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Tips and Advice so You Can Depend on Your Car
A car is an expensive investment, so knowing how to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape can save you tons of money. Overall, the cost of owning a car is a lot higher than many might think – there is the cost of car insurance,taxes, interest on the car loan, repairs, fuel costs, and the cost of the vehicle itself. By implementing all or some of these car care tips, you can begin to save a significant amount of time and money. Just a little time spent on research can save you future repairs and tons of money. You don’t need to be mechanically savvy to detect common vehicle problems. You just need to be able to use your sense of smell and sight.
Don't postpone repairs on your car. Many car parts are interrelated. Your car can be in a lot of trouble if you ignore or postpone maintenance. Your car's individual parts or entire system can fail. Even ignoring or neglecting simple maintenance jobs like checking the coolant or changing the oil can lead to costly issues. You could even invalidate your warranty.
Take a Look Around
Are there stains under your vehicle? Do you see drips? They may not be a problem but if you see wet spots, it can be a symptom of something far more serious. What color is the liquid you are seeing? Is it blue, orange, yellowish green? Then it could indicate a radiator leak, damage from an overheated engine, or a water pump that needs repairs. Leaks such as these should be addressed quickly.
Be responsible when performing DIY auto repairs. Just about every item you might replace or repair on a vehicle is environmentally unfriendly. Take care to dispose of liquids such as motor oil and coolant properly. Take used parts to your local junk yard or recycling center. Don't toss plastic bottles about the landscape. If you are unsure of where you can dispose of these items, check with your local waste disposal agency or an automotive supply store.
Black oily fluid or dark brown could indicate an oil leak on the engine. A bad gasket or seal can cause this type of
leak. These types of repairs can quickly run into a lot of money so it’s a good idea to take your vehicle to a mechanic you trust.
A red oily spot could indicate power steering fluid leak or transmission leak. Sometimes you will see clear liquid, which is usually just condensation and nothing to worry about. If you see light smoke coming from your wheel while you are driving it could mean you have a brake that’s stuck and you should pull over. Any type of smoke means you need to see a mechanic regarding a vehicle repair.
Put Your Nose to Work
Don’t be afraid to sniff around and see if you can detect a problem with your vehicle. If you smell burned toast it may be burning insulation or an electrical short. Don’t risk driving it. If you have a rotten egg smell it’s likely the catalytic converter and it will need to be repaired.
A thick sharp odor is often a symptom of burning oil. Have a look under the car to see if you can spot a leak. You may also see a bluish smoke coming from your vehicles tailpipe – you need to have this looked at as soon as possible.
If you smell gas after your vehicle fails to start the engine may have become flooded. Wait a few minutes and try again. If you continue to notice a gas odor you may have a leak somewhere in your fuel system, which can be dangerous, so have your vehicle taken to a mechanic as soon as possible. These simple tips will help to alert you of a potential problem with your vehicle that should be addressed.
Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. You should have basic tools such as equipment to change a tire, fix a flat, and add oil and a gallon of water. Get a lug wrench or a jack. Also have a few tools like a socket set, both a regular and Phillips head screwdriver, a crescent wrench and a torque wrench. Avoid purchasing cheap tools. If you buy high quality tools, they will not break when you really need them.