The experts at Brown Motors want you to know what it takes to keep your vehicle operating properly. Owners don’t always do the best things with their vehicles. Here we discuss 10 of the most common mistakes car owners do to prematurely kill their rides.
Read Vital Signs
Being aware of your car’s gauges and warning lights is critical to avoiding big problems. Your owner’s manual explains what the gauges are telling you and whether your car needs immediate attention. It is always a safe bet to stop in to Brown Motors Quick Lube and have the experts interpret the warning signal.
Avoid Deep Water
Water covering the road is always dangerous. Shallow water is dangerous in that it causes your tires to hydroplane (lose contact with the road) and you could lose control if you’re traveling too fast. But driving through deep water can kill your car. Electrical and mechanical components that get wet could malfunction or fail. And corrosive residue can lead to frustrating electrical problems in the months or years to come.
Check Engine Fluids
Skipping oil changes is one of the fastest ways to cause premature engine wear and eventual failure. Check your owner’s manual or ask the Brown Motors experts to check when to have the oil changed. Also, moniter the pavement undeneath where you routinely park your vehicle at night. Are there any regular leaks? Being aware of the normal operation of your vehicle can help spot problem areas in the future.
Interpret Smoke Signals
Look at your vehicle’s exhaust pipe occasionally to make sure it’s not sending your smoke signals. White whispy vapor that comes out right after you start the car and dissipates quickly is normal. White smoke any other time indicates you should not drive. If the smoke is black or blue, you can still drive, but you should get your car to Brown Motors for a check up soon.
Keep Up with the Small Stuff
Take care of little things as they come up and you’ll save money in the long run. A survey of people who had kept their cars for 200,000 miles or more said that the key to taking care of the vehicle was to fix little problems before they became big.
Shift your Automatic Correctly
Going between drive and reverse in a car that’s moving, even slowly, can strain transmission components and cause damage over time.
Change the Timing Belt
Many modern cars us a timing belt to keep engine valves, pistons, and other components moving in harmony. Timing belts normally begin wearing out and need to be replaced between 80,000 & 100,000 miles or after about 6 years. If you don’t replace the belt, it could break while you’re driving and ruin your engine.
Wash your Engine
Use the pressure wash on something else; it could force water into places it shouldn’t go. A clean engine not only looks better, it can help prevent engine overheating and make routine chores easier. Wipe off as much grease and grime as possible by using rags and a spray cleaner then rinse with a regular garden hose.
Keeping continual pressure on the pedal can have expensive and dangerous results. On long downhills, shift your transmission to a lower gear to take some of the pressure off of the brakes. When necessary apply gentle pressure to the pedal to keep the vehicles’s speed down. And never ride the brakes in normal driving.
Load Under the Limit
Overloading can put excessive strain on suspension components. An overloaded vehicle will degrade performance and braking also. Know your capacity. Make sure the combined weight of passengers and cargo does not exceed your vehicle’s capacity. Also be sure to distribute the load between the axles to maintain optimum performance.
Your car is one of your biggest investments — take care of it. Talk to the professionals at Brown Motors to help you understand what you need to do to take the best care of your vehicle. We invite you to stop into our dealership in Petoskey anytime!
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