Check and change the oil. No single step will help an engine last more than regular oil and filter changes will. Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes. .
Flush the cooling system and change coolant once a year. A 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water will keep the cooling system in good shape and prevent corrosion and deposits from building up inside the cooling system.
Change out transmission and differential oils. While not requiring frequent service, these fluids must be changed according to service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity.
Keep it clean. While washing the outside of the vehicle is obvious, most everything the vehicle ran over can also get stuck to the underside. Hosing off winter salt and road grime is a good idea.
Everything with moving parts needs grease to survive. This ball joint went into early retirement due to poor lubrication.
Nothing keeps paint looking good and protected like a coat of quality wax. Apply wax at least every six months.
Driveline components such as u-joints also require regular lubrication. The driveline may have to be removed to access the zerk grease fitting.
Protect the interior plastic by parking the vehicle in the shade, using a window deflector screen, and applying a UV protectant to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.
Inspect, clean, and repack wheel bearings with wheel bearing grease according to service intervals. Wheel bearings and grease are inexpensive compared to spindle and hub replacement, or liberated wheels rolling down the road ahead of you.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This means it is adept at attracting moisture. Moisture causes components to corrode and fail. Replace fluid and bleed system once a year. Brake fluid is cheap. Calipers, hoses, and sensors are expensive.
To prevent premature water pump failure, keep the cooling system free of debris and corrosion. Premature failure of the water pump may be caused by external components such as the chain, tensioner and guides.
Vehicles equipped with manual transmissions require a special spacing tool when servicing the timing belt to ensure the appropriate amount of clearance is created between the timing belt and guide plate.
Improper replacement of the water pump on certain Cadillac vehicles will lead to premature leaks incorrectly diagnosed as a faulty pump.
The source of belt noise is rarely from the belt itself. To ensure proper diagnosis, it is imperative to understand pulley alignment and tension.
Diesel's utilize an Alternator Decoupler Pulley to absorb excessive engine vibrations. These pulleys are wear items that will eventually fail. If left unchecked, abnormal vibrations will result in a broken tensioner.
Improper servicing of the timing system components may lead to catastrophic engine damage if proper servicing procedures are not followed.
Dash lights are nothing new, but the messages are. Not all warning lights are universal. Refer to your owner's manual when you're not 100% sure what the light indicates. Many warning lights indicate that a fault has occurred inside the vehicle's system, but it doesn't pinpoint the item or system that has failed.
Change your coolant on schedule. Coolant doesn't last forever. You have to change it every 24,000 miles (green coolant) or 100,000 miles (extended-life coolant). If you keep driving on worn coolant, expect to replace the radiator, heater core and water pump.
Neglecting oil changes will cost you. Transfer case fluid and differential oil changes are cheap and easy. Replacing these components will cost you about $1,500 each—a high price to pay for neglect.
Replace the air filter annually. A clogged cabin air filter puts an added load on your car's A/C system and reduces heat in winter. Replace it at least once a year.
Test your coolant with a voltmeter. Set your digital voltmeter on the lowest DC setting reading and dip the positive probe right into the coolant. Touch the negative probe to the negative battery terminal and rev the engine to 2,000 rpm. If the reading is .4 volts or more, your coolant is toast.
Clean cloudy headlights. If you have cloudy headlights, you don't have to replace them or live with them. Cleaning them with a specially designed kit. “will make them like new”
Clean terminals prevent electrical problems. Corrosion puts added strain on your charging system and can mess with computer-controlled systems. Cleaning is your cheapest insurance against electrical problems.
Visually inspect your brakes' condition at least every six months. Brake Rotors should be inspected for any grooves or obvious defects. If defects are found, replace your rotors immediately. Rotor discoloration may be a sign of overheating. Overheating can lead to losing stopping power.
Brake Pads will normally match rotor scoring but should also be inspected for uneven wear, breakage or cracking on the friction surface. Driving with bad rotors results in a quicker wear time for brake pads and possibly more wear on rotors.
Automotive technology has advanced at warp speed in recent years. But no matter how complex our cars have become, they still need regular service to keep them running safely and efficiently, and at full power. That means carefully maintaining motor oil and other fluids, items such as hoses and filters and tires…this saves you money!
Change your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles and use a reliable brand. ...Check your tire pressure every month and rotate your tires every 7,500 miles. ...Get your brake pads replaced every 25,000 miles or sooner if your brakes are wearing down.
Test the lights. Flip on your headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals while your car is parked and make sure each one is working. Aside from being a safety hazard, a broken bulb might get you a fix-it ticket. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert who can determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.
Constant brake noise is never a good sound and any grinding noise spells real trouble! Most importantly: As soon as any problem is noticed, get it repaired immediately. Delaying brake repairs is extremely dangerous. Over stressed rotors and drums can break. Brakes may be too worn or damaged to stop your car in an emergency.
Manufacturers recommend replacing your blades every three months. Keep a spare set in your trunk. And use a product such as Rain -X to help minimize the work of your wipers; In some light rains, it makes the wipers almost unnecessary.
Washing a car at home uses five to 20 times more water than a professional car wash. ..and A recent study at the University of Texas proved that a single DIY wash can leave scratches as deep as a tenth of the paint's total thickness.
Dialing a phone triples your risk of a crash. Reaching for a moving object increases it nine times. Texting, makes you 23 times more likely to crash. "Avoid the temptation to multitask behind the wheel.
Drivers who sit higher feel as if they're driving slower. Thus, SUV drivers, who are already piloting the vehicles most prone to roll, drive faster because they feel like they're creeping along. So lower your seat to get the sensation of more speed.
, A Canadian study from 1994 found that people who drive with their headlights on during daylight hours have an 11 percent decreased risk of being in an accident with another automobile.
Smaller blind spots mean you'll crane your neck less. Try this mirror adjustment method from Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of NPR's Car Talk: Set your rearview mirror as you normally would, then tilt it upward so you sit up straight. Lean your head against the driver's window, then set your left mirror so you can see the back corner of your car. Lean right to do the right mirror.
Two words: road salt. Salt used to de-ice the roads can also de-paint your vehicle if you’re not careful. A quality paint coating, wax or sealant combined with correct maintenance will get your paint finish through the chilly months.
Make sure all of your vehicle's lights are in excellent shape, providing the brightest possible illumination they can. If a bulb is out, fix it before winter starts, and if there's snow covering any exterior light, make sure you remove it before setting off to drive anywhere.
A battery that's merely weak during the summer could turn into a dead battery during the winter. Our advice is to have a volt test performed on your battery before winter starts to make sure it's still in good working order.
Before you head into winter, make sure your car isn't low on coolant and that there aren't any leaks in your vehicle's engine that could cause coolant to drain out. Many mechanics recommend drivers use a 50/50-mix of coolant and water in their radiators.
All-wheel drive is confidence-inspiring when you're accelerating, but it doesn't help you when you're braking and turning," winter tires are a must in areas where the temperature regularly drops below 45 degrees. Winter tires are more capable of staying flexible at low temperatures. This means that they can provide improved traction when you're trying to stop and turn on cold pavement, even if there's no snow on the ground.
Check for voltage drop first when replacing an alternator or starter. Many times the original failure is caused by bad connections resulting in a difference of voltage in excess of 0.5 of a volt
Alternators and Starters…Be sure each battery, in the battery pack, is fully charged, so each battery will stay charged after a load test. Even if you are replacing with new batteries to achieve correct performance.
Alternators and Starters…Ensure all battery terminals are clean and tight
- Use a wire brush terminal cleaner on both the battery post and the cable terminal
Alternators and Starters… Check to be sure all ground cables and connections are clean and tight.
• Check alternator and starter wiring and connections for frayed/corroded wires