Keeping Your Used Vehicle Healthy

It is important with any car, especially a used vehicle, to perform routine maintenance. This will help you get the most value out of your used auto. These periodic tasks do not take much time and energy and are well worth the effort. In addition to periodically changing your oil, you can prolong the life of your automobile by changing your air filters, paying attention to your car, monitoring the fluid levels, and replacing your brake pads.

First, the task that most people are familiar with is changing your oil. The price is about $20.00 and most places will have a package that includes other minor tasks that will benefit your used vehicle. Ideally, you should change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles. This will make sure that everything in your motor moves appropriately without creating friction and raising your engine temperature that after a while can cause damage. If you drive on very dusty roads, you should consider changing the oil in car more frequently, as it will take less time for your oil to get dirty. You should also replace the oil filters, although this might be taken care of for you unless you are doing the oil change yourself. If you don’t know, ask and make sure.

Secondly, you should replace your air filters. Your engine uses a lot of air while working and it needs that air to be as clean as possible. You see, particles and dust can cause premature wear and while this may not be noticeable, you can prolong the life of your automobile by giving it a healthy supply of oxygen.

Another important task is monitoring your fluid levels. At all times you should have an adequate amount of brake fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, engine coolant, and automatic transmission fluid (if applicable). Allowing your vehicle to repeatedly run on low fluids will be very hazardous to your safety and the health of your vehicle. Windshield washer fluid is mentioned above because of the potential hazardous condition it presents to your driving. Although, it will not hurt your vehicle, you can never tell when your vision will be blocked from the mud coming from a passing vehicle or other circumstances. The other fluids however are essential to maintaining your vehicles health.

It is also important to pay attention to your vehicle using your senses. Do you hear any strange sounds? Do you smell anything funny? Look for leaks, smoke and any other signs of damage. The worst thing you can do is ignore something that doesn’t seem right. A minor repair can become big damage if left unattended.

More important than making your car run better, is being sure it has the ability to stop. It is imperative that you pay full attention to your brake pads. They should be replaced at the first sign of trouble. It is simple to tell when these pads need replacing, because they were built to make a screeching noise when they need to be replaced. Actually, they should be replaced before the screeching noise is hear, but in case you failed to pay attention to your brakes, they will alert you. Ideally, the brake pads, which are present on both sides of the rotor should be replaced when they are less than �¼ inches thick and before they are 1/8 inches thick.

Lastly, you should pay attention to your tires. Though you can always replace the tires on your old vehicle, problems with your tires can affect other parts of your automobile including the steering and alignment. It is important that you have the right amount of pressure in each tire and that you rotate them every 3,000 miles. It is helpful to use your oil change as reminder, since they are both due every 3,000 miles.

As long as you pay attention to your vehicle and perform a few routine tasks prior to having a problem, you can prolong the life of your used vehicle. Remember to use all of your senses and don’t ignore any signs that may present themselves and your vehicle will stay together a lot longer than you might have thought.

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