Cars don’t break as much as they used to and that is great news because we can keep them a lot longer with less worries than ever before.
Here are four simple things that you can do to help keep your old car running for a really long time and avoid costly repairs.
Back when there were still full service gas stations, the myriad of fluids in your vehicle were topped off and checked on a regular basis. As we rush through life we tend to forget how important they are to the life of your car. So, at least once a month either learn to check them yourself or take time to swing into your local garage. Most repair shops will check and top off your fluids without any charge.
So, you are busy, I know, I know . . . but, at least check over your oil, coolant, transmission and brake fluid. While there are several more these are the four that are most likely to leave you stranded, create an unsafe vehicle, or cost you a lot of money if they are low.
- Oil: Your motor oil is the simplest fluid to check and is also the one that older vehicles are most likely to get low on. Some vehicles will develop leaks and others will start to “burn” oil while running. The most important thing is to keep your oil level between the minimum and maximum line on your dip stick. If it is a persistent problem then have it checked. Many oil leaks are very simple to repair and it is always best to know what you are dealing with.
- Coolant: Almost as many vehicles become stranded due to overheating as for bad batteries and other starting issues. When a vehicle overheats it is frequently an expensive repair. Keeping your coolant full is the easiest way to avoid overheating issues. If you are adding coolant every month, you could have a leak and it is much better to catch it early.
- Transmission Fluid: This can be tricky to check on many vehicles. Have a professional technician check it or learn how to yourself. The transmission fluid is essential to keeping your car moving forward, oh yeah . . . backward too!
- Brake Fluid: While this fluid rarely leaks in large quantities, its level goes down as your brake pads wear. Your brakes simply will not work right without it, so keep it full. A low reservoir could indicate a leak in the master cylinder, lines or other hydraulic component in your brake system. Don’t ignore it and always remember safety.
Be certain to put the proper fluid in the proper place at the proper level. The wrong fluid can cause a lot of damage to most systems. If you filling something every month, there may be a leak or other problem and it is a good idea to get it checked.
If you need help, just ask.
Lynn Beckwith – That Car Lady – firstname.lastname@example.org