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Every 2 weeks or 3,000 miles:
1. Check engine oil, transmission fluid
Once a month or 1,000 miles:
2. Check tire pressure - with tire
3. Check transmission fluid.
4. Check brake fluid.
5. Wax car (to protect finish).
6. Check belts and hoses.
Every 3 months or 3,000 miles:
7. Change oil and oil filter (every 6
months or 3,000 miles).
8. Lubricate chassis.
9. Check transmission fluid.
10. Check all drive belts (fan belts)
frayed or cracked belts.
Every 6 months or 6,000 miles:
11. Change oil and filter (every 6
months or 3,000 miles).
12. Inspect suspension.
13. Rotate tires.
Every 12 months or 12,000 miles:
14. Flush radiator, replace anti-freeze,
check air conditioning
15. Replace air filters.
16. Lubricate chassis.
Every 2 years or 24,000 miles:
17. Replace spark plugs (30,000 miles
average suggested for
unleaded gas) and PC valve.
18. Change automatic transmission fluid,
filter and pan gasket.
19. Inspect brake linings.
Every 3 years or 30,000 miles:
20. Check and test ignition wires
(replace if needed).
21. Test cooling system and heating
hoses (replace if needed).
22. Check drive belts (replace if
23. Replace fluid in differential and
Every 50,000 miles:
24. Check brake shoes (replace if
25. If you have a major repair to do,
it's wise to get at least
3 estimates, if possible, before you
26. Read and follow your car owner's
manual - it's your car's
bible for making your car last longer.
27. Whether you are a man, woman, boy or
girl, learn to do some
routine maintenance on your car
yourself. A multitude of books,
videos, magazines and classes are
available at your local
library that will teach you for free if
you don't know. Learn
how to check your own oil, transmission
fluid, tire pressure and
28. If you find a good mechanic who you
can trust, stick with him
even if his prices are a bit higher -
all things being equal.
You'll always save time, money and
aggravation in the long run.
29. Don't race or gun your engine when
you start it up.
Accelerate slowly and smoothly when your
engine is cold.
30. Avoid burning rubber - it places
excessive wear on the
transmission, rear end, not to mention
31. An international tire company
estimated that 33% of all tires
on the road are under-inflated (low
air). Under-inflated tires
wear out quicker and have a tendency to
blow out easier.
32. A garaged car lasts longer. A car
port is next best, and a
car cover is a distant third.
33. Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops.
Stop and accelerate
34. Avoid tailgating, tire squealing
turns, flying over speed
bumps, pot holes and revving your
35. When possible, avoid driving your
car during rush hour stop
and go traffic periods.
36. Keep front-end aligned, for longer
tire life and better gas
37. Make sure you get promised repairs
in writing including how
much it will cost.
38. Avoid car dealers except to have
highly specialized repairs
done that can't be done properly
39. It's hard to be overcharged when you
get three estimates
before you have the work done.
40. Beware: Cheapest is not always the
best. Normally, the best
mechanics with the best equipment and
training cost more.
41. Often mechanics that charge
extremely low prices have
inferior or out-dated equipment, little
to no formal training or are
42. Complex electrical problems are so
involved that serious
electrical work should be done in an
"Auto Electric" shop. They
have the equipment, tool and training to
do the job more
efficiently than the average mechanic.
43. If your car has "Cruise Control" use
it. Using cruise
control will save you 5% to 10% of a
gallon of gas on long trips.
44. Avoid constantly pressing and
releasing the accelerator when
driving. This practice not only wastes
fuel, but it puts
excessive wear on the drive train of
45. Don't ride your brake pedal, this
wears out your brake
linings pre-maturely, and wastes fuel.
46. Driving with your windows all the
way down at higher speeds,
will waste 10% more gallons of gasoline
than driving with them
47. Research by a major car manufacturer
has revealed that
neglect of proper routine maintenance is
the number one reason for the
enormous increase in car repairs being
48. Tires purchased at department stores
such as Sears,
Montgomery Wards, K-Mart etc., can be an
excellent value because many are made by
leading tire manufacturers. For a list
of what manufacturer makes which tires
for what department store, write
to: Tire Information Center, P.O. Box
677, Syosset, NY 11791
49. When purchasing or changing tires,
make sure you have them
50. Avoid cleaning your windshield with
a dry rag or towel.
Always dampen with water or some other
cleaning liquid. Dry towels
grind and scratch your windshield
hindering your visibility.
51. Avoid turning on the car
air-conditioning while running at
highway speeds as this tends to put an
immediate heavy load on
your compressor and clutch. This could
cause excessive wear and
tear on these components. Instead turn
your air conditioner on
at car speeds below 25 to 30 m.p.h. This
helps to preserve your
52. Try to avoid running your car with
the tank low on gas.
Keeping a low tank of gas increases the
chance of dirt, water/moisture
and rust forming in your fuel system.
Keeping a full tank
decreases the chance of dirt and other
foreign matter forming in
your fuel system.
53. Tires driven at 70 m.p.h. wear out
almost twice as fast as
cars that go 50 m.p.h.
54. A government study has confirmed,
the top three causes of car
breakdowns while on the road are: (a)
running out of gas (b)
tire troubles (c) cooling system
55. The best as well as the easiest ways
to find a good car
repair shop is by recommendation or
referrals from satisfied customers.
56. To work on a late model
computer-controlled engines, make
sure the shop you choose has the
equipment to handle computer-electric
service/repair. Sophisticated diagnostic
equipment is a must.
57. To choose the right repair shop for
you, it's wise to have a
small or minor maintenance or repair job
done first to see how
the repair shop and mechanic treat you
and your car.
58. Give detailed description of your
car's problem when you take
it in for repairs. The more you can
describe what your car is
doing or not doing (thumping, squealing,
clacking sound, etc.)
the faster and less it will cost for
your mechanic to fix it.
59. When in doubt about the cost of a
repair or a mechanic's
honesty get a second opinion. This is
one of the best ways to
protect yourself from being ripped-off
until you can find a
permanent repair shop.
60. Regular oil changes are the most
important thing you can do
to protect your engine and make it last
61. If you have a manual transmission,
downshift to slow your car
down instead of using your brakes. This
will save wear and tear
on your braking system.
62. Each time you have your engine oil
checked, have your
transmission fluid checked also.
63. Protect your car's interior and make
it last longer - park
your car in the shade or place a
windshield guard or cover in
64. If you spill something inside your
car, clean it up
immediately before it dries. Delaying
even 30 minutes can
sometimes leave a permanent stain or
spot. NOTE: To better
protect your car seats have them treated
NOTE: According to current auto
insurance statistics, the
average U.S. car's useful life is 10
years or 100,000 miles. By
following proper preventative
maintenance you can often double
your car's useful life, and spend less
time visiting your local