Top 5 Tips For Maintaining Your Car

Just like anything in life, your car needs to be maintained in order to work properly. Car maintenance is essential if you want your car to run for a long time. Without maintenance, your car will develop larger, more costly problems in the long run. In order to avoid these costly problems, you can follow some tips on maintaining your car. Some of them you can even do on your own. You don’t have to be a car expert to make sure your car is maintained!

5 Tips For Maintaining Your Car

  1. Oil and Fluids – Your should check your oil and other fluids in your car at least once a month. When you are checking your oil, you should check other fluids such as break, transmission, wiper, and power steering fluids. If you notice any of these are low, replace them to the proper levels. Most cars need an oil change every 3 months but talk to your mechanic to see if you should be changing it more often.

By keeping an eye on your fluid levels, you can make sure that your car has what it needs in order to function at optimal levels.

  1. Maintain Your Tires – Faulty tires can be bad news. Under inflated tires can cause your car to crash or can cause alignment problems, making them wear down faster. To avoid this, make sure you are checking your tire’s pressure once per month. Check the user manual for your car to find out what the optimal pressure is.

Also, keep an eye on the tread. If it is getting worn down, it might be time to get new tires. Check with your mechanic to have them advise you on when it’s time to change your tires.

Spark Plugs
  1. Regular Check Ups – You go to the doctor to make sure you are healthy right? You need to do the same for your car. Schedule regular maintenance checks with your mechanic. They will do the things you can’t do on your own that help your car run its best.
  2. Check Under The Hood – You might not be an expert on cars but you will still be able to tell if things look correct. Keep debris away from important parts and check for erosion of wires. There shouldn’t be acid around the battery cables. If you notice anything that needs to be fixed, have your mechanic take a look.
  3. Replace Windshield Wipers – One thing that most people can handle on their own is replacing the windshield wipers on your car. If you notice they are getting a bit worn down, you should replace them. It’s an easy thing to do that will make a big difference. You don’t want to be caught in a big rain storm and not be able to see!

Proper maintenance for your car is essential to keeping it running at optimal performance and to keep it running as long as possible. By working with your mechanic as well as taking care of things on your own, your car will be able to run for many years to come.

Is it Time to Change the Oil?

Most people know that oil changes are a necessary part of maintenance for their vehicles but what many may not know is when and why they need to change their oil. Since car engines are made up of several moving parts, it is vital to keep those parts lubricated to allow the engine to run properly. When your car has properly maintained oil, it ensures your vehicle runs the most efficiently and avoids engine damage in the future. If your car’s oil hasn’t been changed in a while it can become polluted with dust, dirt, or debris and can cause problems within the engine making oil changes important in the longevity of your car’s engine.

Key functions of oil include…

Lubricating the Engine

As mentioned before, oil keeps all the moving parts of your engine running smoothly. If your car has bad or too little oil, those parts would become drier and cause friction causing damage to your engine.

Helps Keep The Engine Clean

The oil will trap all of the road dirt and debris from everyday driving preventing it from building up in your car’s engine. Getting proper oil changes will clean the sludge out when removing the old oil keeping your car’s engine nice and clean.

Helps to Improve Gas Mileage

If your vehicle’s oil is poor, your engine has to work harder which can lead to more fuel consumption. Changing your oil regularly can improve your gas mileage and help you save money at the gas pumps over time.

Ensures Longevity of your Cars Engine

The bottom line is that having good quality oil and changes will increase the lifespan of your vehicle. Making sure that everything is running properly and your engine never has to work too hard. It is also good for resale value as properly maintained vehicles have increased value than those that are not taken care of as well.

Now that you have an understanding of why your car needs regular oil changes you may wonder when is the proper time to do so. The timing of oil changes can depend on the oil you use, the age of your vehicle, and the amount of driving that you do. Newer cars combined with normal driving use can be changed every 6 months or at around 7,500 miles. Older vehicles would need to be changed at around 5,000 miles or every 6 months depending on which comes first. Cars that are driven excessively or under not normal circumstances (hauling heavy loads, freeway driving, dirt roads, etc…) would need oil changes every 3,000 miles as that kind of driving is hard on most vehicles.

Keeping to those guidelines mentioned above will usually be sufficient for most cars and ensure proper care of the engine. However, it is important to change the oil promptly if you experience any of the following issues…

  • You hear any strange knocking or grinding noises
  • You can smell oil in your car
  • Your oil looks dirty or is extremely dark
  • You witness smoke coming from your exhaust
  • You have a ton of miles on your vehicle and can’t remember when you have changed the oil last
  • Your change oil indicator or check engine light comes on

If you are ever concerned about your car’s oil, bring it to a trusted mechanic to be looked at. Remember, oil changes are usually inexpensive and can save you a lot of money in the future if maintained properly.

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Common Car Ignition Problems You Need to Understand

dead batteryYou are up early for that meeting, done everything hurriedly, grabbed your car keys and off to the car whistling at your prowess in keeping time just to start the car with no success. It’s like the car is asking for a few more minutes of sleep. What could be the problem? You expect the car up and running immediately you turn on the key but today, things are not the same. You do a silent prayer, think of calling a tow truck but as you contemplate on your nest move, panic starts to seize in. What could be the problem with the car?

A dead battery

This is the most common car ignition problem. It could be anything from a low voltage, loose clamps, and dirty or corroded connectors. When the battery has little power, the car lights may turn on followed by a funny sound when started but this diminishes to a point where there is no light or sound produced when the car is on. This indicates the battery is completely dead. You can jumpstart the car but make sure to take care of the underlying problem.

Low fuel

Low FuelThis should be obvious but it’s still worth checking. Almost every driver has been in this position where the car won’t start but they don’t remember to check the fuel level. If the car has enough fuel, then the problem might be the engine is not getting enough fuel. This can be as a result of a faulty fuel pump. Even if the car doesn’t start, once you turn the key on, the fuel pump should start pumping the fuel and make some noise in the process. If you do not hear anything, this might indicate a problem.

Wheel Lock

Sometimes the wheel lock turns on where the steering is locked for anti-theft purposes. To free it up, ignite the car as you move the steering wheel from side to side until it unlocks.

Starter Circuit Problems

When you ignite the car and it does not start or produce any sound or light, this can indicate a problem with the starter circuit system, starter solenoid or starter assembly. The problem can be faulty wiring, ignition switch, relay system or the clutch switch. This may sound complicated but as long as you are sure it’s not a dead battery, replacing or repairing the starter system may solve the issue.

Worn Out Key

This may be a source of relief knowing that the car is not the problem but the key you are holding. If it is worn out, most probably, you need to replace it.  Other related problems include a worn out ignition cylinder, or faulty transmitters. You may require repairing or replacing them.

It is not always easy detecting car ignition problems. If you have tried everything, the best thing to do is get another mode of transport then have an expert inspect the car later on. The problem may actually not be as bad as it looks.

Ways to Get More Spark From Your Car Ignition

IgnitionThe ignition system is the one responsible for sending signals that the car needs to wake up and start moving. It sends voltage from the battery to the spark plugs, which activates the combustion process. The whole process should take a few seconds but you may notice the car takes longer to pick these processes and start successfully. When this happens and the battery is okay, it might be time to give the ignition system a check.

Even though the ignition systems have evolved over time, the basic principles still operate. The system should offer pick and powerful vehicle performance and reliability. One of the things you will notice with a faulty ignition system is the loss of power and increased fuel consumption. To improve performance, here are some of the things to do.

 

Changing the Timing

This is critical for performance but depends on the car make and age. To increase performance, advance the timing. Before interfering with the car’s timing, you may need to consult an expert. One of the things that you will be advised to do is a change from using ordinary to premium fuel. Check also the car’s manual before making any changes.

 

Change the Spark Plugs

Spark PlugsIf the car is using standard plugins, changing to iridium or platinum will improve performance. Standard spark plugs do not last that long and require more voltage to fire. Be careful about spacing when replacing the plugs. If the car can handle a wider gap, the better for a more powerful spark but consult the manual first. Using gap gauge will help get the appropriate spacing.

 

 

 

Replacing the Spark Wires

It is not enough to upgrade the spark plugs but the spark wires should also be changed. Constant use may lead to wear which reduces performance. Also, using new spark plugs on old spark wires may not yield the needed power. The wires may not have the strength to handle the new power. Make sure to check the strength of the wires and if possible add an ignition amplifier.

Cars lose power with age but changing the ignition system boost performance. For ordinary cars, this may not be necessary but for passenger or transit vehicles, power is important. Trucks also require a boost especially those that carry heavy loads and equipment. The boost in performance will also mean cutting on the fuel consumption and deliver for long.

 

 

 

Not Sure When to Change your Spark Plugs? Look for These Signs

The only possibility car drivers think of when their vehicle isn’t starting is a battery problem. It’s important to note that there are other possible reasons why you’re having trouble starting your car. One of them could be faulty or old spark plugs. When did you last check your spark plugs? Perhaps you’ve always overlooked or ignored these parts since they don’t seem to be of much importance compared to other parts. The truth is that spark plugs are integral to any finely tuned car engine.

Your fuel economy and engine performance will be impacted by the condition of your spark plugs which is why they should be properly maintained. You should also have them replaced when necessary. Spark plugs play a significant role in the ignition process within the cylinders and should be inspected, cleaned, or replaced when necessary. Here are signs that you need to change your spark plugs.

Your Car has Trouble Starting

As mentioned, many people often consider a battery problem to be the only that could be causing their car not to start. It’s important that you check your spark plugs as they could be faulty or worn. Remember there’s no way your car will move when your vehicle’s spark plugs can’t produce the spark needed for the ignition process. Be sure to check these parts before ruling them out as the cause of the problem. They could be damaged, old, or worn and need changing.

High Fuel Consumption

What you might have never realized is that when your spark plugs are old and worn out, they’ll start taking it out on your gas mileage. It’s simple, they’re not able to burn the fuel going into the engine effectively. As soon as you notice your car’s fuel economy has decreased, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with incomplete combustion as a result of deteriorated spark plugs. Having your spark plugs changed will get your vehicle to its optimum fuel consumption level.

Your Car won’t Accelerate Quickly

You can always tell when your car is accelerating poorly, can’t you? There’s a way you’ve become accustomed to and you’ll know when there’s any difference. If your car stops being responsive as you’re accustomed to, especially when accelerating, you could be dealing with worn spark plugs that need replacing.

The engine has a Rough Idle

If there’s a rattling or pinging noise coming from your engine, the problem could be with your spark plugs. Usually, your engine should produce a constant and smooth sound when it’s functioning properly. Any changes in this sound, particularly a rough and jittery sound, should warrant an inspection on your spark plugs to prevent any costly damage.

Engine Misfire

You can easily recognize when your car engine misfires, can’t you? If your engine misfires more often, then you have a serious misfire problem. Whenever your vehicle halts for a split second before it continues its usual movement, it means there’s a problem with your spark plugs. Either one or more of your spark plugs aren’t firing as they should thus affecting the engine power and fuel economy.