In Jan. 20 IssueBy Ron Cowell, Columnist
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, have you thought about what you can do for the one you love, the one who is always there for you, the one who will take you where you want to go when you want to get there. Yes I'm talking about your car.
Your car does want flowers or balloons or even candy. It just wants a little love in the form of an oil change, a tune up and some basic service.
There is no debating the value of preventative maintenance to keep your car running well, not to mention getting you safely to the store to get that special other one in your life that gift that is going to keep you out of trouble. This Valentines day treat your car to regular care and follow the preventive maintenance steps.
Make sure you change your oil and filter every 3000 miles. Some say the cars of today can run longer but I'm old school and still believe in that 3000 mile rule. This will keep your engine clean on the inside.
Check your tire pressure at least once a month and don't forget the spare. Your cars tires affect the ride, handling and your safety.
Schedule a tune up annually to optimize your cars performance.
A well tuned motor will deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy. With today's gas prices that a plus for you also! It will also produce the lowest level of emissions.
Have the alignment checked at least once every couple years.
Potholes and other road conditions as well as normal wear can take it's toll on your cars steering and suspension. A wheel alignment reduces the wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases your driving enjoyment and safety.
Check the windshield wipers and lights on your car. Lights and wipers play a major roll in safe driving, and they are normal wear items that need replaced from time to time.
Check your air filter. It shouldn't be filled with dirt, dust and bugs.
A dirty air filter will choke off the air flow and could cause a rich mixture, that's too much gas being burned for the amount of air. That wastes gas and can cause your engine to loose power. A good rule to follow is to have your air filter inspected with each oil change and replaced when it is dirty, torn or just showing signs of wear. Replacing a dirty air filter can improve your gas mileage for as much as 10 percent.
In today's newer cars spark plugs are an often neglected maintenance item because of their long life expectancy.
They are one of the hardest working parts of your engine and when working properly, they will improve reliability and maximize engine performance and fuel economy. Plugs that are worn or fouled can cause the engine to loose power or misfire which also wastes fuel. The replacement of your spark plugs can range from 30,000 to 100,000 miles.
Gas caps should not be damaged, loose or missing. About 17 percent of the cars on the road today have that problem. This alone, just 17 percent of the vehicles can cause a lot of gas to vaporize with every tank full.
Make sure your battery is checked if it's been in the car a while.
The only way to really check it is with professional equipment.
Clean the corrosion from the battery posts, clean all surface's of the connections and retighten them. If your battery caps are removable check the fluid in your battery monthly.
BUT BE CAREFUL, removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data codes on some newer vehicles. Check the owner's manual and be sure to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. It's a good idea to wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Check your transmission fluid with each oil change. Routine checks and fluid changes can prevent some costly repairs down the road.
These are just a few of the ways you can take care or your vehicle, not only on Valentines Day but all year round.
Take good care of your vehicle and it will take good care of you and your driving need.
That's it for this week. Have a good one and till next time, "Keep Cruisin."