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August 3, 2009

How to Prolong the Life of your Automobile Part 2

In the first part of this series I went over the basics of maintaining your vehicle based on 3000 mile intervals. This mainly includes visual checks of all fluid levels, tire pressure, and proper function of vehicle options. There are more hands on tasks that are needed less frequently that I will help you with in this part. This will apply to most vehicles, new or old, but always consult your owners manual or Hanes manual for you're vehicle's specific needs.

Every 10,000 miles or annually you want to perform these tasks:
1. Change Oil & Filter
2. Replace All Filters (Air, Fuel, PCV)
3. Check Brakes & Wheel Bearings
4. Check all Belts including Timing belt
5. Check temperature for engine thermostat
6. Replace spark plugs & cap & rotor (where applicable)

Every 20,000 miles or 2 years you want to perform these tasks:
1. Bleed brakes & renew fluid
2. Flush cooling system
3. Replace automatic transmission fluid (filter, screen & magnets)

This about sums up the regular maintenance you can perform on your vehicle. Most of this can be performed by yourself (with the right tools of course). Here is a link to download a Vehicle Maintenance Check List. This would be good to print out and keep up to date with your vehicle. Doing the work yourself will benefit you in many ways. It gives you a sense of pride, you learn how to work on a car, and you save a lot of money by not paying a shop to maintain the vehicle. Any major auto parts store has a repair manual for your vehicle. It will show you in detail how to perform any of the formentioned tasks, and I recommend you have one for every vehicle you own.

TIP: Store some extra oil, filters, air filters, spark plugs, and other easy to change items for your car. Especially buy them in bulk if they are on sale, or you have a coupon.

Tips on how to live from your car