Saturday, May 14, 2016

Don't Waste Your Money: The Car Repair You Really Need Now

Many drivers fail to schedule regular maintenance appointments for their vehicles, which can lead to more costly car repair in the future. And what's worse, under-maintained cars could put you, your family, and other drivers at risk. So, stay smart and safe by asking yourself the following questions.

Is Your Automobile New or Used?

Not all cars are created equal. The regularity with which you should schedule service appointments depends on your vehicle's year. Newer models often have modern systems that require less maintenance. In recently manufactured models, for example, coolants last longer, engines are more self-regulating, and you can often go much longer between oil changes. Check the user's manual for your vehicle's exact requirements-you might be pleasantly surprised.

Newer automobiles also have computerized systems with advanced sensors that notify you sooner when there's a problem. But beware-failing to get regular maintenance can void your warranty, so be sure to check your manual, and keep the receipts from all car repairs or maintenance appointments.

To keep an older model running longer, schedule more consistent oil changes. High mileage can also cause more frequent wear and tear on crucial parts like spark plugs, timing belts, and shocks. If you have time during oil changes, ask your mechanic to check these components. Failing to check these mechanisms and address any issues could cause a breakdown and cost you more.

What's Your Environment?

Every type of weather will put some stress on a vehicle. Winter weather is famously destructive. Your mechanic can help you prepare for ice and snow with coolant, fuel de-icer, and a heater and defroster check. Batteries can choke in the extreme cold, so ask if yours is in good shape.

Hot, dusty summers can be rough on the air filter, and this heat can cause the belts and hoses in the engine to crack. Make sure your coolants are full, too.

Meanwhile, wet, humid weather can increase corrosion, so be sure to clean the area around your battery, and ask your mechanic about any rust on the undercarriage. You also might need new windshield wipers-you don't want to get caught in a downpour without them!

What Are Your Driving Habits?

Even if you only drive once a week to the grocery, it isn't necessarily true that you'll need less service or car repair appointments. Engines actually need to be consistently used to stay in shape.

Stuck in traffic a lot? Stop-and-go driving can put stress on your brakes and lead to engine deposits that clog combustion. Although it means more miles, longer spurts of driving can be better for vehicles. But if you make a lot of long trips, especially with more weight, your oil needs to be changed more often to prevent overheating.

Do You Know How to Read Your Vehicle?

Ultimately, preventative care is your responsibility. Don't wait for a rattling wheel or red light on the dashboard. Take your vehicle in for a checkup before these problems escalate. Some problems, like those dealing with the brakes, steering, and shocks, can become dangerous and much more expensive if ignored for too long. With the right preventative car repair, you can extend the lifespan of your vehicle.

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