Green fuel nozzle with golden droplet on white background

Automotive Maintenance Items That Most Drivers Just Don’t Think About

Green fuel nozzle with golden droplet on white backgroundEveryone knows you should change your oil and many of us actually do so. About half of us know that we should change our transmission fluid and even our air filters when they look dirty. So, what are we overlooking? Here are two simple items that just are not on our minds.

The first is your headlights. Most of us grew up driving vehicles with glass headlights that were replaced when they quit illuminating. Now, vehicles have large headlight assemblies with plastic lenses. Many are in special shapes and virtually all of them are expensive to replace. For the first few years of your vehicle’s life all you need to do is replace the small bulb under the lens when it burns out. But over time that expensive plastic lens becomes discolored and foggy. Not only does it look bad, it also reduces the amount of light that your headlamp puts out and that – flat out – makes it harder to see at night.

Despair not! You don’t have to replace the whole assembly. In most cases a simple polishing that you can have done professionally or can do yourself will restore your headlights to almost new condition. Professional polishing runs about $25 a headlight. Purchasing a good product to do-it-yourself will run about $25 total, but then plan on investing a fair amount of elbow grease to get the job done.

The second automotive slight of mind is your fuel system. Your vehicle’s fuel system has changed over the years from carburetors to fuel injection and from translucent fuel filters that were easy to change to in tank pick up screens and evaporative canisters. But, your vehicle’s worst enemy (when it comes to the fuel system) is not the vehicle, but the poor quality fuel that is available today. For decades the threat of “bad gasoline” has kept us from filling up at the off brand gas station. That is not what I’m talking about. It is the ethanol laced fuel mandated by our government that has turned even the good stations into dealers of substandard, moisture attracting go juice.

Ethanol attracts moisture and builds up tank after tank. So, what is a responsible driver going to do? There is typically not a need to treat every tank of gasoline, instead use a quality product like BG Products’ CF5 and Ethanol Defender every 5000 to 7500 miles. Using the fuel conditioners every oil change will suspend the ethanol loving moisture and allow your vehicle to burn it away. This effectively protects your fuel system from the corrosion that is becoming increasingly problematic.

There you have it… two items that were not on your mind a few moments ago, but will have you thinking all day long. Just like a catchy tune.

This is That Car Lady, Lynn Beckwith wishing you miles and miles of happy driving!


Comments 3

  1. Mary

    Interesting info about water build up from ethanol! Ouch! One of the first items I put on a new boat is a Racor brand fuel filter unit, which also separates out water. it becomes visible in a clear bowl at the bottom of the filter housing as a “cue” to empty it. Maybe I need to add one inline to my car as well!
    Thanks Lynn…

    1. Post

      Tony, You do not need both at one time. With 10% Ethanol being the norm I find that CF5 works well with each oil change. My personal Jeep has had some stumbling that cleared up with the Ethanol Defender on an occasional basis. The winter months have me switching to the Ethanol Defender too. It has been particularly cold in Texas this year.
      When we test the two products in a test tube with fuel and water they both do a great job of encapsulating the oil.
      Again, not both at one time. They are both designed to encapsulate the moisture so that your engine can burn it away.
      As far as cleaning goes, I use the BG 44k periodically and as part of a complete fuel system cleaning every 24,000 – 30,000 miles.

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