Archive for car maintenance

How to Make Your Car Last Longer

passing-cars

Our cars are one of the most expensive things that we own. We rely on them to get us to where we need to go and depend on them to keep us safe. Even though you can’t control ownership costs like gas, repairs and insurance rates, one thing that you can do is make your vehicle last longer. Use the tips below to make your car last longer, and help keep your ride in good condition.

Oil Change and Air Filter

One of the first things that your mom or dad taught you after getting your license was probably how to change your car’s oil and oil filter. Unlike the complex and long process of drilling for oil, which requires wire line wipers, changing your vehicles oil and oil filter should take less than a half an hour. All you need is a socket wrench, new oil filter and a quart of oil.

You know when you need to get oil changes, but do you know when you need to change your air filter? If your air filter is clogged, your engine will not be performing properly, and this will negatively affect your car’s fuel economy. To be safe, check your air filter regularly to make sure it is not clogged with debris.

Coolant

Another way to take care of your car and make it last longer is to maintain your coolant system. Make sure your car has the proper amount of coolant. By doing so regularly, you will avoid having to get your radiator repaired, which could cost you a nice chunk of change.

Under Pressure

Tires are one of the most neglected parts of the car. As a driver myself, I can say that I do not pay my tires much attention. Yet, it is very important to keep your tires at the right inflation pressure. It’s not only just a safety issue; when your tires are not inflated properly it will hurt your vehicles fuel economy.

Keep It Clean

You want to make sure that you take care of the exterior of your car. By regularly washing and waxing your vehicle, you will keep it looking good longer. This goes for the interior as well. Clean up stains and messes immediately, because the longer you wait the harder they are to remove. Use a vacuum to clean your floor mats and the carpet of your car. Consider using some car care products to help with your clean-up efforts.

Drive Safer and Smarter

If you didn’t know already, the way you drive also has an effect on your car. How you drive affects your gas mileage, and the wear and tear that your vehicle gains.  So, stop speeding up to stop signs/stop lights and slamming on your brakes. By driving smarter and safer, your vehicle and engine will last longer.

Complete Regular Checkups

One of the easiest ways to make your vehicle last longer is by taking it to get serviced regularly. Find a repair shop and mechanic that you trust, and let that repair shop service your vehicle all the time. Think of it as you going to see your doctor for your yearly checkups. When you get sick, you don’t go to different doctors each time, and your car shouldn’t either. By doing so, your mechanic will get to know your vehicle and be able to service it properly each time you bring it in.

The tips above are some of the easiest ways to keep your car running longer and safely. By checking your vehicle regularly, you will be more likely to avoid large repair costs. Think of it as a balance. You depend on your car to get you from point A to point B, and it depends on you to maintain it and keep it in good shape in order to run smoothly•

5 Ways To Reduce Your Trailer Maintenance

Whether you are a truck driver, the owner of a fleet of semi-trailers, or a company that maintains 18-wheelers, you know the magnitude of regularly maintaining your big rig(s). There’s no two ways around it. Semi-trailers must be regularly checked; you must troubleshoot, diagnose, and/or repair your vehicle to ensure it is safe for both you to drive and for other drivers to be travelling near you on the road.

Here are some time-and-money-saving tips that will help you reduce trailer maintenance while improving your trailer’s performance.

Check Your Brakes Before Every Long Haul

There are certain components of your semi-trailer’s brake system that deteriorate over time and that need to be checked; these include air leaks, drum wear, bearing seal leaks, and brake shoe wear. In addition, check to make sure your truck’s “low air warning” device is working. Being able to detect deteriorating conditions both visually and through your truck’s warning systems can mean the difference between stopping your semi-trailer when you want and trying to maneuver a big rig that is gaining speed and out of control. If you make it a habit to implement preventive maintenance procedures regarding your rig’s braking system, you’ll be able to detect and then repair worn or defective brakes before any drastic brake failure can occur. You’ll save stress, time, and money in the long haul.

Research and Invest in Quality Equipment Upfront

Diligently focus on spec’ing not only your semi-trailers brakes, tires, and other traditionally-expensive elements, but also on the smaller components that can really make a difference in ongoing maintenance costs over the years you own your trailer. While you may find yourself making a bigger investment upfront for top-of-the-line, quality components that are the best for your semi-trailer’s particular application, they’ll be able to sustain wear and tear over the long haul and require less maintenance further down the road.  For example, a commonly-recommended and increasingly-standard spec for the top rails of trailers is LED lighting. While LED lighting costs more than the traditional incandescent lighting, it’s worth it if you plan on driving your rig for at least three years. The bottom line, invest in quality equipment upfront and it will pay for itself by requiring less hassle, less stress, less replacements, and less maintenance costs over time.

Invest in Damage-Resistant Liners for Your Trailer’s Interior

Instead of old plywood-lined sidewalls that typically need to be replaced because they easily get banged up and scuffed, invest in damage-resistant, high-strength interior liners for your trailer. For dry van trailers, high-strength steel liners last longer, reduce maintenance costs, and extend repair requirements.

Prevent Corrosion: Simply, Keep It Clean

By simply having your trailer washed down thoroughly after long runs  (especially during the winter months and in inclement weather) you can significantly help to prevent corrosion from occurring under your trailer. Frequent washing prevents excessive signs of corrosion. Take care of your trailer and it will last longer, be safer, and save you from having to invest in repairs, maintenance, and replacement parts.

Frequent and Overall Inspections

Although it may take some time before you head out, it’s important to look over your semi-trailer from top to bottom at least once a month. In addition, keep a record of when it was checked and what was found. By doing this, you’ll be able to identify areas that need immediate repair so that they don’t get worse over time and turn into a safety hazard. In fact, some of your findings might be covered under warranty.

While there are many additional things you can do to lower your maintenance costs, implementing these five is a great start.

Roderick Brown is a freelance journalist covering general business and niche topics.