Friday, April 20, 2012

10 car care tips

Doug Wilson’s Video on Car Maintenance
10 Things On Your Car That Need Maintenance

 This is a video too...find it at

Your car is a complex mechanical product made up of many different systems. Unlike a vase you sit on a table, it operates outdoors, in the heat – or cold – in the rain, dust and other elements. Many people think just changing their oil is maintaining their car – it is your engine – but your car has many other mechanical parts that need maintenance as well. Let me discuss 10 things that you need to maintain as well as the reason why:

  1. Motor Oil: Simply put, motor oil degrades over time, with the additive package becoming depleted and the oil becoming contaminated with debris. Recommended oil chance intervals vary by manufacturer, but the simple truth is that all vehicles – even hybrids- require oil changes. At Wilson Auto Group we suggest every 5,000 miles because it’s so easy to remember.

  1. Air Filter: Your engine’s air filter screens harmful dust and debris, keeping it from getting inside the engine and potentially causing life-shortening damage. But like the air filter inside your home, it eventually becomes clogged with dust and needs to be replaced so your engine can breathe freely and generate the power it was designed to.

  1. Coolant: The mixture of coolant/anti-freeze/water inside your engine will eventually see its additive package become depleted and lose some of its ability to protect your car’s engine from the extreme summer heat and bone-chilling winter cold. Even though many modern vehicles don’t require a coolant change for the first five years, the truth is that at some point almost every vehicle will require multiple coolant changes during its lifetime.

  1. Tires: Yep, even your tires need maintenance. Pretty much every owner’s manual for every vehicle on the road recommends rotating tires and checking tire pressure every so often. Doing so can extend the tread life, keeping you from having to buy a new set quite as soon. Out of balance tires are not only uncomfortable but impede fuel economy and make your tires wear out faster.

  1. Transmission fluid: It doesn’t matter weather your car has an automatic manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT), most automakers recommend replacing the fluid that protects the transmission at some point during the vehicle’s life. And for vehicles driven in tough conditions or that carry heavy loads, the transmission fluid likely requires changing more frequently.

  1. Brakes: Take a piece of metal and rub it vigorously with a hard semi-metallic compound and tiny pieces of both objects will erode. Now do that hundreds of times each day, hundreds of days each year. That’s your brakes at work. Eventually, all that eroding will require that both the brake pads/shoes and the rotors/drums will need to be replaced. It can be pricy, buy you can’t put a price tag on the ability to stop with you need to!

  1. Spark Plugs: Time was when automakers recommended new spark plugs about every 30,000 miles. These days, you might have to replace the spark plugs in your car once during its lifetime, but it’s a service tat most automakers still recommend at certain intervals.

  1. Wiper Blades: They’re stuck on your windshield day after day, in the hot sun or freezing snow. Eventually, the rubber blades of your windshield wipers will begin to degrade. When that happens, it’s time for new ones.

  1. Fuel Injection System: Although this isn’t generally a factory recommended service, the simple fact is that the ultra-fine injectors used to spray fuel into your car’s engine are susceptible to even the tiniest bits of debris. An interruption in the perfectly designed spray pattern of your injectors can cost you at the pump, which is why to ensure you’re getting the best mileage possible, many experts recommend a fuel injection cleaning service at periodic intervals.

  1. Cabin Air Filter: Even the inside of your car has an item that needs maintenance. Most modern vehicles are equipped with a special filter that screens the air coming into the passenger compartment. These filters can keep out odors. But just like your engine air filter, these filters will need to be periodically replaced, generally on an annual basis.

There you have it, 10 items on your vehicle that will generally need maintenance at some point or another. Take care of these items, and chances are your car will take care of you for many miles to come.