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Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.

The Car Maintenance Checklist

Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:

Inspect and Maintain Tires

Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.

Change the Oil

Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.

Check the Fluids

There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil

  • Coolant

  • Power steering fluid

  • Brake fluid

  • Transmission fluid

A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.

Test the Lights

A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.

Replace Windshield Wipers

If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.

Change Your Engine Air Filter

A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.

Regular Checkups

Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.

Have Your Brakes Checked

Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible

Wash Your Car

Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.

Check Belts and Hoses

Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.

Review Your Car Insurance

Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

Article Originally published allstate.com

10 Reasons Why the Jeep Wrangler is Cool

Jeep Wranger

Despite its poor fuel economy and mediocre safety ratings, the Jeep Wrangler continues to be a huge seller for the folks at MOPAR. What makes the Jeep Wrangler so popular with men and women of all ages? What’s the attraction? The answer I hear most is that the Jeep Wrangler is just plain cool. This article takes a look at the Top 10 reasons why.

1. It’s Part of Our History:

Jeep throug history

History is cool? It sure is, especially when it’s about Jeeps. The Jeep Wrangler’s roots reach back to 1941 when the Willys MB model first appeared in the U.S. military. Over 300,000 MB models, or “Jeeps” as they were called by U.S. servicemen, were produced during the war with 144 Jeeps issued to every U.S. Army infantry regiment (similar numbers were also issued to each U.S. Marine Corps regiment). Large numbers of Jeeps, about 30 percent of total production, were also shipped to America’s Allies. During the war, the rugged and reliable Jeep proved it could go anywhere and was a big hit with the troops. After the war, Willys decided to leverage the Jeep’s brand and fame by producing a civilian version, the CJ-2A, from 1945 to 1949. This first “CJ” offered features not found on the military model, including a tailgate, higher windshield, larger headlights, and a side-mounted spare tire. It retailed for $1,090.

2. It’s a Terrific Off-Road Vehicle:

Since World War II, this American icon has been boldly going where few vehicles have gone before. Indeed, the wartime photographic record is replete with Jeeps slogging their way through thick mud, flooded roads, sandy beaches, and deep snow. Today, the Jeep Wrangler consistently appears in every Top 10 off-road vehicle list. As it should. The stout axles, short wheelbase, high clearance, flexible suspension, and 4-wheel-drive (4WD) drive-train of the base version make the Jeep Wrangler a formidable off-road vehicle. Upgrade to the even more capable Wrangler Rubicon, that features a higher lift, Dana-44 axles, larger tires, and locking differentials, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an off-road beast. Better yet, the Wrangler does all of this without breaking the bank like most 4WD imports.

3. It’s a Great Convertible:

JURRASIC-PARK-JEEP-657x438

The Jeep Wrangler is unique in that it’s the only real convertible in today’s sport utility market. Many argue that it even looks better “topless” than with a top on. Indeed, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler made Motor Trend’s Top 15 Convertibles of All-Time List, making the cut with the famed 1962 Shelby Cobra and 1967 Ferrari Spyder. There’s no doubt about it, driving topless is one of the great things about owning a Jeep Wrangler. Even billionaire movie mogul Steven Spielberg knows this. Topless Wranglers played prominent roles in some of the most memorable scenes in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, one of the highest grossing films of all time. Fortunately, you don’t have to be running from a man-eating T-Rex to enjoy the fresh air and view from a topless Jeep Wrangler.

4. It’s an Attention Getter:

Attention getter Jeep

Like a classic Ford Mustang or Harley Davidson, the Jeep Wrangler is a big attention getter. Here in Arizona, it’s a rare day indeed when I don’t get a wave or a hard look from a Jeep admirer when driving my TJ in town. The Jeep Wrangler is a great way to meet people, too. Girls who drive Jeeps will no doubt get the head-turning attention and admiration from men. Likewise, I’m sure Jeep driving women feel the same way about seeing a guy behind the wheel of a Wrangler. There’s no doubt about it, owning a Wrangler says a lot about the man or woman driving it. It shows that they posses a superior intelligence, taste, and class to own the ultimate sports utility vehicle – the American Jeep.

Article Originally published on Truck Camper Adventure
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