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Car Care Tips

The following simple and inexpensive preventive inspections may very well extend the life of your vehicle, ensure safer operation and even benefit the environment.

Even though your vehicle may still be under warranty you are not required to return to a dealership for scheduled maintenance. You may have the service facility of your choice maintain your vehicle and not void your warranty.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications in your vehicle owner’s manual, and have a regular oil and filter change schedule set out. Remember, stop and go traffic is particularly hard on your engine, so often times its better to change your oil more frequently if you drive short distances. If most of your driving is on the freeway, you can actually go more time between oil changes. And always change your filter when you have your oil changed.

Have all fluids inspected,including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. These fluids play a vital role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.

Inspect tires and inflation once a month.Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency and premature tire wear. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. It is also a major safety benefit to make sure your tires are inflated properly.

Keep your engine tuned.A fouled spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Spark plugs in new cars can last years longer than ones in older cars, but they should be periodically changed for optimizing fuel economy and reducing emissions.

Have the chassis lubricatedfrequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.

Inspect battery, cables and postsfor corrosion and clean as needed.

Have the lighting systeminspected frequently, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights and tail lights.

Inspect windshield wiper bladesfor cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year or sooner if streaking begins.

Inspect engine belts and hoses regularly.Look for wear, cracks and missing sections or segments. Worn belts and hoses can affect the safe operation of your vehicle.

Have the air filtration system inspected frequently. The air filter should be inspected approximately every other oil change for clogging or damage.

Always consult your vehicle owner’s manual for individual service schedules as manufacturer maintenance requirements may vary greatly.