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Thursday, January 16, 2014

This Is Why Your Car Keeps Breaking Down

Cars are pretty complex machines, and are good at all kinds of things: they're good at going places, making noise, and playing radios. But they seem to be great at breaking down, too, right? And always at the worst possible time?

That's because, either:

A) You are possibly just one of those people that rain clouds go out of their way to dump on. Alternately,
B) You (or possibly someone who owned the car before you) have neglected to maintain the vehicle in some fashion, thereby falling victim to the "pound of cure" required by your lack of preventative care.

Vehicles are complex machines, and as such, they require care. Otherwise, something is going to malfunction. Here's a short list of things which you, as a car owner (or leaser) should know. 

On Maintenance and Care:

As paraphrased two paragraphs back, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's as true now as it was when Benjamin Franklin said it. Confused? Well, he was very concise. Stretch it out, and apply it to cars, and he's basically saying, "Look, if you get the little maintenance jobs done – oil changes, fluid checks, tire rotation, and what have you – the car is going to stay on the road longer without breakdowns. If you don't do those cheap and easy things, the car is going to break down, leaving you with an expensive, hard job ahead of you."

(Side note: this handy chart has a terrifying list of the average costs for various kinds of auto repairs. Even given variance over makes and models, it’s scary stuff.)

Here are some of the basics:
  1. Change your oil, fluids, and filters as recommended by manufacturer.
  2. Rotate your tires regularly, and buy new tires when the old ones start balding.
  3. Take proper precautions in inclement weather – invest in Nokian winter tires for sale, Rain-X, and the like. Also, hit a car wash after the snow, because all the salt from those plow trucks can contribute to body rust and paint wear.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the owner's manual – know how to change a tire, a headlight, a fuse, or a battery in your car. Even if you never do it, knowing how could be a lifesaver.
  5. Tire blowouts and flats are most commonly caused in the summer months by over inflation – because air expands in the heat. Refer to your owner's manual, the label in your driver-side door, or a lavel on the side of the tire wall for proper PSI, and check it at your local gas station when the temperature fluctuates.



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