It is important to know how to maintain your vehicle tires
accordingly. Proper tire maintenance will not only extend its life span,
but also ensure safety to all users.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to ensure your tire maintained well.
the tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge at least every month or
more often when it's cold outside. On average, tires lose around 1 psi
(pound per square inch) every month and 1 psi every time the temperature
drops 10 degrees F. It is important to maintain proper tire pressure.
up under inflated tires to their recommended psi rating. You can
typically find the recommended psi for your tires on your car's vehicle
information sheet attached to the panel of the driver's side door or on
the tires themselves. You can use the public air compressor at any gas
station for a nominal fee or you can also fill up your tire with
nitrogen for a better performance.
Make sure to rotate your tires
every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Rotating tires ensure that they wear evenly
and prolong the life of your tires. When you don't rotate your tires,
you run the risk of having one tire that wears more significantly than
the others and that has to be replaced sooner.
Inspect the tread
on your tires for wear regularly. If you become familiar with what your
tread looks like, it will be that much easier for you to identify when
the tread is worn down. When you can see the tread bars that run across
the tires, it's time to have your tires replaced.
the depth of the tread with a penny. Hold the body of Lincoln on the
penny and insert his head into the tread groove. If the head is hidden
by part of the groove, the tread is within acceptable legal limits.
to listen to your car for irregular noises, particularly at speeds in
excess of 50 mph. If your car is making noises when in motion, it could
be a sign of irregular wear or other problems with your tires. Have a
professional check this problem.
Also, make sure to choose the
appropriate tire type for your need and do not over inflate within the
recommended or maximum PSI. In purchasing a set of new tires, It would
be a good practice to check the manufactured date. The manufactured date
could be seen on the tire wall. It's usually a four numeric number;
example is "1525" 15 is the year 2015 and 25 is the 25th week of that
We hope that this article would be helpful to all car owners and enthusiast.
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RUCKERSVILLE, Va. — Think “muscle car” performance, and images of speed and power are more likely to come to mind than crash tests and safety ratings. Because no one buys a sports car to drive in the slow lane, the best all-around occupant crash protection is crucial. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently put a trio of iconic sports coupes through their paces, and unlike more sedate sedans, none earns the scores needed to clinch a TOP SAFETY PICK award.
One of the first things new drivers learn about automotive
maintenance is how to check the motor oil in their car. They are also
instructed to have the liquid changed every three to five thousand
miles. Failure to do so could damage vital engine parts and put their
rides at risk. This maintenance is essential to a car's operation, but
it applies to more than just motor oil. Transmission fluid is just as
Transmission fluid keeps the
gears and, in turn, the car moving smoothly. It is part of a closed
system and, unlike motor oil, the liquid should never run low. As such,
most motorists mistakenly believe it never needs to be changed. Many
drive for years needing a transmission fluid change. What are the
When the liquid breaks down, it can no longer provide
adequate lubrication to the gears in your car. For some drivers, this
deterioration may never cause a major issue, but for others it could
cause serious damage. Now, you might be wondering why it inevitably
wears out? Here are a few common risk factors:
- Frequent stop-and-go driving
- Excessive towing or hauling
- Snow plowing
- Using a manual transmission system
- Periods of heavy use
- Poor driving conditions
All of the aforementioned issues
greatly increase the risk of extreme heat; heat that breaks down the
vital components in the fluid. As a result, this burnt liquid can no
longer act as an effective lubricant. Although this breakdown usually
occurs after many years, it can be expedited by any of the above risk
When To Change It
If you asked five mechanics, you
could get five different answers about when to change the vital liquid. A
more accurate answer can be found in your owner's manual. Based on
exhaustive testing of your specific vehicle, this information should
serve as a reliable guide. With that said, you may have to adjust it a
bit based on your individual driving habits. If, for example, you tow
your fishing boat around for the entire summer, you may need
transmission fluid change earlier than advised. In most cases,
manufacturers recommend replacing it every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
How To Check It
like motor oil, you can check your transmission fluid with a dipstick.
But unlike the oil, you don't usually have to worry about its level. As
we mentioned earlier, your gearbox is a closed system, so volume should
never fall. What you must consider, however, is the quality of the
fluid. If it is relatively clean and pure, it should be pink or reddish
in color. But when the liquid burns, it turns light to deep brown. It
may also smell burnt.
A relatively inexpensive
automotive service job, changing this vital liquid usually costs
between $60 to $100. The cost may be slightly higher when the
transmission filter must also be replaced, which is often the case.
Because it is typically only performed every 3 to 5 years and it can
dramatically improve driving performance, transmission fluid change is
well worth the investment.
Preventative maintenance is key to keeping any car running
smoothly. Maintenance and general car care will extend the life of your
vehicle and save you from making needless, expensive repairs. What does
proper preventative car maintenance entail, however? Here are our top
Check and Change Your Oil
Whether you have to get
out the dipstick or simply glance over the notifications on your car's
dash, make sure you check your current mileage and adhere to a regular
oil change schedule. You've likely been told a thousand times, but oil
is the lubricant for your vehicle's engine and it is a critical
component of the entire vehicle's operation. Most manufacturers
recommend that the oil and oil filter gets swapped out approximately
every 5,000 miles. Ensure that you adhere to this schedule to avoid
complications, although you should consider performing this change every
3,500 to 4,000 miles.
Gauge Your Tires' Air Pressure
maintaining proper tire pressure may not be as serious a routine as
changing your oil, it's still an important aspect of preventative
maintenance. Keeping your tires properly inflated will improve your fuel
efficiency while also avoiding potentially more serious problems that
can result from having a severely under-inflated tire. Ideal tire
pressures vary from tire to tire, so check your owner's manual to know
how to adjust your tire if you have a flat. Also, be aware of whether
your tires are currently filled with standard air or nitrogen.
Top Off Your Miscellaneous Fluids
other than oil are also critical to the performance of any vehicle, and
your car has quite a number of them. You'll want to ensure power
steering, transmission, transaxle, brake, antifreeze, and even
windshield wiper fluids are kept at their proper levels, as instructed
by your vehicle's owner's manual.
Engine coolant should be checked
at least one a year, while it's recommended that transmission fluid is
attended to every 30,000 miles. Also, don't forget about brake fluid.
Moisture builds up over time and can severely impact your braking
system. You should also have this fluid flushed out approximately every
Don't Act Like You Own a Race Car - Slow Down!
of immediate safety concerns, driving quickly and pushing the pedal to
the metal, so to speak, has its notable disadvantages. The United States
DOE (Department of Energy) notes that it takes roughly 70 percent more
horsepower to maintain a speed of 60 mph (miles per hour) than it does a
speed of just 50. That's a surprising increase, and with it comes fuel
efficiency concerns. However, it's not just about gas. An increase in
average speed of about ten mph over time can lead to as much as a 40
percent jump in routine maintenance costs.
Have Your Engine Belts Closely Monitored
lot of people may believe that they'll notice any serious issue with
their car in time to prevent a catastrophe, but this isn't always the
case. Unmonitored engine belts can wear down with little indication as
to their debilitating state. Once they have worn down, they can fail in
an instant with no warning. For example, a timing belt that is worn and
doesn't get replaced can snap completely while you're driving. While the
belt is costly to replace on its own, there can be monumental
collateral damage. Even if you pull over immediately upon receiving an
engine warning, a broken timing belt can wrap around the engine in such a
way that it totals it, requiring you to either pony up for a new engine
or face the prospect of biking to work or school.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
For Kelley Blue Book's first official subcompact SUV comparison test we stuck with a familiar destination. Every year we head to the greater Phoenix area for some Cactus League spring training baseball, a 700-mile roundtrip that's typically our longest comparison test of the year.
Buying a car is one of the most significant purchases people
make, right after buying a home. While most cars manufactured in the
last few years are built to run for 100,000 miles or more, they still
require regular maintenance. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure, and that is especially true when it comes to your
vehicle. Some routine maintenance can even be done yourself. Checking
your tires, changing the oil, and occasional brake repair will help you
avoid costly fixes. This will keep your car in safe working condition
and on the road for as long as possible.
One of the simplest ways
to ensure that your vehicle is in good working condition is to give it a
quick once-over each month. Make sure that all the lights work, your
tire pressure is adequate, and your windshield wipers are still doing a
good job of clearing the windshield. You can also check to make sure
that your tires have enough tread by using a penny. Turn the penny on
its head and insert it into the tread's groove. If you can see all of
the head, it is time to replace that tire. Paying attention to these
small details will help make sure that your car is running efficiently
and safely, and that minor maintenance issues can be handled relatively
Taking care of your car's brakes is another important,
but often overlooked, part of auto maintenance. Brakes are designed to
last for a long time, but they do wear down slowly. As a result, many
drivers do not realize that they are in need of repair until damage is
sustained. Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb governing when they
should be replaced; it all depends on how much you drive each year, and
the conditions in which you drive. You can avoid brake repair by having
them looked at when you have your tires rotated. The mechanic can check
the condition of your brake pads and other signs of wear. Otherwise, pay
careful attention to screeching or grinding noises, or pulsating in the
wheel or brake pedal when braking. These could be indications that your
brakes are in need of attention.
Finally, regular oil changes are
a must for any vehicle. However, there is some debate about how
frequently your oil should be changed in cars manufactured over the past
decade. The general rule is that you should bring your car in for an
oil change every 3,000 miles, but you may be able to go 5,000 or 7,500
miles between oil changes depending on the conditions in which you
drive. Regardless, changing the oil when needed helps your car run
cleaner, and in conjunction with a regular maintenance routine, will
help keep your car out of the shop.
We live in modern times and basically everyone has car insurance,
an auto club membership, or a cellphone, and many of us drive new car
models which are not likely to break down. Accidents and malfunctions
still happen, and when they happen in an area that is not inhabited, we
may find ourselves in a bit of trouble.
The first move for many
will be to pick up the phone and call for help from your auto club, but
this can take a lot of time. Your phone battery could be dead and the
reception in some of the wilder parts of the country is certainly not
This is why it is important to always have a car
emergency kit with you, with all the emergency materials and tools you
might need to make minor fixes to your vehicle yourself, and at least
get it running until you reach the nearest gas station or town. At the
very least, you should have everything you need to wait it out until
someone can come pick you up or until another car comes along so you can
ask for help.
Some of the emergency materials you should always prepare before going on a trip include:
- First aid kit
- Charged phone or phone battery
- Spare tire
- Tire gauge
- Jumper cables
- Duct tape
- Rugs and gloves
- Drinking water
- Blankets, shovels and clothes
some of these emergency materials such as jumper cables, duct tape and
tire gauge will help you do actual fixes to your car, most of the listed
items are survival gear. You don't know where a breakdown can happen,
and during long trips you may end up stuck in the middle of nowhere. Having a turned off, charged phone is a great idea, but sometimes there
is simply no reception.
In these cases, if you can't fix your car
yourself, all you can really do is wait. This is where the other
emergency materials will help, as they will keep you warm, hydrated and
alive until someone comes along and you can finally get back to
In some cases, you may have to spend the night in
your car, and being well prepared for such an emergency may mean the
difference between being comfortable or extremely uncomfortable and in
extreme cases even between life and death.
Making sure you learn a
bit about auto mechanics before setting out on long trips will be the
smartest thing, because minor breakdowns can be fixed with a simple set
of emergency tools and materials. If the breakdown is more serious, it
is important to call a professional auto repair shop that can make any necessary repairs to your car.