- Check your oil every time you fill up. You only need the engine to stay off for a matter of minutes for the level to read accurately on the dipstick. The distance between high and low is typically equal to one quart. If your oil is a dark brown, it MUST be changed. Refer to the mileage of the vehicle in the oil change interval. It is sometimes normal for an engine to use oil between changes, especially in the summer. An engine with dirty oil or low oil will inevitably last much shorter. Keep an ey on the oil level and color to keep your motor running.
- Check your tire pressure every week. The correct pressure is usually marked in the car on the door pillar, and sometimes in your service manual. ALWAYS check the pressure with the tires COLD. This means, the best time to check your tire pressure is in the morning before you go somewhere. If you notice that a tire is low, look for obvious problems like screws in the tread or cracks in the rubber. Take such tires and have them repaired immediately! Also, look at the tread on your tire and verify the depth using a penny. If the tread is still as tick as the distance from the top of Lincoln’s head to the edge of the penny, you should still be okay. DON’T FORGET THE SPART TIRE!
- When you have a flat tire, pull over immediately! Of course you must be safe about where you stop, but if you continue to drive on a flat tire, this will add costs to repair the flat. NEVER rely on a spare tire as a permanent solution. Have the flat repaired as soon as possible. When you change a flat, place the jack under a secure jacking point and raise the jack up to the height of the point. Loosen the lug nuts, then raise the vehicle up and remove the lug nuts completely as well as the tire. Put on the spare tire and then loosely thread on the lug nuts. With the tire wrench, place the lug nuts snug against thw wheel, then lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts firmly. If your spare tire has a spped rating (limit) on it, do not exceed it!
- Check the coolant level every week. The coolant level should ALWAYS be checked when cold. Doing so will prevent you from having scalding hot water burn you. The level in the radiator should be to the top and the overflow bottle should beto the “Full Cold” level. Always refer to your service manual in reference to this.
- Always get the CHECK ENGINE light checked out when it comes on. Although the car may appear to be fine and may drive okay, the problem may be subtle and could potentially cause costly repairs if left unrepaired. Many Auto Parts stores do this for free, but are not able to diagnose the problem. Have the code read, get the opinion of the individual who reads the code and check the code online for potential causes. you may not be able to solve the problem yourself, but the information will help you when you have a service professional look at the car.
- Read your owner’s manual!!! Get familiar with the servcie intervals required for your car. Be procactive and budget money to catch up on your service. Paying now for your preventive service will save money later. ALWAYS have a professional look at or repair something that you wiould feel uncomforatbable with or unsure of. You may be albe to do more than you think though. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR CAR!!!!