Care and Maintenance Tips Keep Your Car Running in Top-Notch Condition: We’ve compiled our best expert advice, surprising tricks, and car care tips to prolong the life of your automobile!
1. Be patient during the break-in period: You’ve bought your dream car and now you want to make it last at long as possible in top condition. Here are some things to remember as you pull it out of the dealer’s lot:
- During the break-in period, typically the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km), keep your speed under 55 mph (88 kpm) or to the speed recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
- Avoid heavy loads on the drive train, such as towing trailers, and loading the roof rack or trunk with heavy construction materials.
- Do not allow your new car to idle for long periods — this is good advice for the life of your car, but especially during breakin. The oil pressure generated by doing so may not be sending oil to every part of your engine.
- Use only light to medium acceleration, keeping the engine rpms below 3,000 for the first few hours of driving.
In an attempt to boost performance, tire manufacturers analyze the capabilities of their tires under a variety of road conditions and speeds to ensure the safety and durability of their tires. These tests are conducted on all factory-made tires whether they are intended for rain, snow, off-road, performance or fuel conservation. Among the many tests done on new tires is stopping distance. Stopping distance is the span of road that it takes for a vehicle to come to a complete stop.
This simple barrier of accordion-folded paper may look insignificant but it's responsible for providing clean air to your vehicle's cylinders. This is important because air is just as crucial as fuel in the combustion process that powers the engine. Air is drawn through the engine air filter, then the air intake manifold and into the cylinders. There, it mixes with fuel to create the small explosions that power your vehicle.
A dirty engine air filter can prevent the cylinders from drawing in enough air, which throws off the fuel/air mix. This can result in poor fuel economy.
Once upon a time cars were simple: If the transmission didn’t shift right, you probably had a transmission problem. You took your car to the transmission shop and they fixed it. Simple, right? As with most stories that begin this way, times have changed. Today, when your car’s transmission isn’t shifting right, well, it could be the transmission, but there’s just as good a chance that it’s something else… something seemingly unrelated to the transmission.
Every so often you notice it: The transmission shifts a little late, or maybe it seems to miss a gear entirely. Then it’s okay again… for a little while. Worst of all, there’s no rhyme or reason behind the condition. One minute it’s fine, the next it’s not. So you pop the hood to check the transmission fluid level. Then you notice it: A big mountain of corrosion on the battery terminals. You’ll have to take care of that, but it can’t have anything to do with the transmission, right?
Prevention is better than cure. You've probably heard that said plenty of times. The phrase is most often used to talk about health and medicine, but it is just as valid to apply it to vehicles. It's great if your problem can be sorted without much trouble, but even better not to have a problem in the first place. This is especially true when it comes to your vehicle's transmission, as this can be one of the more specialized parts to repair. Not all transmission problems require an extensive overhaul, but they will all cause at least some trouble and inconvenience. Avoiding transmission problems is clearly preferable to even the problems that are quickest and cheapest repair. This is why it is important to ensure you take good care of your transmission. This will help prevent problems and keep it working smoothly. Ideally, it will mean that it doesn't develop any faults at all. Even if it does eventually go wrong, however, it is entirely possible that good care will mean the fault is less serious and easier to repair than it would have been otherwise.