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Okay now auto talk:
I know I have spoke before about ways to save money but wanted to stress it a bit more being that prices are rising. I blame it on politicians that happen to be in the oil business, but that’s just me.
Octane levels. Buy the gasoline that your engine was designed to take. All that the wrong gas will do is make the car knock or waist your money. Too low an octane for a high performance motor will make the engine knock. Too high an octane for a standard engine like a 4 cylinder would be a waist.
3,000-mile oil changes. Look in your book! Most manufacturers actually suggest 5,000 miles, 7,500 miles or even longer intervals between oil changes such as 10,000 for BMW or Mercedes. Many cars even have an engine quality monitor system that lets you know when the oil needs replacing!
Servicing your air filter and wipers. These items can often be found in places we all shop every weekend like Target or Kmart. I would say these two things are a few of the easiest maintenance items to address. Most air filters are fastened by clips whereas other may need a screwdriver. I also highly recommend covering the windshield with a thick towel while changing the wipers. I have seen more than one windshield cracked from leaving the arm up while changing the blade and it accidentally retracting down on the glass. Shoot for once a year or so on blades (rubber dries out quicker in climates like ours).
Changing your coolant every year. The day of changing coolant and anti-freeze every season is long gone. Most coolants these days go for anywhere from 15k-100k without needing a change. Again, always check your owner’s manual for your specific vehicle.Your dealer or shop should be happy to check it for free.
Tire replacement. Listen or rather look at what your tires are telling you! Get down on the ground if you need to see the rear and crank the wheels one way to see the front. If they are not wearing even now, replacing them won’t fix the problem. Your shocks may be bad, your alignment may be out or worse.
It’s Brake time. If your brakes are talking to you chances are they have something to say. If your brakes emit a constant, high-pitched whine chances are they hit what we call the squeaker bars. This is to tell you that you only have a fraction of material left on the pad. If you heard squeaks then it left don’t think things got better. You may actually be metal to metal. Some cars like BMW have sensors and they let you know to replace the pads when there is ¼ life left.
Keeping records. Take time to get a folder for your car. You can keep your records at home but there are a few that should stay with the car. Why? If your tires have road hazard which covers flats or damage, that proof of purchase may come in handy on your annual trip to Lake Shasta.
Not knowing how to change a tire. This may be the same yahoos that don’t use blinkers. Have you ever looked at your spare? ALL tires should have inflation checked at least once a month. Even if you have AAA, you may never know when you might have to change a tire yourself where coverage won’t reach (private property, logging roads, the dunes. AAA will not service these locations, check your book).