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Car maintenance, prevents costly repairs

Updated on August 25, 2012

An automobile has to go in the shop for an expensive repair can do serious damage to a monthly budget, as well as causing a lot of inconvenience. A few preventive measures can help keep vehicles running smoothly and find small problems before they turn into very expensive problems. Be aware of your vehicle at all times. Better safe than sorry.

The vehicle manual, written just for your car, contains a wealth of information to assist in vehicle maintenance. When in doubt, turn to the manual. It's your source for keeping your vehicle running smooth.

Getting an oil change should never be put off until later. Oil lubricates and cools all of the moving metal parts in your engine. Without clean oil these parts can grind, overheat, become overstressed, and break. You can save a little money by performing the oil and oil filter change yourself. However, there are many small oil change shops around town, or even your local garage that can change your oil for less than 50 bucks probably. Unless, you are using some sythetic motor oil, which will probably double the cost of your oil change.

Every other fluid should be checked frequently. Low transmission fluid could cause a transmission to lock up. Brake fluid helps brakes to function properly. Power steering fluid makes turning easy. Signs of needing power steering fluid, could be a strange sound coming from the hood area when you turn, or just set at an idle.

Check tires to be sure they are at the correct air pressure (this information can be found on the lable inside the driver side door). When tires are at the correct air pressure the car is safer and increases fuel economy, and the tires do not wear abnormally. Too much air, and the tires will wear down the center. Not enough air pressure, and the tires will wear along each side of the tire. Look over tires for wear, cracks and to see that all the valves have caps.

Do not ignore your "check engine" light. It can actually alert you to a variety of different problems. If the check engine light comes on, first tighten the gas cap to see if that solves your problem. If that doesn't work, visit your auto technician for further diagnosis.

If your car's brakes squeak while you're driving but stop making noise when you apply pressure to the brake pedal, your brakes may be in need of professional services. Do not wait. If you hear the squeak and put this off, you will regret it. The brake job could turn into an expensive brake job, if you decide to wait. You could ruin the disks, or drums by waiting. At first sound, get brakes checkes. It could be just replacing the pads and/or shoes.

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