Used Car Owner – Key Maintenance Items

Written by a Guest Blogger

Many of today’s consumers understand the value of saving money. Instead of forking out thousands of dollars for a brand new vehicle, some people are looking towards the used car market to find a ride. A well-kept used car can last for an extremely long time. Here are some important tips to keep a pre-owned vehicle in tip-top condition.

Motor Oil
Some engines tend to consume a tad bit more oil as they age. To prevent engine damage, the owner needs to check the oil on a regular basis. According to automotive experts, it is a good idea to inspect the dipstick about every three weeks. In order to keep the oil level topped off, the owner should always keep an extra quart of motor oil on standby.

Wheel Alignment
Not only does a wheel alignment prevent excessive tire wear, but it also helps the vehicle to drive smoothly. Pittsburgh Toyota service centers urge motorists to get a wheel alignment at least once a year. However, drivers still need to pay close attention their vehicle’s handling. If the vehicle tends to wander on the road, this is an indication that a wheel alignment is needed.

Belts & Rubber Hoses
It is important to occasionally inspect the various hoses and belts that surround the engine. Although coolant hoses are very durable, the intense heat will cause them to gradually deteriorate. A coolant hose that feels excessively soft will need to be replaced immediately. Sometimes, a worn out drive belt will be begin to make a squealing noise. Other types of belts show no visible wear and may not give any indication of needing replacement. Technicians can use smartphone apps or a belt wear gauge to inspect. Luckily, replacement belts are typically not very expensive.

Air Filter
An air filter can only hold a certain amount of dirt. After the air filter reaches its capacity, the engine will not be able to breathe as freely. This equates to decreased efficiency and less power produced by the engine. Simply installing a new air filter every year will help to prevent a lot of problems.

It is a myth that car batteries do not need servicing. Over time, corrosion can develop around the battery terminals. Coating the exposed metal with dielectric grease will help to keep corrosion to a minimum.

Used vehicles have the potential to be just as reliable as a new model. The key is to keep up with the required maintenance.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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