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September 28, 2012

Follow These Simple Care Tips To Make Your Car Last

HappyCarGirl2319862Even if you know nothing about cars, you can easily perform basic enough car care to keep your vehicle rolling seamlessly down the road for years. Hands-on learning is always an option and you can do a bunch of it at the upcoming International Auto Show. The show tours the country, stopping in towns from Orlando to Phoenix and offers a lineup of showcase-worthy vehicles you can bet are well maintained. The show hits the Phoenix Convention Center Nov. 22 to 25.

You may also be able to glean additional car care tips from used auto spots. Places like used Nissan dealerships in AZ can show you how to care for older vehicles that can work like new if they’ve been properly treated. Used car dealerships may also be a place to make a nifty profit if you want to sell your own used car and you’ve been treating it with the attention it deserves. Giving your car proper attention means paying attention to some simple car care tips.

Clean your engine

Don’t fret. Properly cleaning your engine does not involve dismantling it piece by piece and meticulously vacuuming out the crevices. Reader’s Digest suggests using a dishwashing liquid and a bristly brush to scrub down your engine and its components at least once every two years. A clean engine shall reward you with a cooler running temperature, easy ability to spot leaks and wear on belts and hoses. Don’t feel like bothering? Hire a professional who can steam clean it for you.

Fulfill your fluid duties

Fulfilling your fluid duties means keeping an eye on their levels and amending as necessary. You may already be changing your oil every few months, but says it’s just as vital to keep an eye on your brake and transmission fluids, your power steering fluid, your antifreeze and your windshield-washer cleaner. Don’t put water in the latter, by the way, as it can freeze up and damage your system. Top off fluids if they’re low. Your car’s manual should tell you how to regularly check and add to them.

Track your tire wear

The two main tire concerns are air pressure and, believe it or not, the tiny and frequently lost valve cap. If you lose yours, replace it. Dirt and moisture can invade the valve and often leads to leaks, Reader’s Digest reports. Check your tire pressure at least once a month to ensure it meets the capacity recommended in your owner’s manual. Yes, you should invest in a tire gauge. You should also check for worn treads and uneven wear. These indicators can alert you to tire problems and other serious underlying problems such as worn bushings, a bent wheel or issues with your shocks or brakes.

Write it down!

Keeping a maintenance notebook and an auto log gives you instant access to the history of your vehicle and lets you track potential issues before they turn into big problems. The maintenance notebook should include routine maintenance, such as oil changes, as well as any larger repairs. A well-maintained vehicle can net double or triple the price of a neglected one if you ever want to sell it, says. The auto log suggested by Reader’s Digest simply tracks your gas mileage and fill-ups. If your mileage starts dipping, it can often mean some part or system in your car is not performing up to par.


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