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Preventive maintenance can
save you money on repairs.

Winter Season Tip:
On cold winter mornings, do not
rev up the engine after you
start it.
Allow your engine to run at idle
speed for a few minutes before
starting out, especially when
it's below 10 degrees.
Then drive moderately until it
warms up.
Warming up the engine for more
heat inside the car may be nice
for the driver, but it's hard
on the engine.


Battery:

Car batteries last an average of 2 - 5
years, maybe a little longer.

Make sure the engine is off before
checking the battery.

Safety first!
If you are a do-it-yourselfer,
Wear rubber gloves, battery acid burns
the skin and clothes, so be careful
and if you get battery acid on
yourself or clothes, wash
immediately.
Also protect your eyes by wearing
Safety
goggles whenever you
service your battery.

Visually check the car battery terminals
(one is marked positive "+" and the other
is marked negative "-").

Test the output voltage level with
a car battery tester or multimeter.
The battery voltage reading will
show how “charged” the battery is.


<< Warning >>

Use extreme caution when handling
a battery since it can produce
explosive gases.
Do not smoke, create a spark or
light a match near a battery and
always wear protective glasses
and gloves.

Have it checked with every
oil change.
Cables should be attached securely
and be free of corrosion.
If battery has filler holes, add only
clear odorless drinking water.

Before cleaning the connections or
removing the battery, disconnect the
negative terminal first whenever
you disconnect the battery cables
from the terminals.

If the battery terminals don't come off
easily, use a battery puller tool to
take them off.
Do not use a screwdriver to pry the
terminals off, because it can break the
battery post internal connections.

Removing the positive connector can
cause a spark, especially if you're
using a metal tool that comes in
contact with any piece of metal
on the car.
The spark can create an ignition
source that could cause the
battery to explode.

Check battery cables and posts
for corrosion and clean them
if
needed.
Most batteries these days don’t require
much in the way of maintenance,
but you should know where it
is and check it to make sure it’s not
leaking and there’s no mineral or
other buildup on the contacts.
If there is, clean it off with a battery
cleaning brush.



"Check Engine" Light is On:

If the Check Engine light comes on and
remains on while you are driving, check
to see if you have an emissions or
sensor problem.
If the light flashes, check for the problem
as soon as possible, because this is an
indication that there may be a serious
problem and left unchecked, could
cause damage to your car.



Alternator:

Test with a voltmeter, unless your
car has a voltmeter gauge.
Connect the meter leads to the battery
terminals and look for 14 to 16 volts
(engine running, lights and
accessories off).
That means the alternator is working
properly.




All the Lights:

Inspect all lights including headlights,
turn signals, brake lights and
emergency flashers.
They are necessary for
communication.

Replace bulbs if they are burnt out.
Don't forget to also check
all the reflectors.

When they're not working properly,
other drivers can't see what your
intentions are and could result in
a fender bender or much worse.

Keep your lights and reflectors

clean, especially during the winter.
Clear all snow and ice from
your lights.

"Make Sure They See You."

Studies have shown that using your

headlights during the day can help
reduce accidents significantly.

Many newer cars are equipped with
standard daytime running lights.

Because a well lit car is a
safer car.



.
Mirrors:


Always keep the mirrors clean,
lot of accidents happen just because
drivers don't see a car moving from
behind while turning or changing a
lane.
Check mirrors adjusting before
driving.




Horn:

Be sure your horn works properly,
it can prevent you from a collision in
many cases.




Wiper Blades:

Your windshield wipers play a
significant role in keeping you safe,
especially during rain or snow
storms.


They’re one of the easiest parts
of your car to maintain.
Check your owner’s manual for the
recommended length and type of
wipers that's best for your car.

Inspect wiper blades for cracks, tears,
and windshield contact.
Blades should be replaced at least
once a year.
Be sure the wiper arms and springs
are in good shape, and that the
blade is held square to the
windshield surface.

The metal part of your wipers can
get bent or damaged for a number
of reasons.
If the frame or the blade is bent,
it won’t come into contact with
your windshield properly, and even
if the blades seem to function ok for
now, they won’t be for long.
Time to replace them.

If you notice a consistent film of
grime on your windshield, even after
you’ve sprayed fluid to clean it off,
that’s a sign your wipers are dirty
and need to be replaced.
Sometimes wiping the blades with a
paper towel will clear up this
problem.


Is the rubber all one smooth piece
or is it cracked, split, or broken
off in places?
If you see any imperfections in the
rubber, that means it’s time for
new wiper blades.
The blade may also get a rounded look,
which means it’s gotten too old
and you should replace it.


 Don’t wait until you can barely
see through your windshield.

Also, give your windshield a good
cleaning inside and out, if it’s
hard to see, the problem
may be inside, instead of out.




Exhaust:

Look underneath for loose or broken
exhaust clamps and supports.
Check for holes in muffler or pipes.
Replace rusted or damaged parts.


For more about Mufflers & Exhaust,
click on the link below.




Shocks & Struts:

Look for signs of oil seepage on shock
absorbers, test shock action by
bouncing the car up and down.
The car should stop bouncing when
you step back.
Worn or leaking shocks should be
replaced.
Always replace shocks and struts
in pairs.

Replacing one or two at a time
can create a balance problem that
could make your car unstable when
braking and accelerating.


For more about Shocks & Struts,
click on the link below.




Spark Plugs:

You’ll find either four, six, or eight plugs,
depending on how many cylinders
your car has.
Check spark plug wires to make sure
they are not hard or cracked.
Change your spark plugs if they are
worn out or covered in buildup.

Remove the wire to the first spark
plug only.
Do not remove all of the wires
at once.
Your spark plugs are installed in
a certain order, which you need
to maintain.

Use a spark plug socket and extension
on your ratchet to remove
the first spark plug.
Install the new spark plug, screwing it in
by hand at first and then tightening it
with a wrench for a snug fit.
Do not over-tighten.
Re-attach the spark plug wire, replace
the other sparks the same way,
one at a time.

If you don’t feel like doing it
yourself, ask your mechanic
to check for you.



Hoses:

Check all hoses monthly.
Check for cracks,
frays, leaks and bulges,
especially
at the ends where they are attached.

If a hose looks bad, or feels too soft
or too hard, it should be replaced.




Engine Belts:

Inspect the engine belts regularly,
especially the serpentine belt.

Many older cars have a single serpentine
belt that handles everything.
This type of belt looks flat on one side
with several ribs on the other side.
You should check the ribbed side for
signs of dry and cracked rubber.


Worn belts will affect the engine
performance.
Look for cracks and missing sections
or segments.

Replace worn, glazed or frayed belts.
Tighten them when more than 1/2" of
slack can be depressed between the
pulleys.
Cars with spring loaded belt tensioners
require no adjustment.
Replace bulging or brittle hoses and
tighten clamps.


 


Wash Your Car Regularly:

Maintaining your car’s exterior is
important in preserving it and can
extend the life of a car.

Windows, mirrors, lights and windshield
should be clean at all times for
optimum visibility and safety.


While failing to wash your car
won’t result in immediate damage,
over time the elements will corrode
your vehicle, along with its
potential re-sell value.

Wash your car to prevent the damage
to the paint.
Dirt, grime and salt can damage
the finish.
The underneath of the car should
be cleaned as well because it is
exposed to the debris from the road,
which might affect the car’s
performance or functioning.


Every day your car is exposed to the
sun, salt, grease and grime, tree sap,
dead bugs, and even those lovely
bird poops.
These things eat away at paint,
and once that’s gone, they will
eat at the metal in your car.

Wash your car once or twice a month
in the Summer, and every week, or at
least every other week in the Winter.

Wax at least every six months.
When water beads on the finish
become larger than a quarter,
it’s time for a wax job.

Plus, having a nice clean car helps
boosts your mood.
Study shows that most drivers feel
much better about themselves when
their car is clean and shiny.

If you wash your car by hand,
do not use dish soap.

Even though dish soap is a great
degreaser, it’s not the thing to
use on your car’s finish.
It removes dirt, grease and old wax,
but it also sucks the important
oils out of the paint’s finish.

Dish soap is also considered
to be an abrasive soap.
When you use an abrasive soap
on something like car paint, it
accelerates the oxidation process
and gives the car a dull look.


Always use car wash shampoo.
Don't use too much car-wash concentrate
in your bucket of water or it will leave
a filmy residue on the glass.

Always try to park your car in
shady areas as it reduces the damages,
burns and cracking of the interior
from high sunlight and heat in
the Summer.

If you can’t find a shady spot,
then you can try the use of window
deflector screens or a UV protectant
which keeps your car safe from
melting of the vinyl and plastic.

Don't forget to clean the interior.
Keeping your car’s interior clean
and tidy can reduce stress in your
life and make the driving
experience more enjoyable.



Service Brakes:

Brakes should be inspected at least
twice a year.
The best times are just before summer
and winter to prevent problems
in extreme temperatures.

For More About Brakes: