Considering how mission-critical a working car is, you would be surprised at how poorly some people treat theirs. In fact, there are some things that even you could be doing that shorten your car’s running life.
We sat down with the Service Manager at , to discuss the many different ways one can ruin their car if they don’t take good care of it. Let us know if anything on the list is new to you:
1. Ignore tire wear
If one side of each of your tires is wearing out and not the other, chances are you need a wheel alignment. The condition of your tires have a big impact on the safety, fuel economy and overall performance of your vehicle, so this is something you don’t want to put off.
Tires are also expensive and it doesn’t take log for them to be ruined when there is a misalignment. Make sure to stop by your local mechanic or dealer and have yours checked if you suspect odd wear patterns,
2. Put pure water in the radiator
In addition to cooling your engine, your car’s engine coolant also prevents cooling system corrosion. The metals in your engine are usually of different elemental types (iron, alloys, aluminum, etc.) and, as a result, react with each other, leading to “galvanic corrosion”.
Galvanic corrosion can wreck an engine over time, necessitating quality antifreeze with special corrosion inhibitors that stop such corrosion. Rather than the cheap stuff, make sure you’re pouring good antifreeze in your cooling system. Your owner’s manual might say otherwise, but a 50/50 mix of water and coolant is typically recommended.
3. Don’t give your vehicle enough time to warm up
People often underestimate the importance of engine oil, which is needed to prevent wear between the moving components. When it’s cold outside, the oil becomes thick / sluggish and doesn’t work as intended, undermining your engine’s durability.
The solution to this problem is as simple as it is obvious: allow your engine to warm up for a few minutes when you start it, especially in cold weather. Doing so can add thousands of miles onto your car’s life.
4. Ignoring the Check Engine Light (CEL)
A common misconception about cars is that a glowing Check Engine light (CEL) isn’t serious, but that . Sometimes, the CEL indicates a minor issue that, if ignored, could worsen to become something more serious and costly to fix.
The best and most prudent thing to do when the CEL comes on is to take your vehicle to a competent mechanic and obtain an official diagnosis.
5. Don’t drive slow for potholes
This might come as a surprise to you but the components in the front end of your car are aligned to each other for optimal performance. When you run into a deep pothole or over a speedbump, this alignment can become disrupted.
Steering could be affected, which can cause the vehicle to pull to one side or your tires to start wearing asymmetrically. It’s in your best interest to avoid these road hazards as best you can and slow down if you are driving on less-that-ideal road surfaces.
5 Reasons Why Your Family Needs A New Vehicle
Are you itching to trade in your old beater for a shiny new car? If you’ve had it for more than six years, you may be overdue.
Six years is about the amount of time the average person keeps a car in the United States, so,if you’re thinking it’s about time, maybe it is. Still, buying a new car is a huge decision that requires a high level of certainty. Here are 5 reasons that may convince you that you need a new vehicle:
Every year, manufacturers introduce new safety features. So, every year that you have your car, you’re behind on the latest cutting-edge safety features.
According to , every car should have a backup camera, curtain airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), and forward-collision warning. Is your car equipped?
The difference isn’t substantial in one or two years, but if you’ve accumulated five or more years on your car, it may be time for an upgrade. When you’re transporting precious cargo like your family, you don’t want to take any chances with safety.
Have you ever bought a brand-new car in the year before the manufacturer makes a major body-style change? Nothing can make your car seem older than having rounded curves when all the new models have sleek edges.
Regardless of how long you’ve had your vehicle before the manufacturer changed styles, you may still want to remain somewhat current. If the newer models of your vehicle look like they’re a decade younger, it’s probably time to buy a new one.
If your family has grown since the last time you bought a car, you might be due for a new vehicle. In this case, you may want to consider a , crossover or minivan instead of your sedan. With more seating, legroom and safety features, SUVs and crossovers are becoming a popular choice for growing families.
It’s pricier and more time consuming to maintain an older vehicle than it is a new one. Engines that have been in use for 100k miles or more become a little needy. This means spending more money on oil changes for that high-mileage oil and taking more frequent trips to the auto mechanic for tune-ups. Maintenance expenses are minimal with a new vehicle.
5.Peace Of Mind
You’re much less likely to break down on the road with a new vehicle than with an older one. This is a natural concern for many families, because no one wants to get stuck with an SUV full of kids on your way to soccer practice. And breakdowns also come with unexpected expenses that can range from mild to outrageous. With a new vehicle, you won’t have any of these worries.
When was the last time you bought a new vehicle?
6 Tips And Tricks For Driving With Dogs
If you are a dog owner, you will eventually need to take your four-legged friend out of the house and into the car for a cruise. Whether it’s taking your usual daily trip to the dog park or traveling long distance to the cottage, you could probably benefit from brushing up on your doggy driving etiquette.
With the help from the professionals at , we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to make driving with your dog safe and stress-free while keeping the inside of your car clean!
1. First Things First, Prepare Your Vehicle.
Getting your vehicle ready before you start driving with your dog or any other pet is as important as getting your house ready before bringing a pet home for the first time. Just as you would want to have a dish, water and food for your pet in the house, your car should be equipped with those things just in case Bella needs nourishment. It can also be beneficial to have a bed or blanket to help them get comfortable and relaxed.
Similarly, keep a toy or two in the car. If doggy has all of the same things in the car that it does in your home, they will eventually start to see the vehicle as an extension of the home.
2. Train Your Dog To Like The Car
Yes, this is possible! Just as Pavlov taught his dogs to associate a whistle with food, you can train your dog to associate the car with good things. Instead of only taking your dog in the car when going to stressful places like the vet or groomers, make it a point to drive to places it can associate with food, treats, affection or play. You can start with trips to the dog park or walking trail.
Another idea is to drive to a nearby friend or family member’s home, and have someone waiting with a treat and plenty of belly rubs! Before doing any of this, though, you can start slowly by simply allowing your dog to spend some time in the car while parked in the garage (with the engine off, of course, so as to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning) that way they can get comfortable with the vehicle within the safety of your home and without the added stressor of movement.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Is Secure
Just like you wouldn’t want your family or friends to ride without a seatbelt, to drive with your pet unsecured. There are many different methods for securing your pup depending on the kind of car you have and the size of your pet. Harnesses that attach to you car’s existing seatbelts can be found in a variety of styles and sizes, allowing either the passenger or rear seats to safely accommodate your pet.
If you have a larger dog and drive a hatchback, SUV or minivan, you can opt for a gate that separates the cargo bay from the rest of the vehicle. Your pet will will be safely contained while still being able to see you and move around in the cargo area.
4. Keep Your Windows Rolled Up
Just about everyone is familiar with the cliche image of a happy dog riding in the car, head out of the window and the wind blowing back its tongue and ears. Unfortunately, what a lot of people don’t realize that, in addition to putting them at risk of being hit by something, having their head out can ultimately be bad for their health. The rush of air can have a negative effect on a dog’s respiratory system, even at relatively low speeds.
It’s okay to leave the windows open a crack so that your dog can still enjoy some fresh air and all of the exciting new smells you’ll encounter on the road without being able to stick their head or whole nose out.
5. Find Locations To Take Breaks
Long car trips can be a train not just for you or any other human passenger, but also for our canine companions. Short breaks along the way will provide them with a chance to stretch, run and play.
Expert tip: Before you leave, find the nicest forest trails or dog-friendly rest areas where your dog can get out and run, and to offer plenty of water at every break.
6. Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car
You don’t need statistics to know that dogs die in hot cars. You wouldn’t leave your child in the car with no water on a 100-degree day, so why treat your do any differently? And the fact that dogs have fur puts them at an even of heatstroke.
In the cold, they will freeze despite their fur, so the best and smartest thing you can do on extremely hot or cold days is to keep your pet at home where it can remain comfortable.
5 Car Maintenance Procedures You Shouldn’t Waste Money On
One of the most significant purchases you will make in life is a car, so it’s no surprise that it deserves the utmost of meticulous care.
Fortunately, owning a car doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. In fact, maintaining a car can be inexpensive so long as you know what procedures are worth the investment and those that are downright unnecessary. Here are 5 car maintenance procedures you shouldn’t pay for:
1. Preparing The Car For Every Season
Your car does not need to be optimized for every season of the year, except in areas that require snow chains on tires. Instead of catering it to the hot summer sun or cool fall temperatures, only take it in for routine maintenance checks to ensure tire pressure is optimal and prevent any potential from undermining your safety.
2. Premium Gas
While it seems logical to fill your tank with premium gas, it’s actually an unnecessary expense for most cars despite being the highest quality gasoline at the pump. A car only requires premium gas if the owner’s manual explicitly says so. Otherwise, premium gas is mainly reserved for the high performance engines found in luxury cars and exotic sports cars.
Save yourself the extra cents and opt for the regular gasoline — your vehicle will run just fine!
3. An Oil Change Every 3000 Miles
“Change your oil ever 3,000 miles” was a classic piece of advice given to all car owners, but that ‘3,000’ figure has no significant value nowadays unless otherwise stated by your car’s manufacturer. Every car is different which therefore, makes it incorrect to assume that each one must perform exactly the same.
Look at this way: you wouldn’t take care of a four-wheel drive vehicle that’s used specifically for snowy terrains exactly like an everyday car that’s used to commute to work on paved roads.
4. Gasoline Additives And Enhancers
Gasoline additives could potentially increase the fuel efficiency of your car, but they’re not necessarily a smart investment. They are usually advertised when gas prices go up to trick consumers into feeling they are saving money from the increased efficiency and reduced emissions supposedly offered — , in other words.
According to the FTC, any product that claims to improve your gas mileage should be used with caution, or not at all. In fact, one study found that very few additives actually work and many could potentially to damage your engine.
5. Automobile Repairs At Dealership
The auto repairs done at a dealership will undoubtedly be more expensive than those of an independent service shop or mechanic, some of which usually charge a fraction of the dealership price. Ultimately, if someone is certified for fixing cars or has ample experience, you can rest assured knowing your vehicle is in good and reliable hands.
We are always bombarded with information on what our car needs or doesn’t need, but not all of it can be trusted. It’s actually just best to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations and keep in mind that any other advertisement or advice on taking care of your vehicle will most likely be a ploy to encourage you to spend more money than you need to.