1. When was the last oil Change?
The most important thing to do for your car is change the oil. The engine oil that you use in your vehicle is used to lubricate the many components to prevent engine seizure. Your oil also prevents many things such as rust, gunk and grease build up. Oil Manufacturers use a combination of chemicals that help clean your oil from the gunk and grease. While Engine Coolant is used primarily for keeping your motor cool, the oil in your engine also keeps the motor clean.
So when was the last time you changed your oil? Whether you do it by yourself, visit a lube shop or go to your local dealership, you want to make sure it is cleaned and changed on time. There has been much debate in whether you should change your oil every 3,000 miles, if you are running a normal blend. I myself, change my own oil about every 4,000-5,000 miles. With the advancement in technology, you don’t need to change it as often as the “professionals” think you should. If you are using Super Synthetic which lasts about 6,000 miles, I would recommend every 7500-8500 miles.
2. How dirty is your air filter?
Second to changing your oil, replacing your filter is a simple and easy way to prevent your vehicle from expensive repairs. Air is an important aspect when keeping your vehicle running and having combustion. An air filter is used to prevent any particles or foreign material to enter your vehicle.
An air filter is a rather cheap fix and easy enough to do in your own garage or driveway. There are two main types of air filter: Your average $12 air filter and the washable air filter, like K&N. Your average air filter can be picked up at any automotive store. To replace you simply unscrew, remove and replace. The installation for a K&N filter is the same but you will now have a washable filter. You simply remove the filter, wash/oil and replace. Depending on how much and where you drive, you will want to change your filter every 30,000-50,000. If you are always driving on dusty and gravel roads, you will need to replace it more.
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3. Is your tire light on?
Often times your tire light will turn on because of the tire pressure being too low. If it becomes really cold this can cause the issue and will need to be refilled. If after a couple days you notice that the tire light is back on you might have a tire issue. This issue will most likely be a bead seal or small hole in your tire. Unless you have the experience and expertise to fix this, I advise you to visit a local tire repair or auto shop to fix the problem. A majority of the time the bead in your tire gets warn or fluctuates causing a small leak. If you bring it to a local shop they can find the issue and use some bead sealant to fix the issue.
Another thing to check for when checking your tires is the tread depth. The legal limit (US) is anything past Abraham’s head on the penny. Besides the depth being too low, also take a look at how the tread is worn on each tire. If there is more wear on the (front/rear) or (left/right) you will want to visit an auto shop and get a tire rotation.
4. Is your check engine light on?
Your check engine light is used to inform the driver if the vehicle is having mechanical issues. With the advancement of cars, a check engine light can be triggered by many problems big and small. There isn’t much the average person can do. You can’t search the internet to figure out your problem because there are thousands of codes that designate what the problem may be.
The best thing to do is visit a local shop that has a scan tool. This scan tool plugs into your vehicles and diagnoses what could be wrong with the vehicle. A set of codes will pop up telling the technician what is wrong with your vehicle. It can depend on the code but sometime it means absolutely nothing and the code is cleared, turning off the check engine light.
5. Is the crack in your windshield getting bigger?
By far the most annoying thing is a crack in my windshield. It creates an annoying disturbance while you are trying to drive your vehicle. These minor cracks can also spread like cancer. One minute they are the size of a small pebble, the next thing you know, you hit a bump and the crack grows 4 inches.
If you find yourself with a small enough crack you can often visit the local store and pick up a tool kit which instructs you to fix the problem. They use an adhesive similar to glue that fills the crack and brings back the normal window view. If you have found the crack too late, you can often make an appointment to have your windshield replaced, but it’s pricy. So it’s important to get that small crack fixed ASAP.