We all want the same thing in a car, something that works. Unfortunately, it often feels like cars do a lot more breaking down then they do driving, but good maintenance can prevent that from happening. We should all know the basics, change your oil every 3,000 miles (and you REALLY, REALLY, do need to do this. Don’t let it go more than 5,000 miles) Keep your tire pressure in check, etc. But what are the things that often go overlooked?
You can keep your car healthy and running smoothly, but it can’t be done without the proper up-keep. Here are a few things that are all too often missed.
Transmissions Fluid Replacement / Flush
One of the worst things that can happen to automatic car is a transmission blowing. Nine times out of Ten the cost to fix a busted transmission is going to be more than your car is worth. Don’t take the risk! Make sure your transmission is in good working order by getting the fluid replaced, OR the transmission flushed once a year. Some cars cannot handle a flush (it will make the transmission worse) so make sure to do your research before doing the fluid change or the flush. (The manual that came with your car should be a big help.)
Do you ever feel like your car drifts to either the right or the left? It may be because your tires aren’t aligned. Bad alignment leads to uneven tire wear which is bad on gas mileage, and hard on your car. If you ever feel like you are always pulling your car one way or another, get this checked out. You may have already ruined your CV joint by having bad alignment. Granted, getting your tires aligned isn’t cheap (neither is a transmission flush) but it is worth it over having problems with your car caused by a simple thing like the tires. Take this seriously!
Checking the Timing Belt
Now, not every car has a timing belt, a good portion of them have timing chains which are less likely to bust, but either way this is an important issue. Timing belts are placed in such a position in the engine that the entire engine will blow if it were to break. Timing Belts aren’t easy to get to either, if you want to check yours, you really have to get into the engine. Replacing the belt will be costly as well, but again, it’s going to be cheaper than having your engine blow to pieces. Find out if your car has a belt or a chain, and if it has a belt, get it checked! You don’t want to be stranded with a blown engine and no car (because the thing will be all but totaled if this happens). As the scouts say – “Be Prepared!”
The fact remains that up-keep on a car can cost you money. But it’s better to keep everything in working order then to have to replace major parts. Give your car a checkup and make sure everything’s working properly.