Contrary to popular belief, not all mechanics love taking your money. In fact, it’s possible that most of them are tired of spending time on the same problems on several different cars. Yes, they get paid either way, but their time is just as valuable as yours. To make sure that you only pop in for your car’s regular maintenance check, or in a genuine emergency, here are a few ways you can take care of your car between visits.
Proper tire care
Under-inflated tires can reduce the tire life by 15 percent and will slightly decrease your gas mileage, perhaps by 10 percent. They also contribute to the overall safety of your car. Despite this, many people still don’t take good care of their tires. Checking your tire pressure every other time you get fuel will reduce tire wear and keep your car going for longer. Goodyear recommends changing tires every 3,000 to 6,000 miles, but you should check your owner’s manual to see if it suggests a different number. If you’re not sure how far 3,000 to 6,000 miles is, just change them every six months to be on the safe side.
Knowing your car fluids
Most driving students should learn about the different kinds of fluids in their car when they’re learning to drive; this should also include how to check if the windshield wiper fluid is running low, or what kind of oil your car uses so you know where to buy the replacement. Sometimes things go wrong because people didn’t check the oil levels, or put the wrong coolant in the engine. They’re not asking that you become an expert, just that you get a few basics right. It’ll save their time and your money.
Drive with half a tank of gas
If you continually drive your car near the empty mark, your car will draw fuel from the very bottom of the gas tank. This is where all the sediments in the gas settle, and can result in a clogged fuel filter. In turn, this will build up in the fuel injectors, but the worst thing would be if the particles got into the engine. You should also note; full tanks are heavier. Driving on a slightly emptier tank means that car is carrying less weight, so your fuel economy. Find the magic balance and try to stay there as long as you can.
How a car works
Again, you don’t have to be an expert, but mechanics do find it helpful if you know exactly what is wrong with your car. You can only know this if you know a bit more about how cars work. Most people come in with damaged brakes because they don’t know that hard braking can prematurely wear out your pads and rotors, thus reducing their effectiveness. If you know that brakes slow down your car with friction from clamping pads onto a rotor hub attached to your wheels, you might ease off them a bit.