Tag: Car Mtce Basics

Common Sense Car Tips for Your Car in Winter

Common Sense Car Tips for Your Car in WinterIt is the middle of winter as this post is being composed. It is very cold where we live and there is lots of snow. Fortunately our car starts easily every day because we have taken care of it. Good maintenance and common sense use can make a huge difference regarding how your car runs. Here are some Common Sense Car Tips for Your Car in Winter. Getting it started is one of the first items of concern on a really cold day. That’s why we focus on the battery to begin with.

Common Sense Car Tips for Your Car in Winter

Batteries – lose power as it gets colder and they get older. If your battery is approaching 3 years or more or it is really cold there are a couple of steps you can take to help it start your car. A battery warmer in extreme cold weather is a great investment. Storing your car indoors also helps. Although it is expensive, replacing your battery after 4 years will probably save you a great deal of frustration. A well-tuned car also helps.

Let it warm up – once it is started allows the engine to heat the oil in the engine and the transmission. It will flow better and lubricate all of the important areas before you place the engine under load. It will also be warmer in the car when you do get in.

Remove frozen junks from wheel wells – it builds up with all of the slush on the road. If you allow it to fall off on its own, there is a good chance it will damage the wheel wells or the underside of the car.

Tire Pressure drops – during cold weather. You will lose control and traction with low-pressure tires. Check them on a regular basis and top up as needed.

Windshield wipers break – during freezing rain situations or water dripping down the windshield as it melts from the heater.  When you park your car, lift them up so that they will not freeze to the windshield.

Be careful with windshield washer bibs – as you are scraping the ice off the windshield. They become brittle during cold weather and easily broken as you are scraping ice and slush from the windshield.

For more ways to save money along with car maintenance ideas, click here.

Downsizing to one car from two cars!

Downsizing to one car from two carsDownsizing to one car from two cars in a family can save you a great deal of money on your monthly bills while at the same time making it more difficult to coordinate everything that you’re doing within the family especially if you have two or even three or four drivers in the family. Yes, you may spend more gas because your car is always going to be on the road. But it will still cost much less overall since there will be less insurance and maintenance to be concerned about.

Benefits of Downsizing to one car from two cars

On the plus side, you save all of the expenses associated with the car. For example, there are no monthly payments. There are no maintenance and repair charges, no license fees, no insurance fees and you’re only driving one car. There is less gasoline that you’re spending. The big item is that the car is being devalued over the time that you own it. So now is the time to sell it and recover as much money as you can.

One last point is that when you downsize to one car, you reduce the amount of car insurance that your pay. This can amount to $500 or more a year depending on the age of the driver. Also where you live, whether someone drives it to work or not, and the type of car that you drive.

More coordination Required

On the negative side of downsizing to one car, is that there is much more competition for the car from multiple drivers. A lot more coordination must take place in terms of getting everybody to where they have to go. This is particularly true for families with children who are engaged in various activities or working outside the home.

When you downsize to one car you must coordinate and make sure that you have a schedule for everyone so that you can get people to where they need to be. And if you combine trips you can actually reduce the amount of gasoline that you would have spent and used compared to having two cars on the road at the same time going in the same direction.

Another savings opportunity is the reduction in your insurance particularly if you have teenage drivers. If for example one of the drivers is designated as a driver on a car your insurance will be much higher, however, if you are the sole designated driver for the car and the teenagers are the secondary drivers, your insurance is going to be much lower.

The writer’s family has been driving one car for the past couple of years. Initially, it was difficult and we had to really coordinate. But then we got used to it and the reduced expenses associated with having one car instead of two made up for the inconvenience that we have. Occasionally one of us will have to drop the other off. Then go on do other errands etc. but this is a small price to pay compared to the amount of money that you can save by downsizing to one car only.

For more cost savings ideas, click here.

Important Car Maintenance

Tire StoresLooking after a car is actually pretty easy if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for car maintenance and are a little bit observant as well as you approach your car and while you are driving your car. Consumers can avoid major expense if they follow some of these important car maintenance tips and checks. If you can do some of this work yourself you will save money. Today’s cars are better than they were even 10 years ago and aside from oil changes, brake jobs and muffler replacement they do not need a lot of maintenance if you look after them. The trick is to react quickly to any unusual noise or change in the operation of your car and have it looked after before it becomes a major problem.

Observe Your Car

Before you even get into your car take a quick look at the tires to make sure that the tires are fully and properly inflated. A low pressure tire will cause your car to be unstable at high speeds, will heat the tire up and could cause it to blow while you are driving. Also a low pressure tire will lower your gas mileage as well.

Observe the tire tread to make sure it is wearing evenly. Signs of uneven tire wear indicate that your tires are not properly balanced or that your car needs a front end alignment. Premature tire wear usually means a new set of tires earlier than normally expected which is very expensive.

Last check for any fluids under the engine. You may see water from the air conditioner and that is about all. If you see engine oil, brake fluid or antifreeze, have your car checked immediately.

Before you move the car always make sure that there are no obstacles to hit behind it before you back out of the driveway or the parking spot that you are in.

Listen While Driving

Get to know your car’s sounds when everything is working perfectly. Unusual sounds may mean something is going on that you need to address. For example squealing brakes can mean new brake pads are needed. Vibration in the steering wheel and loud road noise might mean a front end alignment is needed.

A screeching sound each time you accelerate can mean a lot of things including loose belts, low fluid in the transmission and so on. Take it in to get it checked before permanent damage is done to the car.

When you first drive off in the morning, turn off the radio. Just listen to the car for a few minutes as you drive off. This is the time to learn if there are any issues you need to be aware of. Loud tapping noise from the engine can mean anything. Including a cold engine, to low oil in the engine, to the wrong gasoline being used in your car. The engine is an expensive component. You need to get this checked before something catastrophic occurs.

Important Car Maintenance

These are the basics of what you need to focus on for important car maintenance. If you are comfortable checking fluid levels, the following should be checked at least once a month or more often depending on how much you drive:

  • Engine oil
  • Transmission oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield fluid

Make sure these are all at the proper level as instructed by your car’s manual and you should be good.

Importance of Car Maintenance

Importance of Car MaintenanceThe importance of car maintenance cannot be emphasized enough. It can mean the difference between life and death. A major accident, and someone you love being hurt or killed by a car that has not been well-maintained. In addition bad or poor car maintenance can cause accidents with people being hurt or killed. In addition to major damage that takes place.

Then there is the cost of fixing a car that has not been maintained. It is pretty much recognized that you can spend some money on regular maintenance. Such as oil changes, brakes, muffler, fluid flushes and tune-up. Or you can spend a great deal more money on repairs on your car that have been made worse because they have not been maintained.

Then there is the cost of the breakdown on the road. The subsequent towing that is required and finally the repair. Consumers can expect to pay more than $100 for a tow. Especially if you are stuck on the road and cannot move your car. There is no opportunity to negotiate. There is no choice but to accept the charges that the tow operator offers. Unless you have a towing package from one of the major travel companies like CAA or AAA. Just the cost of towing a poorly maintained car can make a huge difference in what the overall cost of the total repair costs and money you spend on your car. Preventative maintenance can save you money in the long run and save your life. Here are a few things that should be considered under car maintenance.

Tips for Regular Car Maintenance

Check your tires on a regular basis. This is one of the most common issues to cause accidents because tires do not have sufficient inflation and the car becomes unstable at high speeds.

Have your brakes checked on a regular basis. The brakes can mean the car will not stop as fast as possible or may fail altogether. Squealing brakes indicate that the pad is worn through to the metal and should be replaced immediately.

Failure to have adequate engine oil in the engine can cause premature wear and tear on the engines mechanical parts and cause the engine to fail earlier than the manufacturer warranties. Always make sure that it has sufficient oil in it. Also have your engine oil and filter changed at the proper times as per the manufacturers guidelines. Old engine oil will also cause your car to fail environmental testing that many states and provinces have enacted. Even oil as old as six months can cause a car to fail the emissions test and cost you more money.

If the tires are wearing prematurely or unevenly it is time to replace them. At the same time have new tires and rims balanced and the front end aligned for your car to make sure that you your car will handle properly at high speeds. This can mean the difference between life and death.

Most Important Car Maintenance

Basics of Car MaintenanceThe proper car maintenance of your car is one of the things that will ensure that you always will be safe when driving a car at high speeds as well as on local streets. The majority of accidents occur within 5 miles of a person’s home. Most people will have an accident at one time or another. Make sure that your car is in top shape from a maintenance and safety perspective. It will help you avoid those accidents and protect you from injury. Here is the following list of important things that you should always look for when you are driving your car.

Car maintenance

Check the air pressure of the tires. Glance at the tires whenever you go to get into inside the car. If they look a little low, check the tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge. Pay attention to your tire pressure warning system if you have one in your car.

Check the oil in the engine to make sure it’s at the proper level once per week. change your oil every three months or 5000 kilometers or 3000 miles.

Check all fluid levels including brake line level, power steering fluid level and window washer fluid level. Also any other fluids in your car such as the radiator fluid. Top up if needed with the proper fluid.

Whenever you start your car listen to the cars engine and whether it is making any strange noises. Also when you’re driving your car listen to the noise the car makes as it travels down the road. Listen for anything that is out of the ordinary and different from what you’ve experienced in the past. If you hear something, investigate before you drive your car further or have a mechanic look at it.

Check your lights, headlights, tail lights, signal lights, and your brake lights to make sure that all are in proper working order. You will need someone to observe the lights while you change them in the car, e.g. signal lights, brake lights, etc

Confirm that your license plate is on the car at the front and rear if applicable.

Oil changes

Have the oil changed in your engine at least once every 3000 miles or 5000 km.

Also check your tires for signs of abnormal wear and tear. If one side of the tire is wearing faster than another it could be an indication of front end alignment being required or tired not installed properly. You may want to have this checked out. Your tires should also be rotated and balanced on a regular basis, usually every 12,000 kilometers.

Also have the brakes checked on a regular basis to make sure that there’s sufficient lining on the brake pads. If you ever hear squealing coming from the brakes when the brake is applied, make sure you have your brakes serviced immediately.

Finally have your car fully maintained by a mechanic who verifies all of the things that are in the check list provided by the car manufacturer. This will ensure that your car is well-maintained and safe for your travel. You can never tell when you will need to avoid an accident and making sure that your car is always safe to drive will help to ensure you survive that accident.

Doing these basic things for your car maintenance routine will help ensure that you car lasts longer and avoid emergency break downs that can become very costly.

Car Maintenance Tips

Car Maintenance TipsKeeping your car in tip-top shape will save you money and prevent costly repairs over the long run. When your car decides to break down, it is usually at the worst possible time. Such as when you are stuck in heavy traffic or on vacation a long ways from home. Any time is a bad time. However it can be expensive when you must have your car towed a long distance. Perhaps stay in a hotel somewhere and take taxis back and forth to the hotel or motel. It can become very expensive.

If you are traveling it is just not worth it to not have your car perfectly tuned up and well maintained. This includes your tires being balanced and having sufficient tread on them. They should also be pressurized at the proper level to ensure minimum wear and tear, a smooth ride and efficient gas mileage as well.

What are the Car Maintenance Tips  to Check

We put together a list of items to check on a regular basis that can be completed by most drivers. For detailed  instructions follow your cars manual.

  • Check your tire pressure
  • Look for abnormal tire wear
  • Check the engine oil level
  • Check the brake fluid level
  • Verify the power steering fluid level
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level
  • Check all lights
  • Confirm your antifreeze fluid level

Your dealer can also check the above items while performing an oil change, which should be completed every 3000 miles or 5000 kilometers for most cars. Most oil change locations will check all of the above and quite a few other items as part of their normal procedure. They will give you a report on everything they find and make recommendations regarding what you should do about the issues if there are any.

Some Auto Shops will Do a More Detailed Check

They should also check the following items:

  • Tire wear, especially  abnormal wear from poor balancing or alignment
  • Brake pads and calipers as well as disc’s
  • Muffler system including the catalytic converter
  • All belts
  • Transmission oil

If these car maintenance items are checked on a regular basis and corrected if needed along with regular oil changes your car should run very well free of major repairs for many thousands of miles. Failure to check on anything that is making some sort of noise that is not normal or checking the engine when the engine light is on is another  problem waiting to become really serious.

If your tires look like they are low in air pressure, check them immediately.  A tire that is low on pressure could be going flat and driving a tire that is low on air pressure will heat up the tire and cause it to wear that much more quickly. Hot tires have been known to explode which is something you definitely do not want happening at high speeds or in heavy traffic. It can be very dangerous and even a cause of a major accident. It is really the last thing you want to have happen at any time of the year.

Winter Driving Requires Special consideration

Make sure you have tires that are meant for winter driving on your car to prove extra grip. They also provide better handling on ice and in snow. Engine anti freeze should be set to handle the temperatures that occur in your region and anywhere you may be driving. the same even applies windshield antifreeze. a reservoir that is full of water will only freeze in cold conditions and not do your windows any good at all.

The Basics of Car Maintenance

Basics of Car MaintenanceCars are so complex these days that you pretty much need a computer to analyze them to determine what is wrong. The day when the average home mechanic could repair and tune up most of the things that go wrong with a car are in the past. Even mechanics are reduced to replacing modules these days. There are still a lot of mechanical things that can go wrong with a car. But today’s are really well built. They will last for many years and for many thousands of miles before needing any major repair. It helps to know the Basics of Car Maintenance. Still, it is a good idea to have everything checked when you have the oil changed in the engine for example. Most dealers have a complete checklist that they go through when they do an oil change.

Basics of Car Maintenance – What can the Average Person Do?

There are still some things that the average person can do to make sure that their car lasts even longer and runs well providing great service as well as the best gas mileage that your car is capable of. These are basic car maintenance things that every person should consider when they own a car and this is our list in no particular order.

  • Check the oil level in your engine once per week
  • Check the brake fluid level at the same time
  • Verify the power steering oil level at the same time
  • Check all tires for wear and tear weekly
  • Check air pressure in your tires weekly
  • Use the proper gasoline for your car
  • Change the oil in your engine at the manufacturers recommended time
  • Change the windshield wipers once a year
  • Check all lights for proper operation and replace if needed

By doing all of the above consumers can expect their cars to last a long time and give them great gas mileage as well.

Jack Rabbit Driving

As part of car maintenance drivers who do the quick start and quick stop approach to driving will wear down both their tires and their brakes quickly as well as use a lot of gas with this type of driving. Coasting to a stop and applying the brakes just as you reach the stop sign might not be as much fun, but your brakes will last much longer than if you drive up quickly to a stop sign and then hit the brakes hard to come to an abrupt stop. This uses a lot more gas because these same people also hit the gas pedal hard when they leave a stop sign and accelerate quickly.

The cost of a brake job these days is incredibly expensive and the cost of gasoline is going up all of the time not to mention the wear and tar on the tires and the rest of the car. jack rabbit driving is hard on the vehicle and can actually be dangerous as well especially if someone else is following you closely and does not react in time to your quick stops. a jack rabbit stop is one of the best ways to cause an accident. Take your time. You will save money and you will probably get there just as fast.

Let us know if we missed anything that you also consider from a basic car maintenance perspective. We will be happy to add it to the list above.

Car Maintenance Basics

So many people do not attend to car maintenance basics and then really get a nasty surprise when their car breaks down or they get a huge bill for work that must be done on their cars. Keep up with the maintenance on your car. If you do not your car is going to have more wear and tear on all of the components making everything more costly. We decided to list the basic things that should be monitored or kept up to date. Then we will discuss some of these in more detail. Why take the risk and face a towing charge, inconvenience? Maybe even lost wages because you did not maintain your car?

Car Maintenance Basics

Here is our lost of basic car maintenance activities. Everyone should pay attention to themselves or make sure that their mechanic is looking at:

Fluid Levels: All fluid levels which includes oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission and windshield washer fluid.

Check Your Belts: All belts that are on your engine, such as the fan belt if your car has one and the main water pump and power steering belts.

Check your Tires: Monitor your tires for tire pressure and uneven wear on one side or the other. Rotate your tires according to the manufactures instructions

Verify your Brakes: Monitor your brakes and have them checked to make sure there is enough brake pad on then. Also check to make sure that the calipers have not seized or are leaking brake fluid. If you hear a squealing sound every time you touch the brakes, have them checked immediately, the brake pad could be fully worn down and you are braking with metal on metal.

Muffler Systems:

If your muffler is sounding louder than normal, it may be time to have it checked and / or changed. Either your muffler, pipes or catalytic converter is about to let go and you will need to have it changed soon.

Squeaky Doors : door hinges can dry out and even rust due to exposure to dust and salt. Lubricating these hinges will keep them quiet and prevent the hinges from wearing over time.

Check all of the Lights:

It only takes a minute or two to check all of the lights. Make sure they are all working properly. Check your driving lights, high beams, brake lights and turn signals. Make sure they are all working properly and it is safe to drive on the road.

Spare Tires: most people forget about the spare tire and the car jack until it is time to use them. Check that the tire pressure in the spare tire is at the proper level. With any luck you will never have to use your spare tire. However when you do you want it to be full of air and that the car jack is where it is supposed to be and works properly.

These are the main car maintenance basics to check for on a regular basis. Set up a schedule to review all of these items. A good time to have all of these items checked is when you are having the oil changed every 3000 miles or 6000 kilometers depending on where you live. With these basics in place, you will have less of a chance of your car breaking down and needing to be towed to the garage.

For more ways to save money along with car maintenance ideas, click here.

Tire Maintenance and what You Should Know

Tire MaintenanceTire Maintenance is a quite often discussed topic and you may  have heard your local automotive technician talk  about its importance. There are a number of aspects that many people should consider when it comes to maintenance of their car and maintenance of their tires. Safety and engine performance as well as economy are some fo the first things that come to mind. Without good tires on your car, not only are you sacrificing :

  • Safety of your car and occupants
  • Probably getting poor gas mileage, which costs you money
  • Doing damage to shocks and the support systems of your car
  • Accelerating the wearing out of your tires and initiating possible blowouts on the road.
  • Increasing the potential for an accident when your tire blows out at high speed.

Tire Maintenance

There are a number of variables to keep an eye on. If you use a to do list, add these items to your list to check on a regular basis and make some decisions about what you need to do relative to your tire maintenance.

Car tire Aging: Whether you use the car or you don’t, car tires age, primary indications of car tire aging would be cracking on the side walls, on the treads or fading of the treads, sometimes accompanied by tire wall distortion. Old or aged tires must be checked by a tire expert before use to ascertain it’s suitability for road usage.

Not only can your tires be dangerous because of age if you keep them a long time on your car due to the low mileage you drive every year, your tires might have been old before you bought them. Always ask the mechanic how old the tires are before they are installed new. There is an indicator on the side wall that will tell you when the tire was made. Anything over seven years should not be installed on your car.


Depending on the quality of the tire, they can be good for 20 thousand miles all the way up to 100 thousand miles. You should keep track of how many miles are on your tires and how well the tread on your car is doing. If it gets low, change the tires, if you reach the recommended miles, change your tires.

Your tires wear out depending on the number of miles driven, the type of the surface. Of course sometimes even the kind of driving you do. Poor maintenance such as failure to rotate. Poor inflation, off balance and poor alignment can accelerate the wearing out of a tire. Tire Maintenance means checking your tires on a regular basis.

Inflation Pressure

Tires are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the road surface, hence inflation pressure of your tire happens to play a vital role in safety driving characteristics, mileage and also fuel consumption.

Car manufacturers have tested your recommended tires for your car for gas mileage, handling and many more factors to arrive at the optimum pressure for your tires. Following this guideline will maximize the value you get out of these tires and also the safety of your car. This is the most basic of tire maintenance steps you can take.

Misalignment: Tires when not positioned properly, or if not aligned properly, can cause uneven wear. This can occur on either side of the tire shoulder or both the sides. It can have have a slightly torn and faded look. Check periodically or at least once a month for wheel alignment, wheel balancing issues. Examining the tread patterns on your tires. Any abnormal wear is an indicator of a problem which should be addressed.

For much more information about tires and tire maintenance, click here.


Your Tires Condition counts

Your Tires Condition countsThe Automobile Club of Southern California has recently stated that as long as your vehicle has tires that are in good working condition, you would be able to have good fuel economy and extend the life of your vehicle as well. This is in accordance and with regards to the National Tire Safety Week which started just last April 23rd and would be continuing to the end of this week. The tire shown in this picture is definitely not in good working condition.  Your Tires Condition counts.

The front end needs to be aligned and maybe some tie rods replaced. This tire has severe wear and tear on the left hand side and the car probably pulls badly to the right as you are driving. Never mind about fuel economy, this driver needs to be concerned about the safety of his vehicle. He should be concerned about being able to stop quickly with out causing an accident.

Tires in Good Working Condition

So exactly what is “good working condition”? We have listed a few items that would be necessary for your tires to be considered in good working condition. They are as follows:

  • Proper tire pressure, not over and not under inflated
  • All four tires balanced properly
  • No cuts, tears or obvious damage to the tire
  • No premature wear and tear on one side of the tire or another
  • At least 1/8 of an inch of tread on the tires and this is considered low
  • Proper tires on the car, fitted for speed rating, size and width
  • Tire age is not more than 6 years

The National Tire Safety Week was launched so as to assist drivers in understanding the basic tire care. Aside from this, the fact remains that there is still that need for proper tire maintenance.

From research completed, the statistics have shown that around 85 percent of drivers do not actually check their vehicle’s tire pressure properly or even at all.

Engineer Steve Mazor who is the Auto Club’s principal automotive engineer states, “Not knowing the condition of your vehicle’s tires is equal to pouring money down the drain. Proper tire inflation is necessary to for safe driving and to reduce gas costs.”

Your Tires Condition counts – Under Inflated Tires

He continue-s, “Under inflated tires can cut fuel economy by up to two percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level. They can cause your tires to run hot and they can prematurely wear out as well.

After every fill up, motorists should walk around their vehicles and check tires for uneven or excessive tread wear and proper inflation. Drivers can refer to their vehicle’s doorjamb or glove box for original specifications or the manufacturer of the replacement tire for tire pressure.”

As per statistics that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has, nearly one out of every three vehicles on the roads and highways has a significant under inflated tire. Aside from this fact is that there are some 600 fatalities and around 33,000 injuries that happen every year. These are results of low tire pressure related crashes.

Make it a Habit

It is an easy habit to get into. Before you start the car every morning, take a quick walk around the car. Check the tire pressure by observation, and if a tire looks low, check it with a tire pressure gauge. Once a week use a gauge to check the actual pressure and top up if needed.

Never over inflate since the tire pressure will increase as you use the car at high speeds. After you have done this a few times, you will quickly be able to assess whether a tire is low or not.

Benefits of Tire Maintenance

Although we have focused on tire condition and checking the inflation of tires, there are two primary reasons to check your tires. One is to gain better gas mileage. Your car will get the best gas mileage if your tires are properly inflated and balanced.  In addition tires that are well maintained have less tendency to have a blow out. If this happens at high speeds, you might lose control of the car causing far more serious consequences.

Feel free to leave comments about tire maintenance etc, to help our readers avoid accidents and gain better gas mileage.

Save Money-Auto Oil Changes & Servicing

Auto Oil ChangesYou may be tempted to perform your own Auto Oil Changes on your car or truck to save a few dollars. All we can say here is to make sure you know what you are doing before you make the attempt. Practice safe working conditions. Use the right tools, use the right oil, replace the oil filter each time, and dispose of the old oil properly.

We will cover each of these items in more detail. However, unless you are prepared to follow safe working conditions, do not attempt this.  Too many people have been hurt, even killed by their cars and trucks while doing their own maintenance to save a few dollars. It is just not worth it if you do not know what you are doing and hurt yourself badly. If your car is not supported by stationary jacks and also prevented from rolling, you could get crushed by your own car.

Auto Oil Changes – Canada

Auto Oil changes in Canada routinely cost from $35 to over $50 depending on the make and model of car. I just had the oil changed in my car at the dealer and it cost $53. However I had a free coupon for the oil change, otherwise, I would never have gone back to the dealer for an oil change.  There are other locations to have your oil changes such as Mr. Lube which are cheaper but still over $40 in price. At these prices, it can be worth it to change your own oil. However, in the United States, our experience has been much lower prices. They are in the range of $20 to $30, sometimes with a free car wash thrown in!

Safe Working Conditions

This is the most important section. If you screw this up it could be your life you lose! With most vehicles, they need to be jacked up sufficiently to allow you to slide underneath. You need to be able to undo the oil pan plug to remove the oil from the oil pan.

This is the dangerous part. If you need to jack up the auto in any way, always add safety support in the form of safety jacks. This is to protect you if the main jack gives way, you have additional support for the car. Make sure the parking brake is on and the car is in gear in the case of a standard and in park in the case of an automatic. You do not want the car rolling while you are under it. Also, place a block in front and behind the rear tires as an additional precaution.

Once you are confident that the car is well supported, gather all of the tools that you will need and make sure that everything is in readiness. You want to minimize the time you spend under the car or truck. Some trucks will not need to be raised, since there is enough space between the ground and the oil pan for you to get underneath.

One final item, remove the keys from the ignition and do not allow anyone in the vehicle while you are working on it or underneath it. You do not want any accidents caused by someone playing and accidentally releasing the parking brake etc. Absolutely no one should be in the vehicle while you are working on it.

Use the Right Tools

The tools are pretty simple. A socket wrench to remove the oil plug, a pan to catch the oil, a container to place the used oil in, a new oil filter, and the tool you need to remove it. Finally, a funnel to use to pour the clean oil into the engine. Don’t try to make do with inferior wrenches. You will likely strip the oil plug.  Never allow the oil to drain onto the ground or onto your garage floor. This makes a terrible mess and it is not good for the environment as well.

Disposing of the oil should also be completed properly. Take the used oil to a dealer that accepts old oil or take it to your community disposal site for paints and oils. This is by far the best way. They will make sure that it is disposed of properly.

Auto Oil Changes – Use the Right Oil

Most engines in most climates use 5 W 30 oil, however, there are many types available as well as synthetic oils that.  As a minimum, review your user’s manual for the recommended oil that you should use in your engine. If you have any doubts or want to try something different such as synthetic oil, consult your dealer for the recommended oil that can be used. It is just not worth it to save a few dollars using cheaper oil. Repairs to your engine can be in the thousands of dollars!

Replace the Oil Filter

Always replace the oil filter each time you change the oil. The oil filter is supposed to capture impurities that might find their way into the oil. You do not want them staying where they could reenter the engine oil circulation system. Empty the engine oil first and then remove the oil filter being careful to not allow the oil in the oil filter to drip in the engine or onto the floor.

Always replace the oil filter with a recommended brand. This way you will know that you have a good quality oil filter. Sometimes you may find others that are cheaper, however, just make sure it is recommended for your car and accepted by your dealer. This is one of the few times we will recommend spending more money on a quality product. The risk and cost of ruining your engine is just too great and too expensive!

Dispose the Old Oil Properly

We are all into conservation and the green movement and so we should. Take your used oil to a recognized facility that will accept it and dispose of it properly. Every community has a facility like this these days, although they may be at specific times of the year. Some dealers will accept used oil, especially if you purchase the oil filter and oil from them. You should really talk t them first and not just drop it off. After all they have to pay a fee to dispose of the oil and it is not fair to them to just drop it off.

We hope that this post is a benefit to many people and helps you save a few dollars. However, do not try to save a few dollars if you are not also going to practice safe work conditions. Don’t risk your life or a major accident to save a few dollars. Comments on the post greatly appreciated.

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