6 Simple Tips to Keep You Out of the Auto Repair Shop

Everyone knows that going to an auto repair shop can be quite the task. It can take a lot of time and money, two things we don’t always have. Here are some tips to keep you out of the repair shop and on the road.

Owner’s Manual: The first thing you should do as a car owner is look over the owner’s manual. This book was literally written for your car. It has everything you need to know to set up your vehicle. Like how to initially set up your car, how to check your fluids, and even how to access technical data.

Oil Changes: This one is pretty basic but a lot of times, overlooked. Simply changing your oil at the recommended time can increase your vehicles performance tremendously. When you don’t change your oil it thickens and becomes sludgy, it loses some of its lubricity and makes the engine work harder. Old oil will break down due to exposure to heat, losing its ability to maintain the viscosity needed to do its job. Without the right viscosity, the oil loses its ability to get where it needs to go in the engine. The engine runs hotter and less efficiently, robbing the engine of both gas mileage and horsepower. Putting it simply, an oil change is the number one thing that will keep any vehicle running well for its entire life.

Rotate Tires: Rotate those babies! The reason why you want to rotate your tires is because they wear unevenly. The front tires tend to wear on the outside edges because the tire leans over when you turn a corner. The rear tires usually wear more evenly. If you never rotate your tires, those outside edges on the front tires will wear down much quicker than the rear tires. You’ll end up having to replace the tires thousands of miles sooner!

Air Pressure: Not too little, not too much. Keeping the PSI too low can cause problems such as the shoulders of the tire to wearing prematurely and a decrease in fuel economy. When the PSI is to high is causes other problems such as center wear, which wears down the middle of your tires. It can also be more easily damaged by everyday road hazards such as potholes and imperfections in the road. The air pressure in your vehicles tires is something you want to keep spot on. When at the correct PSI, it fixes the problems mentioned above. Your tires will wear evenly, which prolongs their life and can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. Also, your tires can perform at their best which means better handling, dependable traction and a more comfortable ride.

Brake Pads: I don’t need to explain why changing your brake pads is so important, just imagine you can’t stop your two ton vehicle while your going 60mph and approaching a stop sign. It would be terrifying, right? This is why it’s important to pay attention to the signs and change your brake pads on time. You can check your brake pads manually by just looking at them. If you see that the depth of the pad is less that 1/4 inch. You need to replace them soon! If you wait too much longer you could cause rotor damage and end up paying a lot more to replace them. You will Also know you need to change them by the sound. If you are hearing a screeching sound when you put your foot on the brakes, it’s time for a change. If you continue to put it off, you will start to hear sounds that are more like grinding on metal, and by that point I’m afraid you have damaged your rotors and you need to fix the brakes immediately otherwise you could cause major damage. Not to mention how unsafe it is for you and other people around you. Brake pads are something anyone could change with the right tools and knowledge. But, If you have never attempted to change brake pads before then I would suggest leaving it to the professionals. However, if you are going to attempt to change them yourself, make sure you have someone there to help you and call for help in case of an emergency.

Air Filter:  The build up in the air filter that causes it to clog doesn’t happen all at once, it accumulates gradually. Cleaning your air filter at the halfway point (before you replace it) keeps it ready to defend against pollen and debris getting into your engine. It doesn’t take much to just slip it out and give it a quick vacuum or wash. If you decide against cleaning it before you replace it; Make sure you are replacing it at the correct mileage (see owners manual). If the air filter is not replaced in time it can cause symptoms such as potential ignition problems caused by foul spark plugs. A dirty air filter prevents the necessary volume of clean air from reaching the engine which affects the emission control systems of the car; reducing air flow and causing the too rich air-fuel mixture to foul the spark plugs.