Question: I want to hang onto my ’02 Honda Accord for as long as possible (hey, it’s paid for), but hate to waste money on service it doesn’t really need. How can I be sure I am performing only the maintenance my car truly requires?
Car Care Tips.
“Regular, routine maintenance can help improve your gasoline mileage, reduce pollution, and catch minor problems before they become big headaches,” says Kendall Warnock
- Get engine performance and driveability problems — hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc. — corrected at a reputable repair shop that employs ASE-certified repair professionals. Cold weather makes existing problems worse.
- Replace dirty filters, such as air, fuel, and PCV. A poorly running engine is less efficient and burns more gasoline.
- Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual — more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips. A poll of ASE Master Auto Technicians revealed that regular oil and filter changes is one of the most frequently neglected services, yet one that is essential to protect your engine.
- The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
- Replace old blades regularly. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up.
- Have your battery checked. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment.
- Worn tires are dangerous. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Remember, tires are vital for keeping your family safe, do not overlook getting them replaced. Even if I have to take partial payments on them, I would feel better knowing your family is safe.
- Have your brakes checked periodically for safety and to prevent costly repairs that can be caused by neglect.
- The transmission is often neglected until a major failure. Routine checks and fluid changes at prescribed intervals can prevent very costly repairs down the line.
- Always carry an emergency kit with you: extra gloves, boots and blankets; flares; a small shovel and sand or kitty litter; tire chains; a flashlight and extra batteries; and a cell phone and extra car charger. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box.
Let’s all keep our families safe through out the year.
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Question: I want to make sure I’m covered under my car manufacturer’s warranty. Do I have to go to the dealer for scheduled maintenance to be covered?
Question: I can barely remember to put gas in my car sometimes, let alone what engine oil weight and coolant type it needs. How am I supposed to keep all this stuff straight, let alone what needs to be checked and when.