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Routine Car Maintenance


Scheduled Car Maintenance


Unscheduled Car Repairs


Hybrid Maintenance & Repairs



Routine Car Maintenance


Every vehicle needs a certain amount of routine maintenance to keep it running efficiently and to help avoid costly repairs.  In many instances, this maintenance can easily be done by the vehicle owner at little or no cost. Unfortunately, the average vehicle owner either spends more money than necessary to perform these tasks, or is lax in making sure routine maintenance is completed, resulting in unnecessary expenses.


1.     Checking and maintaining proper fluid levels in your car is required to maintain your vehicle, as well as help insure that your vehicle runs properly.  


a.  Be sure to check the following fluid levels on a regular basis and “top them off” as necessary:  oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, radiator coolant, and power steering fluid.  If you have a vehicle that either burns oil or has a slow oil leak or other fluid leak, you may want to check that fluid level more often.


b.  Checking fluid levels and topping them off is easily done by yourself without any professional help or cost, except for the replacement fluids which can be purchased at minimal cost at many stores.  If you do not know how to do this, ask a friend or neighbor to show you, or next time your car is in the shop for maintenance ask a technician to show you.  Or just follow the instructions included in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. One point of caution, if you are removing the radiator cap to check radiator coolant level, do not remove the cap unless the car is cool, otherwise hot fluid from the radiator could rush out of the opening and burn you.


2.     Tire maintenance is also important to increase the life of your tires, improve fuel economy, to minimize flat tires and blowouts and improve road handling.


a.  Check the air pressure in your tires every few weeks to make sure they are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure.  Maintaining proper tire pressure will improve fuel economy, while extending tire life and improving tire performance.  Check your owner’s manual for the proper tire pressure, or refer to the sticker that is usually on the inside edge of the driver side door.  You can buy a tire pressure gage for less than $5 and check the pressure yourself.  If your tires require air, this is available at most gas stations either free or for a charge of less than $1.  If you do not know how to check tire pressure or add air to the tires, ask a friend to show you, or stop at a tire or auto parts store and ask them to show you. Remember, if one tire requires air and the others do not, it could be because of a slow leak in that tire.  Check to see if you can see any nails or other holes in the tire. If you suspect a leak, mix some dishwashing soap and water together and spread it on the suspected spot.  If you see bubbles expanding, it is because air from the tire is leaking into the soapy water.  If you do need to have a tire repaired, call around to see what the cost will be, as it can vary widely from vendor to vendor.


b.  Check the condition of your tires every few weeks to make sure your tires are not wearing unevenly, as this will reduce the life of your tires and possibly lead to blowouts.  If your tires are wearing down uniformly in the center, but not on the outside portion of the tread, the tire inflation is probably too high.  Conversely, if the tires are wearing down on both outside edges but not in the center, the inflation is probably too low.  Both of these conditions can be corrected inexpensively simply by ensuring tires are properly inflated,  If the tires are wearing down on one side but not the other, this is probably caused by poor vehicle alignment, particularly if the vehicle is pulling to one side or the other.  This will require a vehicle realignment performed by a professional.  If your tires are wearing in an inconsistent manner with a “cupping” or other random pattern, they may need to be balanced, particularly if the vehicle is also vibrating, or you may need new shock absorbers, particularly if the vehicle seems to be bobbing.  Try getting the tires balanced to see if this fixes the problem before investing in shock absorbers.