Father teaching son car care

Do you know what you should be doing for your car to avoid more costly repairs down the road?

Get to Know Your Vehicle

Just like annual checkups for yourself, routine checkups for your car can help catch problems before they get unmanageable, or more expensive. Here’s what the auto repair team at Kearns Master Muffler recommends for keeping your car in tip-top shape.

Kick the Tires

This phrase is usually said in jest when discussing vehicles. It is believed to originate from the early days of automobiles when it was easier to tell if you had a flat by applying some outside pressure to a balloon-like tire. These days, it’s probably more efficient to check tire pressure using a gauge, but you gotta do what feels right for you. No matter how you check pound-force per square inch (PSI), be sure it’s a regular part of your preventative maintenance routine.

Benefits of Proper Air Pressure

  • Improved fuel economy
  • Smoother and safer ride
  • Better braking performance
  • Lengthens the life of the tire

Regular Oil Changes

Your vehicle’s engine depends on oil to function properly. Motor oil lubricates the many moving parts in an engine and helps prevent premature wear and tear. You should be checking your oil level each month, and scheduling regular oil changes with an auto repair shop like Master Muffler. 

How Often Should I Get an Oil Change?

  • Most vehicles can go 3,000 miles or six months between oil changes, whichever comes first.
  • Vehicles using full-synthetic oil may be able to go up to 15,000 miles between oil changes.

If you have questions about how often your particular vehicle should go between servicing the oil, refer to your owner’s manual.

Top off The Tanks

Besides oil, many other fluids are necessary to keep your vehicle in working order. YOu have coolant to keep the engine from overheating, power steering fluid to make it easier to turn the wheel, and brake fluid to help increase pressure on your brakes when you depress the pedal under your foot.

It should be second nature to check all fluid levels in your car to prevent the need for auto repairs. If you don’t know how to check the reservoirs for the various fluids, come see Master Muffler today.

Replace Wipers

Did you know you should be swapping out your old windshield wipers for new ones at least once a year? Due to use and changes in temperature, the rubber on the wipers can wear and be less effective at helping clear your windows. Whether you replace them when the season changes or just every six months, be sure to get this routine maintenance done. You can determine what size wipers you need by checking your vehicle’s manual. Replacing the wipers is a pretty quick swap and usually doesn’t require any tools.

Replace the Air Filter

Oxygen is one of the most important elements our cars need to drive efficiently. If your air filter is clogged with particulate matter, your engine can’t draw in enough air for the combustion process. You usually only need to check the filter once every year, but if you notice any changes in performance or a pesky “Check Engine” light on your dash, it can’t hurt to look.

Signs You Need to Check Your Air Filter

  • Noises coming from the engine
  • Engine misfires
  • Lower fuel economy than usual
  • Black exhaust smoke

Check the Brakes

Thankfully, problems with a vehicle’s braking system don’t usually appear out of thin air. Our cars usually provide us with warning signs that there’s something wrong. Even if your car is driving smoothly, braking on a dime and the brake light has never illuminated on your dash, be sure you’re giving attention to the brakes on a regular basis.

Signs Your Car Has Brake Problems

  • Squeals or squeaks when you depress the brake pedal
  • Grinding or dragging noises when you brake
  • Wobbling movements when braking
  • Brake pedal feels spongy when pressed
  • Burning smells when braking

Light Check

As fun as it was to play Padiddle on road trips, it’s not fun being the vehicle with the burned-out head or brake light. Not only is it a safety issue to drive without proper lights, but it’s also illegal. Every year when you register your vehicle, your lights are routinely checked to ensure they function. You should also be aware of your lights year-round, replacing bulbs and cleaning the lenses if needed.

Suds Up

Yup, washing your vehicle is part of routine maintenance! If you never suds up your car, you run the risk of developing rust on the undercarriage or elsewhere on the body. Also, the paint on your car can be ruined by bird droppings or tree sap if left unattended. Some car enthusiasts suggest washing your car every two weeks to remove road salt, grime, and bugs. While regular washing may not improve your vehicle’s performance, it can preserve the paint job and prevent rust from eating away at the body.

Thankfully, our cars have onboard computers that can alert us when there are issues. However, it’s no replacement for knowing your car well enough to notice a problem before it gets too big or expensive to handle. If you need a tune-up or just want someone to give your car a once-over, be sure to contact Kearns Master Muffler today.


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