Learning To Stretch Car Care Dollars

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By Emily Hickey, One Stop Auto Shop

Many of us today are conscious of every penny we spend, and still we want to maintain our cars to increase their life span. Taking care of your vehicle prevents high repair bills and can help stretch your gas mileage. Here are just a few helpful tips.

Try not to allow your car to idle for long periods. At idle your oil pressure may not be strong enough to pump oil through all parts of your engine to protect & lubricate. This may cause unnecessary wear and tear to your engine.
Accelerate slowly when first starting your car for the day. The first 20 minutes of your vehicles operation, is when the most wear damage can occur to your engine and drive train.
At red lights put an automatic vehicle in neutral, because even when your vehicles is stopped its engine it is working to push forward.
It is not necessary to warm up your vehicle in the morning or on cold days before use. In fact it can be harmful due to the fact that your car is not operating under peak conditions.
Fast stops and starts cause wear and tear on tires and brakes. This can also affect gas mileage.
When turning the steering wheel do not turn the wheel to the extreme in either direction, as this can put unnecessary wear on the power steering pump.
A heavy keep chain may eventually cause costly damage to your ignition switch.
Never fill windshield washer reservoir with water. When temperatures drop it will freeze and cause damage to the system. Also the plain water does not clean your windshield as well.
Rotating your tires help distribute tire wear evenly, and prolongs tire life.
Frequent oil changes flush out harmful abrasives, dirt and metals from your engine.

With everyone being so busy, car care may be the last thing on your mind until expensive repairs are needed. Your local mechanic can help you better manage preventative maintenance, so you can better manage your money.