And don‘t let your next door neighbor work on your vehicle in the driveway -- especially diagnosing and replacing brake parts. The basic brake components of 30-40 years ago do not compare to today‘s braking system. There are certain specifications that must be measured before brake parts are replaced. Another thing, if your friend needs to replace a hydraulic component, the brake fluid system must be bled of air bubbles (which occur when the liquid-filled system is opened up to replace parts). There are special tools, computers needed to properly expel the air molecules out of the system. Times have changed. Go pro!
I know...you drive every day and are familiar with the gas and brake pedal positions. You know what button is designated for your favorite radio station. And you can even turn on the AC on without looking. But, do you know where your emergency hazard button is located on the dash?
It's time to learn what's on the dashboard.
The next time you get into your car (and now is a great time, while you‘re reading this) take a look at your instrument panel on your dashboard. Notice that the speedometer is in both standard (US) and metric (Canadian). Unless you travel north of the boarder, you will need to keep it on the standard setting. This is an important button to know. It can be easily mixed up for another button while driving and, in the confusion of the traffic and trying to change something in the vehicle, you may accidentally press the standard/metric speedometer button. This can cause unnecessary confusion and panic on your part. By knowing where and what buttons do what function, you can make your choices to change any item while the vehicle has come to a complete stop -- sitting at a stoplight, only!
Next, notice where the fuel gauge is located. It is best that the fuel does not get below ¼ tank of gas. Running the vehicle low on fuel is not good for the vehicle. Keeping no less than ¼ full of fuel will ensure that you won‘t run out of gas, as well.
Do you have an automatic transmissions. That means all you have to do is get into the car, start it and move the column shift from P-to-R-to-D depending upon what direction you want to go. Automatic transmissions do require service. This includes a new gasket, filter (in most cases) and fluid. Never let a shop exchange the transmission fluid without changing out the filter (with vehicles equipped with external filters, only). An automotive technician, who had more than 40-plus years experience, once said that performing a transmission service without exchanging the filter was ―like taking a shower with dirty socks on. Yuck!
Remember: Filter, gasket and fluid..
And, about letting the fuel get below ¼: Not only could it become a safety issue, but it‘s just not good for your vehicle. If you had an emergency -- especially a medical emergency -- and the gauge was reading "E," you may not make it to your destination.
Another reason not to let the tank go almost dry: It‘s very bad for the fuel pump. That‘s right. Your fuel pump is located in the gas tank.
The fuel helps keep the electric pump cool. When you run the gas on "E", the practice stresses-out the fuel pump. Have this happen enough and the pump is just going to "give up." No matter where you are going to, no matter who you have to see, no matter why you have to be on the road. It has no concept of your needs. Instead, a tow truck is going to be taking you to the ASE Blue Seal shop or dealership. And, did I tell you how much pumps are going for nowadays? For the average domestic, they can start around $500.
.Your engine is a fine-tuned machine. There are dozens and dozens of sensors and actuators that keep it running at peak efficiency. When one of these components sees that something isn‘t running right, it will illuminate the service engine soon/check engine light on your dash.
If the vehicle is running poorly, stop immediately in the safest place. Call your shop, call a tow truck.
But, if the vehicle is running ok without a noticeable problem, call your ASE Blue Seal shop as soon as possible for an appointment to have it properly analyzed..
I always recommend that my customers check their tire condition every gas fill-up by turning the wheels away from the pump and look at the tire tread. If it is not evenly worn across the entire tread, call your ASE Blue Seal shop or dealership for an alignment check. If you are not sure, drop by the shop so they can do a quick, visual evaluation of the tread. This inspection can be performed in the parking lot.
Remember: Misaligned tires wastes gasoline. Wasted gasoline is money out of your pocket.
Car Care for the Clueless
...making everyone a savvy car consumer!
First, find an automotive repair shop (independent or dealership) before you need one. This is the best way - to shop by word of mouth, not choosing an ad from the newspaper or website-based. If your friends and relatives have had good experiences at a shop, then you should too. Also, make sure they are an ASE Blue Seal (ASE: Automotive Service Excellence) shopFirst, find an automotive repair shop (independent or dealership) before you need one. This is the best way - to shop by word of mouth, not choosing an ad from the newspaper or website-based. If your friends and relatives have had good experiences at a shop, then you should too. Also, make sure they are an ASE Blue Seal (ASE: Automotive Service Excellence) shop
It's important to keep your automotive investment looking like the day you purchased it.
Have your car washed every two to three weeks. Vacuum the carpet and wipe down the dash. Make sure to clean the tires and rims, too. This will keep the vehicle looking like new.
Twice a year have the vehicle waxed to keep the finish from fading.
Most car wash establishments have coupons for wash and wax. Some even have frequent customer discounts for future services. Ask for discounts; ask for ads. It's all about keeping money in your wallet
The vehicle's air conditioning cools the passenger cabin of the vehicle.
The vehicle's coolant system helps to maintain your vehicle‘s engine temperature.
It‘s that simple.
When it is hot outside, you turn on your car‘s air conditioning to cool off. Your air conditioning is comprised of many components. Generally, there is no maintenance needed. When your car gets older, sometimes it may not keep you as cool, as when new. Your ASE-certified technician can quickly check the temperature of the air coming out of the dashboard vents by using an infrared gun. Again, ask if there is a charge for this service – like my shop, most ASE Blue Seal shops do not charge. They will know if the temperature is within a reasonable range to keep you cool. The fix may be as simple as adjusting the dash controls.