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How to Maintain Your Car

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  1. step : No instructions needed (Dec 18 2019 10:13AM)
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Whether you use your car to get to and from work, or you use your car for work, maybe you're a rideshare, a delivery driver, or a salesperson that puts a lot of miles on their car and puts a lot of hours on the engine, you're going to want to take care of it. And here's how. All right, right off the bat, it's important to change your oil. Everybody forgets, no one thinks about it. You don't even check your oil. Make sure you check your owner's manual for the timing intervals for when you should change it and stay within those guidelines. If you don't, your engine's going to get gunked up. It's going to run low, you're going to ruin your bearings, and your engine's going to stop working.

You can change your own oil. It's very easy. You can do it in your driveway. We have a video that we made that will show you how to change the oil on any vehicle. We're going to link that in the description. And if you're not going to change it yourself, just go somewhere and have it changed. On top of changing your oil, it's important to check your oil level. You may not be putting a lot of miles on the car, you may be idling a lot, you may be stuck in traffic, you're still putting hours on the engine. You can check your oil level at the dipstick.

Every vehicle's dipstick's a little bit different, but there should be a high mark and a low mark. You want the level somewhere in between. And near the dipstick should be the oil fill cap if you need to add oil. Just like your engine oil, it's important to check and fill all your fluids under the hood. Coolant. If your vehicle's low on coolant, or if you've run out of coolant, your engine is gonna overheat, and you're not gonna have any heat in the cab. You wanna locate your coolant reservoir. Generally, most vehicles have a high level and a low level. Some vehicles have a coolant hot level or a coolant cold level.

You're going to wanna check your owner's manual for the appropriate level and the appropriate type of coolant. You wanna make sure you never open the radiator cap when the engine is warm. You can always grab the hose and see if it's hot, or even squeeze it a little bit. There's gonna be pressure under that. Sometimes that cap is on the reservoir itself, so pay attention to that or you could get badly burned. And be sure to change your coolant at the recommended service interval for your vehicle.

Let's talk about transmission fluid. A lot of vehicles, you can check it yourself. It's similar to checking your oil. Sometimes you have to have the vehicle running. It depends on the vehicle. A lot of vehicles though, you can't check it yourself. You have to bring it to a professional. The only reason it would be low is because you have a leak. And if you don't have a leak, you're not gonna need to check it as much as your other fluids.

Your brake fluid should be located on the driver's side, somewhere near the firewall. The reservoir is right here. The way to see where the level is, there should be a max line and a min line. And if you're taking the cap off, you wanna take a rag and wipe any dust or dirt off the cap. You don't want any of that getting into the reservoir. And, on the cap, a lot of the times it says what type of fluid it takes. This is DOT 3. So, you wanna stick with whatever type of fluid is on the cap. And, generally, around two years is a good point to change the fluid or whenever it gets dark.

To make sure your windshield's always clear, make sure you top off your washer fluid and always change your wiper blades. Locate your washer fluid reservoir. Generally, you'll have a picture like this. It looks like a windshield. And top it off, and that's good. Close the cap. To change the wiper blades, it's generally pretty easy. Sometimes all you need is a flat blade screwdriver and just unclip them. They slide right off. And put the new one on, slide it back in position.

Your engine air filter. It's important to change the engine air filter because if it gets too dirty, it's gonna cause poor fuel economy. It's what helps your engine breathe. It's gonna change the air-fuel mixture. And in extreme cases, it could cause a check engine light or other engine damage. What you wanna look for is find the snorkel, and there'll be a box like this. Some of them require tools, some of them don't. Some are just clipped in like this. So, find that box, slide this up. The air filter should be underneath and just slide the air filter up. And you can check this. If it looks pretty clean like this, that looks good. You can also hold it up to the light. If you can see light through it, it should still be good. If it's black and coated in a lot of pollen, and dust, and debris, it's time to replace it. Slide it back in position, and lock it down.

It's very important that you have a good battery. If your battery doesn't start your car, you're not going anywhere. So, take a look at your battery. If there's any corrosion on it, you're gonna wanna clean that up. Be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses and dispose off chemicals properly. And check the terminals, grab the terminal, wiggle it. See if it's tight, both sides are tight, so that's good. If you see any battery acid leaking out of the battery, it's time to replace the battery. And if the battery is over five years old, it's a good idea to just replace it.

Now, let's talk about tires. First, I'm going to go over the pressure. Now, the pressure that's listed on the outside of the tire, the max pressure, that's not what you want to pump up the tire to. You wanna check the door jamb of the vehicle. Each vehicle is a little bit different. And, on that door jamb, it's gonna tell you what pressure you should have the tire set to. It's always a great idea to keep a tire gauge in your vehicle so that you can check the tire pressures.

Generally, they have tire pressure sensors in them, but some of them don't give the actual pressure. So, find the valve stem, take the cap off, and just check the tire pressures. Now, if you look at your tire and you see the wear in the middle of the tire, that's from excessive inflation. You have too much pounds in your tire. You're gonna wanna drop the pressure down. If you see wear on the outsides of the tire, that's due to under inflation, and you're gonna wanna pump up the tires a little bit more. Now, if you see tire wear just on the inside of the tire or just on the outside of the tire, it's probably because your alignment's out, and you're gonna need your vehicle to be realigned.

Another form of tire wear, you may feel the tire and you may feel something called cupping or chopping. What it is is it's uneven throughout the tire, kinda looks like it's raised up. And that could be caused by lack of rotation or the struts or shocks are worn in the vehicle. Now, when checking tread depth, there is wear bars on the tire. Now, when the tread is level with those wear bars, that means there's only 2/32nds of an inch left of tread on the tire. At that point, they're definitely in need of replacement. And if you check the tread depth with a depth gauge and you have less than 4/32nds of an inch, it's time to start thinking about getting tires.

Behind your wheels, you're gonna have the brake components. We have the brake rotor, the brake pads, and the brake caliper. The brake caliper is gonna compress the pads that are gonna tighten up on the rotor. And that's gonna cause the rotor to slow down, and that slows the vehicle down. On a regular basis, what wears out is your brake pads and your rotors. That's what normally needs to be changed. The brake pads is the friction material that pushes on the rotor that stops the car.

Some of the signs that the brakes are worn out and need to be replaced, you may hear some grinding noise when you go to apply the brakes, some squealing noise while going down the road. They actually have the warning squealers on the pads, some vehicles. And also, if you feel severe brake pulsation when you go to stop and the brake pedal is pumping quickly, generally, it's not the ABS. It's actually the rotors. So those get worn, and those need to be replaced. So, if you have the tools and a jack and jack stands and you wanna do your own brakes, it's really easy. Check out the link in our description, and you can see a video on how we do it.

Shocks and struts. Now, if they're leaking, they need to be replaced, whether it's the front or the rear. Another way to check it, if you grab the vehicle, just push down. And when you let go, if the bounce continues to bounce, then they need to be replaced as well. You can do this on all four corners of the vehicle. And when you're driving down the road, if you hit a bump, and it seems like the vehicle just keeps going along with the waves, they need to be replaced.

It's a good idea to check out your lights. It's always easier to check the rear lights out with a friend. If you're inside the car operating the brakes and the reverse lights, they can check those out while you're doing that. Otherwise, you can pull up to a building that has a reflective surface or even some glass, maybe you can check out the rear lights that way. Other than that, you can get out of the vehicle, turn the lights on, check the headlights, check the high beams, check the hazards, check the turn signal bulbs, and check the fog lights, and the rear lights.

On most vehicles, it's pretty easy to change the bulbs. The backside of the lens, you can grab the socket, twist it out, replace the bulb. Be sure to wear gloves when changing light bulbs. You don't want the oils of your hands touching the bulbs, or it will cause the bulbs to burn out prematurely.

Here's a couple bonus tips for ya. Know where your spare tire is and keep it properly inflated. Be sure to know where your spare tire tools are so that you can lift the car, change the tire in an emergency. Along with that, it's a good idea to have an emergency roadside kit. And if something doesn't feel right in your vehicle, don't ignore those signs. If the brakes don't feel right, if the suspension doesn't feel right, if the engine feels rough, and if you have a check engine light or any other warning lights on the dash, get them checked out or check them out yourself if you have a scan tool.

If you enjoyed this video, give us a like. If you wanna see more videos like this, consider subscribing to our channel. Thanks, guys.

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