Keeping your car running
smoothly is important. These auto maintenance tips will help you achieve that.

Why are auto maintenance tips so important? It's because few things in life are as frustrating as a car when it breaks down.

Yes, for most people, cars are a lot of fun. They can help you get to where you want to go, and more. But... they can and do break down. You need to do your part to prevent this as much as possible.

Here are some tips to help.

Auto maintenance tip #1: An oil change is one of the most basic and important things to prolong the life of a car.

"An oil change maximizes lubrication, reduces friction within the engine and helps prevents the engine from overheating."

We all know we should have oil changes done regularly. But are you?

"It is important to change oil regularly because motor oil can become contaminated by dust, metallic shavings and even antifreeze, according to the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA). The contaminants are whipped into the oil, forming a sludge that will stick to parts of the engine. At best, this sludge will cause the engine to run less efficiently and lower gas mileage. At worst, it will cause the engine to fail. Manufacturers generally recommend oil changes every three months or every 3,000 miles."

Auto maintenance tip #2: Do not use a dry cloth when dusting off your car.

"Do - Always use wet cloth for wiping the car, after rinsing the paint surface with water first.

Don't - Never wipe dust off your car with a dry cloth or duster."

Click here to get more information from Auto Junction.

Auto maintenance tip #3: Try to use one place for your car maintenance.

"Pick anywhere you want to have service done, but try to get all your service done at the same place so they can keep track of your car, and maintain your records."

Click here to get more information from Research a New Car - RoadKing: Car Care Tips.

Auto Maintenance Tips #4: Using your eyes to spot car trouble.

"Looks Like Trouble:

Small stains or an occasional drop of fluid under your vehicle may not mean much. But wet spots deserve attention; check puddles immediately.

You can identify fluids by their color and consistency:

Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator.

A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak.

A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power-steering fluid leak.

A puddle of clear water usually is no problem. It may be normal condensation from your vehicle's air conditioner."

Click here to get more information from Federal Trade Commission

Auto Maintenance Tips #5: Sounds that can mean car trouble.

"Sounds Like Trouble:

Squeal - A shrill, sharp noise, usually related to engine speed: Loose or worn power steering, fan or air conditioning belt.

Screech - A high-pitched, piercing metallic sound; usually occurs while the vehicle is in motion: Caused by brake wear indicators to let you know it's time for maintenance."

Auto Maintenance Tips #6: Smells that indicate car trouble.

"Smells Like Trouble:

Some problems are under your nose. You can detect them by their odor:

The smell of burned toast - a light, sharp odor - often signals an electrical short and burning insulation. To be safe, try not to drive the vehicle until the problem is diagnosed.

The smell of rotten eggs - a continuous burning-sulphur smell - usually indicates a problem in the catalytic converter or other emission control devices. Don't delay diagnosis and repair.

A thick acrid odor usually means burning oil. Look for sign of a leak.

The smell of gasoline vapors after a failed start may mean you have flooded the engine. Wait a few minutes before trying again. If the odor persists, chances are there's a leak in the fuel system - a potentially dangerous problem that needs immediate attention.

Burning resin or an acrid chemical odor may signal overheated brakes or clutch. Check the parking brake. Stop. Allow the brakes to cool after repeated hard braking on mountain roads. Light smoke coming from a wheel indicates a stuck brake. The vehicle should be towed for repair.

A sweet, steamy odor indicates a coolant leak. If the temperature gauge or warning light does not indicate overheating, drive carefully to the nearest service station, keeping an eye on your gauges. If the odor is accompanied by a hot, metallic scent and steam from under the hood, your engine has overheated. Pull over immediately. Continued driving could cause severe engine damage. The vehicle should be towed for repair."

Click here to get more information from Federal Trade Commission

Auto maintenance tip #7:Consider this when looking for a repair shop.

"What should you look for when choosing a repair shop?

* Look for an auto repair shop before you need one. Avoid being rushed into last-minute decisions.

* Ask for recommendations. Word-of-mouth often is the best advertising for a good technician. Ask friends, family members and others for recommendations of repair shops or technicians they trust. "

Click here to get more information from Auto Repair Tips.

Auto maintenance tip #8: About Spark Plugs.

"Spark Plugs

Fouled, damaged, or worn-out spark plugs can cause drivability problems and rob fuel efficiency. Replace your spark plugs every 30,000 miles to maximize power, performance, and fuel economy. "

Click here to get more information from | Repair Info | Maintenance | Tune Up Now For Better Gas Mileage and Better Performance.

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Do You Have A Great Tip To Add?

We've shared a few of our own tips for keeping a vehicle running smooth and strong! Now we would like to hear from you. Please share any piece of information about car maintenance, cleaning, and care that you feel would be helpful to our readers. Whether you're a single female or certified mechanic, we would love for you to share your tip!

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