Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 Small Ways to Keep Your Car in Great Shape

1. The break-in period
After purchasing your new car, it is recommended to treat it with a little extra care for the first 1,000 miles. This initial period is known as the break-in period. Here are some things to remember while driving around in your new ride.
  • During this break-in period, (approximately the first 1,000 miles), keep your speed under 55 mph, or the speed recommended by your car's manufacturer. This can allow you engine to properly “break-in” like a well-oiled baseball glove. 
  • Use only light to medium acceleration for the first few hours of driving. Consult your manufacturer's info for more information. A good range of acceleration is below the 3,000 rpm range. 
  • Avoid heavy loads (e.g. towing trailers, loading up the roof rack or trunk with heavy materials)
  • Do not allow your car to idle for long periods of time. This is good practice for any car and for as long as you own the car. Oil pressure generated while idling may restrict the flow of oil to every part of the engine. 

2. Continue to drive with care
Taking care of your car should not stop after your break-in period. Driving with care can extend the life of your vehicle and extend the length of time between repairs. Here are some additional suggestions to consider:
  • Do not race your car's engine after starting it up. 
  • Accelerate slowly when you begin you drive. Most damage done by high acceleration is done within the first 10-20 minutes of operation. 
  • Less strain can be put on your transmission by shifting it into neutral while at red lights. 
  • When turning your steering wheel, don't hold it at extreme right or extreme left positions. Doing so can damage the power-steering pump. 

3. Refrain from using cheap gas: 
While the idea of cheapest gas prices may be temping, you should do you best to use reputable service stations. Ask the attendant whether or not the gas is filtered at the pump and how often they are changed. Furthermore, some stations may not filter their gasoline or worse, use poor by-products to stretch out their gas.

4. Don't refuel if you see the tanker
If you pull into the gas station and see the tanker refilling the tanks, come back another time. As the station's storage tanks are being filled, turbulence can cause sediment at the bottom of the tank to stir around. If you are refueling at this time, your car could pick up some of this sediment and lead to clogged fuel filter and fuel injectors.

5. Loosen the load on your key chain
Does your car key get lost amongst dozens of other keys? All this excess weight can put a lot of pressure and strain on your car's ignition tumbler. Additionally, the bumps and turns caused by driving can put extra strain on the ignition switch. Lightening your key chain can help prevent your ignition switch from failing and leaving you stranded someday.