Ernie's Automotive Car Car Tips
The technology in today's vehicles has become so sophisticated, many drivers are unaware of how their vehicle's systems actually work. Although it is not important for drivers to completely understand these systems, it is important to have a basic understanding of the systems and components that have the greatest impact on safety, dependability and performance. Regular maintenance is the key to continued performance and safety, as well as protection from costly repairs.
Below is a list of some of the important systems you should have serviced and inspected on a regular basis. Always refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for detailed recommended service intervals.
Brakes: Obviously, brakes are an important safety device. You should have your brakes inspected as part of your routine service. Any sign of poor braking performance should be addressed immediately.
Cooling System: Have your cooling system checked as part of your maintenance program. Problems with your cooling system could lead to excessive engine wear. If cooling system problems are not addressed, it will lead to expensive repairs.
Emission Control Systems: The emission control system is currently being examined by the Drive Clean Program. A malfunctioning emission control system can also lead to poor fuel economy and performance.
Filters: All the filters on your vehicle should be replaced as part of a regular service regimen. Air and fuel filters should be examined on a regular basis and changed as required.
Fluids: Oil should be changed every 3000 Miles or 3 months, which ever comes first. You should also check engine coolant, transmission and power steering fluid, as well as brake fluid.
Suspension: Your suspension system not only absorbs bumps, but also ensures proper tire-to-road contact. Worn suspension components compromise steering control and may lead to premature tire wear.
Tires: Tire pressure should be checked regularly. Proper tire inflation is not only a fundamental component of safe driving, but also ensures optimum tire life. Damaged tires should be replaced immediately.
Spark Plugs: It is essential to replace spark plugs in accordance to the intervals specified in your owner's manual. Worn spark plugs will result in poor engine performance and may cause excessive emission outputs.
Windshield Wipers and Lights: Inspect your windshield wipers regularly. Worn windshield wiper blades will cause streaking that can impair visibility. Periodically walk around your vehicle to ensure all lights are working. This includes brake, tail, signal and headlights.
The key to owning a reliable and safe operating vehicle is regular maintenance. The minor expense associated with regular service is by far, money well spent. A lack of maintenance will almost always ensure costly break downs. If you notice any problems with your vehicle, have a professional examine it. Small problems caught in time, could eliminate major and expense repairs.