Your Quick And Easy Guide To Car Maintenance

Cars are like electric lights. We often don’t appreciate them until they go on the blink. Regular maintenance checks and simple service can greatly reduce the cost of car ownership and keep you a much happier traveler!
Don’t let the thought of car maintenance intimidate you. There are actually several car maintenance tips you can do – even if you’re totally mechanically-challenged!
For instance, you’ll want to keep your windshield washer fluid reservoir full. This involves screwing off the cap and pouring windshield wiper fluid in the right spot. You can quickly check the fluid levels when filling up at the gas station.

While you’ve got the windshield washer fluid out, pour some on a rag and clean the bug guts, etc. off the wiper blades.

If you see any colored fluid leaking from your car, get it serviced immediately.

If you smell any peculiar odor coming from your car, take it to the nearest service station. Odors mean something inappropriate is going on under the hood of your car!

Every fall, go ahead and replace your wiper blades. You need new ones once a year – might as well get them before winter sets in and you’re wiping away that ice and sleet!

Be sure all your lights are clean and working, including brake lights, turn signals and emergency flashers. You can perform this quick check while filling up your gas tank.

Check your tires once a month – give a look over for cuts, bulges, or nails or other foreign objects sticking out.

Take your car to your friendly serviceman once a month and have the pressure in your tires checked. This service should cost you less than five bucks, if anything.

Every three months have your oil and oil filter changed. Many times an inspection is done during the oil change. It’s worth it to pay a little extra if you have to and have this done. Ask to have your battery checked, too.

Have your air filter changed when it gets dirty. You can ask the folks who change your oil to check the air filter. They’re happy to change it for you.

No matter how non-car savvy you may have felt in the past, finding that you can do some simple maintenance checks puts you in the driver’s seat. You’re likely to discover in advance if your car has a problem that should be taken care of immediately.

Learning how to change a tire can be one of the most useful things you could learn regarding your car. Having a flat tire in the middle of a route or on your way to an appointment can be a big problem if you do not know how to change it and have to wait for help, and therefore, it would be great if you can do it without having to wait for someone else.

In order to change a tire you should make sure you have parked your car at the side of the road and following all the safety rules that correspond to the case. You must apply the parking brake and place the shift in first gear. Then, you should look for the spare tire, the lug wrench and the jack. If you do not know where the spare tire is, you can look for it in the car owner's manual.

Once you have found all you need, you should start by taking off the hubcap of the tire you wish to remove. You should do this with the help of a screwdriver or the end of the lug wrench. Then you should loosen the lug nuts with only one turn, do not completely loosen them until you have lifted the car.

Next you should lift the car with the jack. If you do not know how to do this, you can find instructions in your car owner's manual on where to place the jack as well as the jack itself might bring some directions too. You should lift the car until the tire you wish to change is some inches away from the ground. Then finish removing the lug nuts and remove the tire.

Once you have removed the old tire, you should place the spare one in the correct place aligning the holes. Then, you should place the lug nuts and tighten them until they feel secure. Once you have done this, you must lower the car back to the ground and take the jack away from it. Then, you should have the flat tire repaired and change it back as soon as you can.

You car's air filter is very important since it maintains some parts of your car system clean and free of dirt. If your air filter doesn't work properly and dirt enters your car this might make it go through different problems, and therefore it is important that you check the filter and change it when necessary. Your mechanic can do it for you although it is very easy and you could do it yourself as well.

It is recommended that you change your car's air filter once a year or every 15.000 miles if you live in an averagely dusty area. But, if you can check it once in a while and replace it as soon as it needs it this would be much better. Checking it is a very easy thing to do and replace it is not complicated once you learn how to do it.
If you wish to check your car's air filter yourself and in an easy way, you can do so by using a light from inside pointing outside and check how bright it looks through it. If you see the light clearly, then your air filter is still good, but if you can't see much of the light then it indicates the filter needs to be changed.

Newer cars have different air filters than older ones. If your car is rather new, its air filter is probably rectangular and you might find it located under the hood, near the radiator area or the fender wells. In order to change it, you must open it and take the actual air filter from it, replacing it by the new and then closing it again.

If your car is older, then the air filter will probably be of a big round shape and located near the engine area. It might probably be screwed, and all you might need to do is to unscrew the cover, let the air filter come out, and place the new one instead of it. You must pay attention in case it has any other attachment mechanisms such as clips which you would need to take off as well.

Your car radiator is the primary cooling mechanism for your engine. Parts train's Radiators are a simple and elegant solution to the need for engine cooling. Parts train's Radiators are mostly made of aluminum. Light and strong, aluminum is great for making radiators. It is the material of choice for most of today’s radiators. Light and intelligently designed, aluminum radiators are standard on many of today’s new cars and trucks.

A small leak on your Radiator can be indicating a larger problem. A cooling system that runs low too often is less efficient and you can damage your cooling system by letting the coolant level get too low. Too little coolant flow can be bad, but at normal and high operating temperatures, the rate at which coolant moves through the radiator does not change the amount of heat that is dissipated by the cooling cores. The amount of cooling will not be reduced even when the mean temperature of the coolant rises and flows faster.

Many cheap coolants do not have the corrosion protection, PH balancing, or sediment prevention that the top-quality coolants do. These low quality coolants do not have the same additives of name brand coolants. To help your engine stay cooler, rev up your engine slightly when you are overheating in traffic to help push more air across the cooling cores and more coolant through the engine.

All water-cooled radiators have an automatically controlled electric fan on the radiator. The way the system is supposed to work is that, after the engine is started, the thermostat on the engine stays closed until the coolant temperature at the ENGINE reaches 87C (189F) degrees. It is the responsibility of the Radiator to keep the coolant temperature from running too high. However, if the temperature is too high it is not necessarily the radiator.

A poor radiator cap will not last as long or stay properly calibrated, and either open at too low or two high a pressure. Make sure your radiator cap is the proper one for your cooling system. Higher pressure means a higher boiling point, which means more efficient cooling. A new radiator cap is usually all that is required for this (but don’t over pressurize your radiator cores and wreck the whole system).

Most Radiators' cooling system failures arise from poor radiator maintenance. Many radiator problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and periodic professional inspections of you car radiator and cooling system. The most common radiator problems are: leaky fittings or seams, fin deterioration and bond failure, electrolysis, cracked tank, and fan damage.

Parts train's Aftermarket Parts, Replacement Parts and top grade Radiators are reasonably priced and the company makes sure they are durable. Parts train offers Volvo parts focused on reliability, quality, great designs and affordable price. With the Volvo tradition of designing efficient and innovative cars, Parts train has in its stock the widest array as well high standard Volvo Parts, Performance Parts, and Replacement Parts.

If you don't want to be standing out in the cold arguing with a snowblower that doesn't want to run, then do the annual maintenance before the snow starts flying. Regular maintenance will give you years of hassle free use, and less attitude from your blower. Don't forget the safety aspect, because without proper maintenance your snowblower could become a hazard.

Each fall before winter arrives, you should check all bolts, belts, and moving parts, to ensure they are not frayed, loose, or worn. Belts are best checked by removing and checking for cracks. Replace any worn parts, and tighten any loose bolts.

Turn your snowblower on its side and check the scraper bar. This is the bar that rubs against the ground and scrapes the snow off. This item wears, so check to see if it need replacement. If you neglect to replace the bar when it is worn, it will lead to damage on the snowblower's housing, and that's will hurt your pocket book. In fact, if your snowblower gets a lot of use through out the season, check it regularly.

Check the rubber paddles and the rubber on the auger. If your finger fits between the rubber and the housing it's time to replace the rubber. A new rubber will help your snowblower operate at its optimum performance levels.
Check tires for wear and proper inflation. Adjust as needed. If you have tire chains for your snowblower, have them handy or put them on in advance. There's nothing worse than searching in the freezing cold, while trying to remember where you put the chains.

There are only two types of snow blower engines: The two cylinder engine which uses mixed gas and oil. You'll just need to replace the spark plug on this style of engine.

If you have a four cylinder engine which uses straight gas, with the oil in the crank case just like your vehicle, you'll need to change the oil, spark plug, and filter. You should also check the oil each time before you start it. Most four cylinders use 5W30 oil, and hold approx 20 ounces. Refer to your owner's manual for the correct oil weight, and replacement part numbers.

Lube the drive and chassis. If you have two stage blower, make sure you check the lube in the gear box. Check with your owners manual whether you have a one stage or two stage. It will also tell you the type of lubricant to use.

If there was fuel left from the previous year, you'll need to siphon it off, and fill the gas tank with fresh gasoline. It doesn't hurt to add some methanol in with the fuel, once or twice a season, to avoid condensation from building up in the tank, or the carburetor icing up.

Many industrial concerns have workshops of their own. For the repair of worn shafts, the lathe machine is excellent. Keyway slots can be machined by using a milling machine, while a shaping machine can do machining of large flat areas. A drilling machine does drilling of holes.

A skilled Maintenance Engineer should know how to use all these machines in order to make his own repairs in a safe manner. Very often he has to supervise machinists. The information below should be useful for that purpose.

Lathe Machine

The lathe machine uses a single-point-cutting tool for a variety of turning, facing, and drilling jobs. Excess metal is removed by rotating the work piece over the fixed cutting tool to form straight or tapered cylindrical shapes, grooves, shoulders and screw threads. It can also be used for facing flat surfaces on the ends of cylindrical parts.

The work piece is clamped onto a horizontal rotating shaft by a 3-jaw or 4-jaw chuck. The latter chuck can be used to cut off-centered cylinders. The rotating horizontal spindle to which the chuck is attached is usually driven at speeds that can be varied.

The cutting tool is fixed onto a tool rest and manipulated by hand. It can also be power driven on straight paths parallel or perpendicular to the work axis. This is useful for screw cutting.

Internal turning known as boring results in the enlargement of an already existing hole. The holes are more accurate in roundness, concentricity, and parallelism than drilled holes. A hole is bored with a single-point-cutting tool that feeds along the inside of the work piece.

Shaping Machine

The shaping machine is used to machine flat surfaces, grooves, shoulders, T-slots, and angular surfaces with single-point tools. The cutting tool on the shaper oscillates, cutting on the forward stroke, with the work piece feeding automatically toward the tool during each return stroke.

Drilling Machine

The drilling machine is used to cut holes in metal with a twist drill. By changing the cutting tool, they can be used to do reaming, boring, counter boring, countersinking, and threading.

Milling Machine

The milling machine uses a rotating cutting tool to cut flat surfaces, grooves, and shoulders, inclined surfaces, dovetails, and T-slots. Cutters of many shapes are changed to cut different grooves.

Cutting Tools

Metal-cutting tools are classified as single point or multiple point. The lathe and shaping machine use single point cutting tool while the milling and drilling machines use multiple-point-cutting tools.

Metal is cut either by moving the work piece like in the lathe or by moving the tool like in the shaping machine, drilling or milling machine. Clearance angles must be provided to prevent the tool surface below the cutting edge from rubbing against the work piece. Rake angles are often provided on cutting tools to cause a wedging action in the formation of chips and to reduce friction and heat.

Tool Materials

In order to remove chips from a work piece, a cutting tool must be harder than the work piece and must maintain a cutting edge at the temperature produced by the friction of the cutting action.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel tools even though comparatively inexpensive tend to lose cutting ability at temperatures around 400 degree F (205 degree C).

High-Speed Steel

High-speed steel, containing 18 percent tungsten, 4 percent chromium, 1 percent vanadium, and only 0.5 to 0.8 percent carbon, permits the operation of tools twice or three times the speeds allowable with carbon steel

Cast Alloys

Cast-alloy cutting-tool materials containing cobalt, chromium, and tungsten are effective in cutting cast iron and retaining their cutting ability even when red hot.

Cemented Tungsten Carbide

The hardness of Tungsten Carbide approaches that of a diamond. Tungsten carbide tools can be operated at cutting speeds many times higher than those used with high-speed steel.

Oxides

Ceramic, or oxide, tool tips consist primarily of fine aluminum oxide grains, which are bonded together. These are very hard.

Cutting fluids

An overheated tool can become blunt and soft very fast. Therefore very often, cooling fluids cools the cutting points of the tool. This serves to lubricate and cool.

Water is an excellent cooling medium, but it corrodes ferrous materials. Sulfurized mineral oil is one of the most popular coolants as it can both cool as well as lubricate. The sulfur prevents chips from the work from melting on to the tip of the tool.

Leasing a car isn't for everyone. If you're like me and keep your car for many, many years then leasing isn't for you. If however, you don't get "attached" to a vehicle as some of us do, and you like having a new car every few years then leasing may be for you.

Today's cars are built very well and you can expect to get a good amount of mileage from your car. You can expect at least 100,000 miles. If you purchase a car you may have five years of payments, but your car may last eight to ten years. This means three to five years of no monthly car payments. However, as you car ages, the need for upkeep goes up too. With more mileage on you car things start to break down and costs to keep your car up mechanically may go up. It's doubtful though that what you pay out for maintenance and car repair will ever be as much as monthly payments would be.

When you lease a car you make monthly payments as you would if you purchased a car outright. But, when a lease is up you have nothing to show for it. These monthly payments may be somewhat less than if you were buying the car. Leasing a car usually requires large down payments and security deposits, taxes and fees. It isn't necessarily cheaper up front than buying a car. Also, when you lease a car you have mileage restrictions. A lease generally allows between 12,000 and 15,000 miles annually. If you go over that amount you pay for each mile. This can really add up.

Leasing doesn't mean you don't have to pay for upkeep. You are held to the manufacturers specified servicing schedule for your vehicle. If you don't have the required maintenance performed this can void your lease.
If you want to end the lease early there are generally large termination fees. At the end of your lease if there is damage to the car, or if there are missing parts you will be charged for them.

Make sure if you are considering leasing a vehicle that you understand all the fine print in the contact and all possible extra costs before signing on the dotted line.

Compare.Com

New Car Price & Car Buying Tips