It is important to maintain your car and an oil change is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to do so. Why is it important to do oil changes? Motor oil serves two functions. It eliminates impurities and chemicals from the engine and keeps everything lubricated. Motor oil covers all components of the engine with a thin film that prevents them from rubbing together.
If you don’t get an oil change, the parts of the engine will lose their lubrication and rub together. This will cause friction, which wears down the engine parts and causes excess heat that can result in the car overheating. If the oil gets dirty and old, it will not be able to eliminate impurities. Dirt will accumulate in the engine and you will need to take your car to a professional mechanic to have it cleaned.
How Often Should Oil Changes Be Done?
Oil changes should be done every 7,500 miles, but this depends on how often and how much you drive. If you drive often, you should get your oil changed more often. If you make plenty of cross country trips or use your car every day to go to work, you should consider doing it more frequently. The oil can be changed every 6,000 miles. Changing the oil often is, in fact, a good idea. You can extend the life of your vehicle by changing the oil every 5,000 miles. This will help you make sure that your car is running smoothly as well as cleanly.
There are signs that will tell you when you need an oil change. You can tell that the oil is dirty and oil by just looking at it. Fresh oil is amber or dark brown in color and clear. Older motor oil, on the other hand, is murky and dark. You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to see and tell how dirty and dark the oil is.
When checking the oil, make sure to see how it really looks particularly if it has been 5,000 miles or so since you have last changed your oil. You may need to change the oil when the oil level is always lower than it must be. Most vehicles are equipped with engine oil light that will inform you when it is time to change the oil.
Changing the oil is expensive and easy. It should be part of your car’s regular maintenance that you should not ignore. Every time you fuel up, make sure to check the motor oil level. Monitor how many miles it has been. Forgetting or skipping out on oil change can damage your car. You can change the oil on your own or take your car to a shop and leave the job to the professionals. Oil changes should never be ignored as the consequences can be grave. If you ignore it, the damage to your car can be extremely expensive.
The air filter catches particulate matter and dirt that can affect the performance of your engine. If the air filter is dirty, the gas mileage can drop. You can change the air filter on your own to save money. The biggest factor that you need to consider is whether you should use cotton filters or traditional paper devices. The former option is expensive, but can be cleaned and used again. Traditional paper devices are disposable. If you want to keep your car for many years, it’s best that you go for cotton filters. Here’s how to change the air filter in your car.
- Lift the hood and locate the air filter. It’s usually encased in a square ampule on the side of the engine or in a round metal pan that’s attached to the top of the engine. If the air filter is secured by a wing nut, just loosen the nut and remove the lid. Place both the nut and the wing in a safe area.
- Take out the air filter. If you’re using cotton filters, you can clean it off and use it again. Other types of filters need to be removed and replaced with the same type.
- Clean the filter container. There may be a lot of debris and dirt in the container. Use a small piece of cloth to clean the container or you can also use a vacuum cleaner to make everything easier for you.
- Replace the air filter. Put the cleaned cotton filter or new filters in place. If you’re using cotton filters, follow the cleaning instructions of the manufacturer.
- Close the air filter compartment firmly and close the hood.
How Often Should You Replace the Air Filter?
Regularly changing the air filter is important. The engine can fail when air is restricted. It can overheat and lead to a cracked block. When the flow of air drops, the car needs to use more fuel to provide the same amount of power.
The lifespan of air filter depends on how much dirt it collects. You may not believe it, but a slightly filthy air filter can actually clean more efficiently than a brand new one. That is because the crud trapped in the air filter screens out tinier particles.
A high quality air filter will normally last between 20,000 and 30,000 miles on a car that usually takes on freeways. If your driving conditions include poor air quality, you should be prepared to change the air filter more frequently. You can also expect to change the air filter more often if you drive in a rural area with airborne pollutes and dusty roads. Air filters may perform efficiently for only one month or two in this kind of environment.
Inspect the air filter every 10,000 to 12,500 miles. If it looks fine, you can put it back in and check it again when you reach 20,000 to 30,000 miles. By changing the air filter, your car will be able to run more efficiently.
Rotating tires helps maintain an even amount of wear on all four tires. This extends the life of the tires and leads to a smoother ride and better gas mileage. Regularly tire rotation also reduces vibrations, which prolongs the life of the car’s suspension components. As you have to take out the wheels to rotate the tires, you can inspect the undercarriage parts and determine any problems in the early stages, helping you save money and avoiding the possibility of accidents or car breakdowns.
Many tire manufacturers also require regular tire rotation to preserve the validity of their mileage warranty. You can rotate the tires at the same period you get the oil changed. Always follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual for the best rotation pattern and timing for your type of tires and car.
When to Rotate Tires
Tire wear can be uneven for different reasons. One of these factors is the car’s weight, particularly if you are driving a front-wheel drive car. The tires have to deal with accidental, braking and steering damages from parking as well as carry the whole weight of the front axle and the engine. Uneven alignment and incorrect tire pressure can lead to tire wear. The front fires can also wear out faster than the rear ones due to weight distribution. The tires will give a slight warning that the tread is no longer even. You should listen for a whirring sound from the tires when driving on smooth roads. That’s a good sign that you may need to rotate the tires.
Car manufacturers recommend rotating the tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. If you own a four-wheel drive or use your vehicle often, you should rotate your tires more frequently. You can rotate your tires at 5,000 miles.
Importance of Tire Rotation
You may want to know why you need to spend time on rotating your cars. For you, it may be easier to just replace the tires once you hear a humming sound. One thing you need to know, however, is that rotating your car tires is safer. If there are blunter tires on the front of your car, you’re at risk of meeting an accident as you can lose control of the steering.
The braking of your car will be more even and effective if you rotate your tires. The handling will become more balanced as well. There are some things that you will see as soon as you rotate the tires. Uniformly worn tires mean a smoother and more comfortable ride. You can also expect better gas mileage as well as traction.
Since the tires wear down at the same time, you can buy a new set of four when needed instead of getting spares for the front tires and visiting the store again to get new rear tires. You can save time since you can buy everything at once. Combine the time you will save with the comfort and safety of your ride and rotating your tires should have a permanent spot on your car maintenance checklist.
A flat tire is unavoidable and when it does happen to you, it’s best that you are prepared for it. You don’t want to get stuck on the side of the road without any spare tire, lug wrench or jack or even a mobile phone to call for help. So, here’s what you need to know about fixing a flat tire.
1 – Always bring a spare tire, jack and lug wrench. Many people forget to check if these things are in their vehicle. It is a fact that half of the second-hand cars purchased in the U.S. don’t have the tools needed to properly fix a flat tire. Your lug wrench should fit your car. You may be tempted to just take a lug wrench out of any car and put it in your own vehicle without checking if it fits the lugs on your car.
A large screwdriver may be needed if you have wheel covers. You can use the screwdriver to pop off the wheel covers. Of course, the lock adapter is also very important. A lot of people may choose the chrome, alloy wheels and install a lug lock to prevent any possibility of them getting stolen. Don’t lose the lock adapter or you will not be able to change the tire without having your car towed to the nearest car dealership where they will need to remove and replace the lug spindle. This is a very expensive service.
2 – To be safe, always bring reflectors and flares. If you’ve encountered a flat in a dark area, you should warn other drivers about your situation. Pack extra batteries and flashlight for night use. If you cannot see what you are doing, everything would be pointless. Now, when you do have a flat tire, you need to pull off the road. If you’re on a packed interstate drive, pull off slowly until you are in a flat and safe area. Park your car and activate the emergency brake. Put flares or reflectors in order to warn other drivers. The spacing will vary depending on whether you’re on a straightaway or a hilly curve.
3 – Put the jack under your car on the jack mount area. This area is particularly made for the jack. Look at your owner’s manual if you don’t have any idea about its location.
4 – Loosen the nuts and crank the jack until the flat tire is a few inches off the ground. Take out the wheel and nuts.
5 – Place the spare tire on. Tighten every lug finger properly.
6 – Lower the jack to prevent the wheel from turning and then use the lug wrench to tighten all nuts. Lower the jack completely and remove it.
7 – Drive to the nearest auto service station and have your flat repaired, reinstalled or replaced. This is important as many spare tires are not really full spares and not very safe.
Your safety is very important. Always bring these items with you so that you can fix or replace your tire easily.
You can change the wiper blades often, about every 9 to 12 months. Wiper blades start to skip and streak as they wear out. Road grime, dirt and debris scrape wipers. You should not wait for a very long time to replace the wiper blades as a damaged wiper blade can rub against the glass and ruin the windshield. If you notice streaking before you expect the wiper blades to wear out, you can clean them with alcohol. Inspect the blade’s edges and ensure they are smooth and don’t have debris or nicks.
What are the Best Brands of Windsheild Wipers?
RainX, Bosch and Anco offer a wide range of wiper blades to pick from, so you may find it a little confusing to choose the best blade. Read your owner’s manual for the specifications about the wiper parts. You can also use the parts finder features on websites that supply car parts to find wiper blades that are compatible with your car model, year and make.
You will need to replace both wiper blades at the same time. If you see that your wiper blades leave behind an unclean glass or are not cleaning the windshield properly, you may need to replace it. The cost will depend on the wiper blade you are planning to purchase. If you are looking for a beam-style wiper blade with a sleek look, you may need to spend more.
Bayonet, side post and J hook are some of the most common styles of wiper blades. These styles lock into place, so they are easy to install and remove. New blades come with universal hardware to allow various styles of wiper blade arms to function and attach properly. Some cars require specific features in order for the wiper blade to work.
You need to be patient and do your research. Ask the car parts counterperson at your local store to replace the blades for you. Most stores will do this for you for free if you buy your wiper blades from them. It’s also important to inspect your windshield washer fluid. If there’s enough fluid, road grime, ice and bugs can be easily removed. If you live in a place that experiences extreme winter, you can get a winter washer fluid as it has a lower freeze point.
You need to keep in mind that the windshield shape affects the performance of the wiper. As such, you need to make sure that the wiper blades fit your car. The winter weather is another factor to keep in mind. A beam blade is usually a better option if you live in an area that experiences harsh winter weather. Although a beam blade may cost more than a bracket blade, it can shed ice and snow better. If winter weather is not a problem for you, you can choose either a bracket blade or a beam blade. This gives you more options and makes it easier for you to pick a wiper blade that fits your car.
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