bars built into them. As soon as you notice the first part of the wear bar beginning to show through on the tire then you know it is time to get it replaced. It is far better if you replace all tires at the same time although it may be expensive it could end up saving you money in the long term.

Another task which you can learn how to do for yourself is to check the various belts which run around certain pulleys in the engine. Unfortunately these belts are likely to perish as they are placed under very extreme pressure and if not replaced and break can lead to serious engine problems which may cost considerable more than the few pounds the belt cost to be repaired. It is best if you can’t check the belts yourself you arrange a mechanic to do so every 25,000 miles and then get them replaced every 50,000 miles.

Another task which you yourself can carry out when it comes to car maintenance is to check the oil level. Again this should be done regularly ideally every week or month would be ideal. If there is too much or too little oil in the engine this can lead to problems later on. When you are checking the level of the oil in the engine it is best that you do so when the car is parked on a level surface.

Also never do the check when the engine is hot after just being driven but do it either when the engine has cooled down or is cold. Finding the oil dipstick shouldn’t be a problem the manual for the vehicle should show you exactly where it is located in relation to the engine. Take it out and then wipe with a dry clean cloth and then put back in making sure that it has been pushed all the way in. The reason you need to wipe the stick after pulling it out initially is because the whole stick will be covered in oil. Now pull it out and check the level of oil by looking at the marks on stick. The high and low oil level marks will either be denoted by dots or dashes on the stick or by the letters H and L. Another thing you should be regularly checking in your car when it comes to maintenance of it is how much coolant there is. Again you will need to look in the car manual to discover where the coolant reservoir is actually situated in the engine bay of your car. Generally it is bolted on a side of the engine bay and the bottle is normally semi-transparent.

As with checking the oil level when doing this particular car maintenance task you need to allow the engine to be cooled before you check it. On the outside there will be markings showing the low and high levels and ideally there should be enough coolant in the reservoir that sits between the two of these. The reason why you don’t check the levels of coolant in your vehicle whilst the engine is still hot is the one in the radiator is going to be hot and if you take off the cap to check it then steam will be released which can end up burning you.

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