67 AMAZING WAYS TO MAKE  YOUR CAR LAST LONGER 

MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE COLLECTED FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES.

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1. Check engine oil. …………………………………………………………… 2. Check transmission fluid. …………………………………………………... 3. Check coolant. ……………………………………………………………… 4. Check tire pressure - with tire gauge. ………………………………………. 5. Check brake fluid. …………………………………………………………... 6. Wax car to protect finish. …………………………………………………… 7. Check belts and hoses. ……………………………………………………… 8. Change oil and oil filter. ……………………………………………………. 9. Lubricate chassis. …………………………………………………………… 10. Check transmission fluid. …………………………………………………... 11. Check all drive belts ,fan belts, frayed or cracked belts. …………………... 12. Change oil and filter. ……………………………………………………….. 13. Inspect suspension. ………………………………………………………… 14. Rotate tires. …………………………………………………………………. 15. Flush radiator, replace anti-freeze, check air conditioning ………………… 16. system. ……………………………………………………………………… 17. Replace air filters. …………………………………………………………... 18. Lubricate chassis. …………………………………………………………… 19. Replace spark plugs. ………………………………………………………... 20. Replace PCV valve. ………………………………………………………… 21. Change automatic transmission fluid. ………………………………………. 22. Inspect brake linings. ……………………………………………………….. 23. Check and test ignition wires. ………………………………………………. 24. Test cooling system. ………………………………………………………... 25. Check drive belts. …………………………………………………………... 26. Replace fluid. ……………………………………………………………….. 27. Check brake shoes ………………………………………………………….. 28. If you have a major repair to do……………………………………………... 29. Read and follow your car……………………………………………………. 30. Learn to do some routine……………………………………………………. 31. Find a good mechanic……………………………………………………….. 32. When you start it up…………………………………………………………. 33. Avoid burning……………………………………………………………….. 34. An international tire ………………………………………………………… 35. Garaged car lasts longer……………………………………………............... 36. Stop and accelerate gradually……………………………………………….. 37. Avoid tire squealing turns…………………………………………………… 38. Avoid driving your car during ……………………………………………… 39. Keep front-end aligned……………………………………………………… 40. Get promised repairs in………………………………………………………

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41. Avoid car dealers …………………………………………………………… 42. Hard to be overcharged……………………………………………………… 43. Beware Cheapest is ………………………………………………………… 44. Mechanics that charge………………………………………………………. 45. Electrical problems are……………………………………………………… 46. Use Cruise Control………………………………………………………….. 47. Avoid pressing accelerator constantly……………………………………… 48. Don't ride your brake pedal…………………………………………………. 49. Driving with your windows ………………………………………………… 50. Major car manufacturer Research…………………………………………… 51. Department stores…………………………………………………………… 52. Purchasing tires……………………………………………………………… 53. Avoid cleaning your……………………………………………………….... 54. Turning on the car…………………………………………………………… 55. Try to avoid………………………………………………………………….. 56. Tires driven …………………………………………………………………. 57. 55.Government study………………………………………………………... 58. The best as well……………………………………………………………... 59. Late model…………………………………………………………………... 60. Right repair shop…………………………………………………………….. 61. Your car's problem…………………………………………………………... 62. Doubt about the……………………………………………………………… 63. Regular oil changes …………………………………………………………. 64. Manual transmission………………………………………………………… 65. Engine oil checked…………………………………………………………... 66. Interior make it last longer…………………………………………………... 67. Clean it up …………………………………………………………………...

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EVERY 2 WEEKS OR 3,000 MILES

CHECK ENGINE OIL ONCE A MONTH OR 1,000 MILES

Follow some easy ways to check engine oil such as Place your car at the level spot. Stop the engine. Wait for a while to let the engine oil to pour down to the oil pan. Pull the engine oil dipstick. If you don't know where is the engine oil dipstick, check your owner's manual, usually it has a bright handle saying "engine oil". Wipe it off with a clean rag or tissue. Then insert it back all the way down into its place. Now, pull the dipstick again and check the oil level. Normally it should be at "FULL" mark. For example, here you can see that it's a bit lower. It's not a big problem yet, but it's better to top it up. Check the oil condition. If it's way too black, it's definitely time to change it. If it's slightly-brown, it's O.K. If it's darkbrown, but still transparent, it's admissible but it's better to change it soon. If it's white (coffee with milk color) it means the engine coolant mixes with the engine oil because of some internal engine problem, for example, blown head gasket - have your car inspected. How to top up the engine oil. It would be better to add the same type and brand of the engine oil as you already have in the engine. Add a little amount of the oil as it's shown in the image. Wait for a minute to let the oil to pour down. Check the oil level again with the dipstick. If it's still low, add some more. But don't overfill it. Don't forget to install the dipstick back and close the oil filler cap when you finished.

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TRANSMISSION FLUID ONCE A MONTH OR 1,000 MILES

Follow the steps to transmission fluid, Place your car at a level surface and engage the parking brake. Start the engine. Set transmission shifter in "P" (Park) position, and let the engine idle (on some cars this procedure may be different, check the owners' manual for details). Pull the transmission dipstick. Check your owners manual to find where transmission dipstick is located in your car. Wipe it off with a clean lint free rag. Then insert it back carefully all the way down into its place. Pull again and check the fluid level. If the engine is cold, it should be within "COLD" marks. If the car was driven and is fully warmed up, the level should be at the upper end of the "HOT" mark. If it's just a little bit lower I wouldn't worry about it. Otherwise I'd top it up. Check the fluid condition also: If it's too black and dirty with burnt smell - your transmission is not going to last. Normally it should be clean and transparent, as in the image. The new fluid comes red. Over the time it becomes brownish. If it is brown, check your owner's manual, may be it's time to change it. Some manufacturers require to change the transmission fluid at 30,000 or 50,000 miles others specify that you never have to change it - check what's your car owner's manual says. How to top up the transmission fluid. It's very important to use only specified transmission fluid - check your owners manual or simply visit your local dealer, they alway have proper transmission fluid in stock. Incorrect transmission fluid can even destroy the transmission. Add a small amount of the fluid through the dipstick pipe as shown in the image. Wait for a few minutes - let the fluid to flow down. Recheck the level again. Do not overfill, it also may cause problems with your transmission.

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COOLANT ONCE A MONTH OR 1,000 MILES

Low coolant level will cause engine overheating, which may cause serious damage to the engine. How to check the engine coolant level. The coolant level should be between "LOW" and "FULL" marks in the coolant overflow tank as in the picture. If it's lower, top it up. If there is no coolant in overflow tank or you have to top it up quite often, have your car inspected in the garage, possibly there is a coolant leak. Never open the radiator or coolant overflow tank when the engine is hot! When engine temperature is reduced (few minutes after the engine has been turned off) , simply add a coolant into the overflow tank to "FULL" mark.

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CHECK TIRE PRESSURE - WITH TIRE GAUGE

Check the tire pressure regularly - at least once a month. If you don't have tire pressure gauge it's really worth to buy it. You can find recommended tire pressure in the owner's manual or on the tire pressure placard. The maximum pressure listed on tires is NOT the proper pressure! Refer to the owner's manual Rotate tires at every second oil change - it will insure all tires wear equally. Feel vibration at cruising speed? - have your tires balanced. There is a safe limit of the tread wear. If the tire is worn below this limit it's unsafe to drive. Refer to the result of mechanical inspection. Uneven tire wear indicates alignment problem. Improper alignment causes increased tire and suspension components wear and poor handling. In worst case improper alignment may throw your car into a skid, especially on a wet road. If a car pulls aside, wanders or feels unstable on the road, have the alignment checked. Properly done alignment will make your car's ride a lot more enjoyable.

Checking Tire Pressure It is important to check your vehicle's tire pressure at least once a month for the following reasons:
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Most tires may naturally lose air over time. Tires can lose air suddenly if you drive over a pothole or other object or if you strike the curb when parking. With radial tires, it is usually not possible to determine under inflation by visual inspection.

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For convenience, purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle. Gauges can be purchased at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and other retail outlets. The recommended tire inflation pressure that vehicle manufacturers provide reflects the proper psi when a tire is cold. The term cold does not relate to the outside temperature. Rather, a cold tire is one that has not been driven on for at least three hours. When you drive, your tires get warmer, causing the air pressure within them to increase. Therefore, to get an accurate tire pressure reading, you must measure tire pressure when the tires are cold or compensate for the extra pressure in warm tires.

Steps for Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

Step 1: Locate the recommended tire pressure on the vehicle's tire information placard, certification label, or in the owner's manual. Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all tires. Step 3: If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve stem with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure. Step 4: If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pressure and the correct tire pressure. These "missing" pounds of pressure are what you will need to add. Step 5: At a service station, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is under inflated. Step 6: Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).

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If you have been driving your vehicle and think that a tire is under inflated, fill it to the recommended cold inflation pressure indicated on your vehicle's tire information placard or certification label. While your tire may still be slightly under inflated due to the extra pounds of pressure in the warm tire, it is safer to drive with air pressure that is slightly lower than the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure than to drive with a significantly under inflated tire. Since this is a temporary fix, don't forget to recheck and adjust the tire's pressure when you can obtain a cold reading.

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CHECK BRAKE FLUID

FOLLOW THE STEPS TO CHECK BREAK FLUID

1. Find the brake master cylinder. This is usually located under the hood on the driver's side of the car, toward the back of the engine compartment. Imagine where your brake pedal would end up if it went all the way through to the engine. The brake master cylinder is a small (about 6-by-2 inches), rectangular piece of metal with a plastic reservoir and a rubber cap on top, and small metal tubes leading from it. 2. Check your manual if you aren't sure that you've found the master cylinder. The rubber cap will usually read "use only DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid from a sealed container." 3. Note that on most newer cars the reservoir is translucent and you can see the fluid level without removing the cap. There will be a "full" line, the brake fluid should be at this line. 4. In older cars (pre-1980) the brake master cylinder reservoir may be made entirely of metal so that you must take the top off to check the fluid level. The top is held on by a metal clamp, use a screwdriver to pop off the clamp and lift the lid. 5. Add brake fluid to the "full" line. Use the correct brake fluid for your car: Check the rubber cap and your owner's manual to find out what grade of brake fluid your car requires. Most cars use DOT (Department of Transportation) 3 or 4. If the reservoir has 2 parts, fill both halves.

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SOME IMPORTANT TIPS & WARNINGS

1. If the brake master cylinder is empty, the brake pedal will go to the floor. If this is the case, you will have to bleed the brakes in addition to adding fluid: Time to see your mechanic, who will flush and refill the braking system.

2. Brake fluid is very toxic. Keep it away from hands and eyes, and avoid spilling it on the ground. Dispose of empty containers carefully. Be especially careful not to spill brake fluid on your car's paint.

3. Wash your hands well after handling brake fluid.

4. Don't drive a car that has run out of brake fluid until bleeding the brakes.

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WAX CAR (TO PROTECT FINISH)

Look and color of vehicles attract people at the same time proper maintenance gives life to your vehicles. Sunlight, acid rain, UV rays, dirt, grime, and a host of other environmental factors work very diligently day in and day out to destroy the finish of your car. You can slow their progress down by protecting your vehicle’s finish with clear coat wax products. Although most new vehicles come with a clear coat finish it’s not overly thick and it too is subject to breakdown if you don’t regularly reapply a coat of wax. Older vehicles generally did not have a clear coat finish so it’s even more important to apply if you want to keep your paint from oxidizing and fading. We’ve all seen the vehicles we are talking about. The paint has a flat almost grayish color to it. Yet if you looked inside the door jam you’d see bright and sparkling paint. That’s because the elements in the environment cause your paint to oxidize. Rich blues turn to a powdery blue, red turns to orange, and silver starts to look like primer. Using the correct clear coats, wax, and ceramic coatings will stop these environmental affects. Done regularly your car will maintain its shiny paint for years. It’s comparable to you putting on your sunscreen before going out to play in the sun. Be careful to avoid getting swirl marks in your paint. This is a result of overzealous application of the wax or car washes that are too harsh for your car’s paint. These swirl marks are actually ingrained right into the top coat that already exists on your car. So avoid harsh car washes and make sure you apply your wax coat correctly. To test to see if you’ve applied your wax correctly take a fluorescent light and shine it on your paint. If you see wavy patterns coming off the paint then you’ve not done a great job. Crisp light reflections mean you’ve mastered the skill of waxing.

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If you are seeing white rings that are dull this is a result of alkaline spots which is caused by alkaline precipitation. You can remove these white spots using the correct product. It’s important that your remove them as soon as possible because they can really reek havoc on the paint pigment, and actually cause a color change. That is unless you want to have a polka dot car. Clear coat became popular in the 1990s because it was a way to extend the life of car paint. It has not pigmentation and the factory clear coat is sprayed on. The more coats the deeper your paint will look. The clear coat breaks down over time so when you way with a clear coat style wax you bring it back to its original protection level and shine. You also need to read the label on the wax you are buying to make sure it is clear coat safe. Most of the products on the market today are but the occasional one isn’t and you’ll create quite a disaster if you use the wrong product. To apply the wax start by reading the instructions on the bottle. You’ll get the best results by using the least amount of product. Applying several thin layers will give you better protection and a much nicer looking paint job than providing one thick layer. You can apply it by hand or using an orbital polisher. Waxing by hand makes it easier to get into the tight corners but a polisher sure makes the process go faster. If you are applying use a dry wax applicator pad and apply in long straight lines. Never apply in circles because this can cause those swirling marks you sometimes see on paint. Follow the instructions for application and removal. Remove with a nice thick high pile towel. This will create the maximum shine. If you want to keep your vehicle’s paint looking as good as the day it rolled off the assembly line then make sure you reapply clear coat wax on a regular basis. It’s well worth the time and effort!

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CHECK BELTS AND HOSES

BELTS AND HOSES the workhorses of your car’s engine Breakdowns are most commonly caused by worn belts and hoses. Neglecting them can leave you stranded. To prevent an emergency or inconvenience, have your belts and hoses checked every time you have your oil changed. Although a belt can look healthy, the rubber used to make it could be dry and cracked due to age, heat, cold and normal wear and tear. In addition, engine vibration can cause belts to become loose. PERFORMANCE RELIES ON STRONG BELTS Your car’s belts make more than 35 million revolutions each year, so don't ignore them. An important part of your car, the belts wrap around pulleys to power many of your car’s other components. Worn, defective or improperly adjusted belts contribute to accidents and breakdowns, costly repairs, battery failure and overheated engines. Check your belts every six months. If they are too tight, they will stretch and break. If they are too loose, they won’t work efficiently. Regardless of how your belts look, you should replace them every four years. Gemini Car Care location technicians will check your car’s belts for:
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Glazing and cracking Proper tensioning Proper alignment of drive pulleys

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Hoses Keep Vital Fluids Circulating to Engine Parts. A visual inspection may not always help you locate a bad hose. A failed hose may not necessarily leak. To locate hoses that need replaced, you can pinch them to check for cracks, brittleness and mushiness. Keep in mind that hoses wear on the inside, as well as the outside. Even though a hose may seem ok, internal deterioration could cause it to fail.

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EVERY 3 MONTHS OR 3,000 MILES

CHANGE OIL AND OIL FILTER

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil once a year or every 7,500 miles in passenger car and light truck gasoline engines. For diesel engines and turbocharged gasoline engines, the usual recommendation is every 3,000 miles or six months. If you read the fine print, however, you’ll discover that the once a year, 7,500 mile oil change is for vehicles that are driven under ideal circumstances. What most of us think of as "normal" driving is actually "severe service" driving. This includes frequent short trips (less than 10 miles, especially during cold weather), stop-andgo city traffic driving, driving in dusty conditions (gravel roads, etc.), and driving at sustained highway speeds during hot weather. For this type of driving, which is actually "severe service: driving, the recommendation is to change the oil every 3,000 miles or six months. For maximum protection, most oil companies say to change the oil every 3,000 miles or three to six months regardless of what type of driving you do. A new engine with little or no wear can probably get by on 7,500 mile oil changes. But as an engine accumulates miles, blow by increases. This dumps more unburned fuel into the crankcase which dilutes the oil. This causes the oil to break down. So if the oil isn’t changed often enough, you can end up with accelerated wear and all the engine problems that come with it (loss of performance and fuel economy, and increased emissions and oil consumption).

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Oil Analysis Truck fleets often monitor the condition of the oil in their vehicles by having samples analyzed periodically. Oil samples are sent to a laboratory that then analyzes the oil’s viscosity and acid content. Oil is then burned in a device called a spectrometer that reveals various impurities in the oil. From all of this, a detailed report is generated that reveals the true condition of the oil. Oil analysis is a great idea for fleets and trucks that hold a lot of oil. But most consumers would have a hard time justifying the cost. Having an oil sample analyzed typically costs $12 to $20 for the lab work and report. Most quick lube shops charge $16.95 to $19.95 for an oil change. So why spend your money on a report that will probably tell you your oil needs changing? Just change the oil every 3,000 miles and don’t worry about it. Regular oil changes for preventative maintenance are cheap insurance against engine wear, and will always save you money in the long run if you keep a car for more than three or four years. It’s very uncommon to see an engine that has been well maintained with regular oil changes develop major bearing, ring, cam or valve problems under 100,000 miles.

What About The Oil Filter To reduce the costs of vehicle ownership and maintenance, many car makers say the oil filter only needs to be replaced at every other oil change. Most mechanics will tell you this is false economy. The oil filters on most engines today have been downsized to save weight, cost and space. The "standard" quart-sized filter that was once common on most engines has been replaced by a pint-sized (or smaller) filter. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a smaller filter has less total filtering capacity. Even so, the little filters should be adequate for a 3,000 mile oil change intervals -but may run out of capacity long before a second oil change at 6,000 or 15,000 miles. Replacing the oil filter every time the oil is changed, therefore, is highly recommended. An engine’s main line of defense against abrasion and the premature wear it causes is the oil filter. The filter’s job is to remove solid contaminants such as dirt, carbon and metal particles from the oil before they can damage bearing, journal

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and cylinder wall surfaces in the engine. The more dirt and other contaminants the filter can trap and hold, the better. In today’s engines, all the oil that’s picked up by the oil pump is routed through the filter before it goes to the crankshaft bearings, cam bearings and valvetrain. This is called "full-flow" filtration. It’s an efficient way of removing contaminants, and it assures only filtered oil is supplied to the engine. In time, though, accumulated dirt and debris trapped by the filter begin to obstruct the flow of oil. The filter should be changed before it reaches this point, which is why the filter needs to be replaced when the oil is changed. If you wait too long to change the filter, there’s a danger that it might become plugged. To prevent this from causing a catastrophic engine failure due to loss of lubrication, oil filters have a built-in safety device called a "bypass valve." When the pressure drop across the filter exceeds a predetermined value (which varies depending on the engine application), the bypass valve opens so oil can continue to flow to the engine. But this allows unfiltered oil to enter the engine. Any contaminants that find their way into the crankcase will be pumped through the engine and accelerate wear. Filter Replacement If you do your own oil changes, make sure you get the correct filter for your engine. Follow the filter manufacturer’s listings in its catalog. Many filters that look the same on the outside have different internal valving. Many overhead cam engines, for example, require an "anti-drainback" valve in the filter to prevent oil from draining out of the filter when the engine is shut off. This allows oil pressure to reach critical engine parts more quickly when the engine is restarted. Filters that are mounted sideways on the engine typically require an anti-drainback valve. CAUTION: The threads on a spin-on filter must also be the correct diameter and thread pitch (SAE or metric) for your engine. If you install a filter with SAE threads on an engine that requires metric threads (or vice versa), you can damage the threads that hold the oil filter in place. Mismatched threads can also allow the filter to work loose, which causes a sudden loss of oil pressure that may ruin your engine! Some people say it’s best to change the oil when the oil is hot (like right after driving), while others say it makes no difference. CAUTION: Hot oil is thinner and runs out faster but can also burn you if you’re not careful. In any event, avoid unnecessary skin contact with oil because oil is a suspected carcinogen (causes cancer).

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Changing the oil when it is cold may take a bit longer because the oil will drain more slowly from the engine, but there’s no danger of being burned. Also, most of the oil will have drained down into the oil pan when the engine has sat for a period of time, which means you’ll actually get a little more of the old oil out of the engine than if you attempt to drain it while it is still hot. Used motor oil should be disposed of properly. The Environmental Protection Agency does not consider used motor oil to be a hazardous chemical, but it can foul ground water and does contain traces of lead. The best way to dispose of used motor oil is to take it to a service station, quick lube shop, parts store or other facility for recycling. Your old oil will either be rerefined into other lubricants or petroleum products, or burned as fuel. Do not dump used motor oil on the ground, down a drain, into a storm sewer or place it in the trash. Many landfills will not accept used motor oil even if it is in a sealed container because it will eventually leak out into the ground. If you can’t find an environmentally-acceptable way to dispose of the stuff, maybe you shouldn’t be changing your own oil. Service facilities that do oil changes all have storage tanks and recycling programs to dispose of used oil.

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LUBRICATE CHASSIS

Maintaining your vehicle chassis provides a smooth ride, supports the weight of your car and enables it to turn corners. In order to keep it working smoothly, however, the chassis must be properly lubricated. To prevent wear and binding of suspension parts, heavy grease is injected between the moving joints and into grease fittings or "zerks". All car models have different numbers of zerks in different locations. At Jiffy Lube, we use a lithium based multi-purpose grease that has the capacity to protect moving parts in high temperatures and is water resistant. This lubrication provides excellent chassis protection, and can protect the steering and driveline components as well. Some models have a sealed chassis, which has no zerks. A sealed chassis requires less maintenance; the joints are Teflon-coated and do not require grease. Proper lubrication of your car's chassis insures its performance, and should be done in conjunction with regular oil changes.

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CHECK TRANSMISSION FLUID

Keeping an eye on your transmission fluid levels can help keep your car running smoothly-and help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Unfortunately, not all cars have transmissions that can be easily checked by the owner. Newer models are frequently made without fluid dipsticks. Called sealed units, these transmissions require an involved process to check fluid levels. The process often involves electronic testing devices, such as a computer scan tool, and needs to be performed by a technician. If your car has a sealed transmission or needs transmission work, it's a good idea to bring it to a certified repair shop to avoid being taken for a ride. Shops displaying the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) seal adhere to a strict code of quality and ethics-and their "Golden Rule" warranty is honored at nearly 2,000 shops throughout the U.S. However, there are still plenty of cars out there with transmissions that owners can check themselves. Check your car's automatic transmission fluid (ATF) every month and whenever the transmission isn't shifting smoothly. Steps to Follow

Park your car on level ground and start the engine, leaving the gear in neutral or park. Wait for the engine to warm up. Unless your owner's manual directs otherwise, allow the engine to continue running throughout this procedure. Find the ATF dipstick, located at the back of the engine. The ATF dipstick is often shorter than the engine oil dipstick but otherwise looks similar. If you're lucky, it will be labeled. Pull on the dipstick and completely remove it. It may be very long.

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Wipe the dipstick with a rag, replace it in the engine, push it all the way in and remove it again. Look at the dipstick's tip. Observe whether there are two different full markings: one for cold readings and one for warm readings. If so, read the one for 'Warm.' If the ATF does not come up to the line marked 'Full,' add ATF. Add ATF (see Tips) into the hole that the dipstick came out of (yes, that little tiny hole). Use a funnel with a long, narrow neck. Add only a little at a time, and check the level with the dipstick after each time. It's easy to add ATF but fairly difficult to take it out if you add too much. Put the dipstick all the way back in when you are done.

Some Important Tips and Warnings
• • •

There are two types of ATF: Dexron (also called Mercron) and Type F; your owner's manual should list the type to use. With some cars the engine should not be running while you check the fluid, so be sure to consult your owner's manual. ATF doesn't get used up, so if it's low, that indicates a leak. Don't ignore leaks or drive around with low ATF'it can lead to expensive transmission repairs.

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CHECK ALL DRIVE BELTS (FAN BELTS) FRAYED OR CRACKED BELTS

As we discussed earlier, To prevent an emergency or inconvenience, have your belts and hoses checked every time you have your oil changed. Although a belt can look healthy, the rubber used to make it could be dry and cracked due to age, heat, cold and normal wear and tear. In addition, engine vibration can cause belts to become loose. Your car’s belts make more than 35 million revolutions each year, so don't ignore them. An important part of your car, the belts wrap around pulleys to power many of your car’s other components. Worn, defective or improperly adjusted belts contribute to accidents and breakdowns, costly repairs, battery failure and overheated engines. Check your belts every six months. If they are too tight, they will stretch and break. If they are too loose, they won’t work efficiently. Regardless of how your belts look, you should replace them every four years. Gemini Car Care location technicians will check your car’s belts for:
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Glazing and cracking Proper tensioning Proper alignment of drive pulleys

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EVERY 6 MONTHS OR 6,000 MILES

CHANGE OIL AND FILTER

As we discussed earlier in this book, The need for changing Engine Oil depends to a large degree upon local conditions, extremely dusty conditions necessitate more frequent changes. A comparison of the Oil on the indicator with fresh oil will usually serve as a guide. Lack of body, the presence of dirt or grit and excessive darkening of the Oil indicate that fresh Oil is needed. Under ordinary conditions a change of Engine oil every three (3) months is a good rule to go by. The Oil capacity is five (5) quarts. It is always advisable to drain the crankcase while the Engine is at normal operating temperature, because the Oil will drain more completely when hot, and will, therefore, carry any foreign material and dirt with it. Depending on the conditions change the oil, to change follow the steps what we discussed earlier.

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INSPECT SUSPENSION

If you feel your car is shaking. If you suspect your suspension or tires have a problem and you feel inclined to tackle the cause, then check the suspension of your car. Follow the steps. 1. Get into the car and drive. Turn the radio down and listen to the car. A noise may lead you in the right direction and show you where to start your search. A roaring sound may indicate a stuck bearing or a stuck brake shoe. Rattling on a bump may result from a dry bearing or a loose suspension part (which may be simple to tighten up on your own, provided that torque specifications are followed). A "clunk" may be a sign of your suspension needing grease, a bad ball joint, or a bad strut. 2. Try to really "feel" the car. A vibration in your steering wheel suggests a problem in the front of the car (most likely in the steering linkage). It may be a tie rod end or a bushing in the car's control arms. Seat vibration suggests a problem in the back of the car. It may be a wheel bearing or a runout condition in a tire. 3. Once you think you know where the problem is, park the car and let it cool. Grab your gloves and safety glasses. If you choose to lift the vehicle, put the car on a flat surface and use the proper supports. NEVER rely on the jack alone to support your vehicle, and never use bricks or lumber to hold your vehicle up. Use proper jack stands. Now you can get under your vehicle in the suspect area and get to work. 4. Be sure to know what you are looking at. Many suspension parts can be diagnosed by grabbing or rotating the part. For example, the tie rod ends, the Pitman arm, the idler arm, and other parts of the steering linkage. As for wheel bearings, bushings, and tires, you will need to have the wheels off the ground. 5. Tires are frequently the main culprit in these "not-so-good vibrations", due to different degrees of tire runout (such as the tire being shaped liked an egg, or the tire having a bulge effect in the side). With the tire off of the ground, spin the wheel and look at it head on. You may be able to see that

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the tire shows the above symptoms. However, you cannot always see this with the naked eye. While you have the tire in the air, grip the top and bottom of the tire. Wiggle the tire back and forth. If the tire shows signs of play, you have bad (or dry) bearings, or a bad tie rod end. You may also want to check to see that the lug nuts are not loose. 6. If you can't find anything through this basic inspection, you may need to take your car to a professional mechanic, where the proper diagnostic tools can be used.

Some Tips
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There should be no detectable play in any part of your suspension system. Finding this usually indicates a problem. On cars without rack and pinion steering, the suspension should be greased every time your vehicle has the tires changed or rotated, or every 10,000 15,000 miles. Press downward with your body weight on one corner of the vehicle. If it bounces more than once, the shock or strut is probably worn and needs replacement soon. Warnings

Suspension parts are generally very dirty, and they can be extremely hot. Always allow the vehicle to cool down for at least 4 hours before attempting an inspection. Any suspected tire or suspension problem should be looked at right away. It could render the vehicle uncontrollable or unusable.

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ROTATE TIRES

Tires play an important role in any vehicle. Tire rotation is an important maintenance duty that extends the life of your tires and ensures safe driving. We'll take a look at this simple but effective procedure. Whether you plan on doing the job yourself or having it performed by a certified mechanic, it's important to know why we rotate our tires. So why do it in the first place? Simple. The front and rear tires wear at different rates. Think about it. All that parallel parking. All those three-point turns. With each turn of the steering wheel, pressure is bought to bear on the front tires. (This is even more accentuated in front-wheel-drive cars, where the front wheels also supply the main motive power for the vehicle.) Resistance causes friction, which in turn produces heat. The result? The front tires wear quicker than the rears. Because of this, it's necessary to rotate the tires front-to-rear several times during their life cycle to 1) equalize tread wear and 2) maximize the life of the tires. This is what we refer to when we say "rotate the tires."

Rotating generally does not refer to either of the following actions
• •

Exchanging tires on the same axle -- for example, swapping the rear tires left to right Criss-crossing tires -- moving a tire from the passenger's side rear to the driver's side front

There's a good reason for this. Tires develop wear patterns as they age. Some of these patterns are tied to the suspension system and the alignment. That's why we keep the tires on the same side of the car.

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One more thing. How often should you rotate your tires? That depends. Refer to your owner's manual for exact guidelines, but most manufacturers recommend rotating tires roughly every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Again, see your owner's manual for specifics. With that knowledge, let's move to the procedure. Park your car on level payment. Put the car in "Park" (or in gear, if it's a manual transmission) and set the parking brake firmly. Turn off the engine. Choose which side of the car that you want to work on first. Now go to the opposite side and block the tires, front and rear. This is a precaution and will prevent the car from moving while you work on it. There are several kinds of jacks you can use to elevate the car. The most readily available may be the jack that came with the vehicle. However, this is also the most unsafe and should only be used for short periods of time. If you use this jack, we recommend safeguarding yourself by using jack stands under both the front and rear axles. In fact, this isn't a bad idea anytime you're working around an elevated vehicle. Once the car is in the air, position the jack stands under the axle, behind each wheel; then gently lower the weight of the vehicle onto the jack stands. You can also use a small hydraulic jack or -- the best of all possible options -- a floor jack. Whatever, the principle is the same. Locate a point under the frame nearest the manufacturer's recommended jacking point, and position the jack there. In most front-engine vehicles, this will be a foot or two behind the front wheel. (There will sometimes be a hole facing you here, where you can insert the extension from the jack.) Before you elevate the vehicle, you will want to take the lug wrench and loosen the lug nuts on both the front and rear wheels. This technique uses the vehicle's weight to hold the wheels in place, so they don't spin as you crank on the lug nuts. Once the lug nuts are loose, jack up the vehicle and then, if you have jack stands, back down onto the stands. Spin off the lug nuts and put them in a safe place. Remove the front tire, then the rear, and switch their positions, rolling the front tire to the rear, and the rear to the front.

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Before you mount them, let's inspect the tread. The tread pattern has wear indicators built into it. These are little bumps or nubs manufactured directly into the tread. Inspecting them will tell you how close the tire is to needing replacement. See if you can spot them. They're located throughout the tread pattern, but especially on the ridge where the tread and sidewall meet. Find one? Compare its height to the height of the tread surrounding it. If the tread is wearing to the point where its height is approaching that of the wear indicator, you'll need to be shopping tires soon. Make a mental note. Now go ahead and mount the tires, having switched front to rear, etc. If you have a friend handy, have them hold the tire while you thread the first lug nut or two into its hole. Once all the nuts are threaded finger-tight, grab the lug wrench and tighten then further. Now, as before, you want to use the weight of the vehicle to hold the wheels in place while you snug the lug nuts down good and tight. Jack the vehicle up off the jack stands (if you're using them) and then slowly let it sink to the ground. Take the lug wrench and get the lug nuts as tight as you can without doing yourself bodily harm. By the way, it's best to work the lug nuts diagonally across from one another, as though forming a star, instead of side to side. This allows them to seat better into their cradles. Done. Now go to the other side of the car and repeat the steps. Remember, this quick and simple procedure will extend the tread life of your tires. It will also provide maximum gripping power to the vehicle. To repeat: this should be done roughly every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Check your owner's manual for exact intervals. You don't need some fancy mechanic with a lot of expensive tools to do this job for you. This is one you can do yourself.

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EVERY 12 MONTHS OR 12,000 MILES

FLUSH RADIATOR, REPLACE ANTI-FREEZE, CHECK AIR CONDITIONING

Flushing a radiator sounds like a wonderful thing to have done periodically to your vehicle, but what does it actually do? You probably have a mental picture of this high powered jet blast of water mixed with some kind of detergent that removes all the gunk that has accumulated in the radiator, and after doing this procedure your car will not only run "cooler" but... "better", right? I mean this gunk has probably been the source of your "engine robbing performance" in your mini van for months, right?. Most radiators today are small, made of light weight aluminum, and crammed so tightly in the front of the car you can barely see it let alone "flush" it. The neck of the radiator (where you pour in the antifreeze) is usually angled in such a way that it is impossible to pour in the antifreeze, or even SEE the antifreeze for that matter. The inside of the radiator is made up of a honey comb maze of rows, or "sipes" that sends the hot antifreeze on a long meandering journey from left to right of the radiator. Air is being forced through fins on the outside of the radiator to cool down the antifreeze inside the radiator. Where does dirt and sediment accumulate in the radiator, at the top or the bottom? The bottom of the radiator will trap the majority of the rust, dirt and sediment. You can try as hard as you want to, but you will not be able to remove enough of this compacted material to do any real significance in engine performance. The way the radiator is designed internally prevents the access of any high pressure

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action that you might be able to insert into the small opening of the radiator neck located at the top of the radiator. Removing the lower radiator hose, or if equipped use the radiator drain cock to drain out the old antifreeze and replace with the new fluid is essentially "draining and refilling the cooling system." This of course will only remove any minor surface debris along with the old contaminated fluid, and will probably NOT cure any over-heating complaints you might have been experiencing. Calcium and rust build up within the sipes are the main causes of radiator stoppages, and will cause a over-heating complaint. If this is the case, removal of the radiator from the car for disassembling and rebuilding, or replacing the radiator are really the only two viable options. Yes, there are many "radiator flush" additives on the market, but most are not to be used in aluminum radiators (which all newer vehicles are equipped with), or just flat out don't work. There are very few (ok, probably only one or two) problems with a motor vehicle that can be solved by the contents of a can. So, in a nut shell...draining and refilling your auto radiator with new antifreeze every two to three years WILL help maintain and extend the life of your vehicle, but will probably NOT have an impact on the way it drives, overall fuel economy, cure a major over-heating problem, or improve handling in wet weather. Ask your mechanic to inspect the radiator and heater hoses, and test or replace the radiator cap when replacing the antifreeze. One of the easiest and most important tasks to prepare your vehicle for winter driving is to inspect the level and freshness of your vehicle's antifreeze. The Car Care Council recommends that motorists check their antifreeze every 12 months or 12,000 miles to help protect the engine from freezing and overheating as well as from rust and corrosion damage. The most common formulation of antifreeze is green in color and uses ethylene glycol as a base with anti-corrosion additives mixed in. Ethylene glycol lowers the freezing point and raises the boiling point of the radiator fluid to keep the water from freezing on cold days and from boiling over on hot days. Over time, these additives wear out, lessening their ability to protect vital engine and cooling system metals against rust and corrosion. Your vehicle owner's manual will provide antifreeze usage specifications.

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"Inspecting and maintaining your vehicle's cooling system takes just a few minutes of your time, but it is well worth it when you consider what could happen," said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. "Cooling system failure is the leading cause of engine related breakdowns, which can cost thousands of dollars and leave you and your family stranded at the worst possible time." To check the level of antifreeze, you will need a few basic service tools and an antifreeze ball tester, which is available at auto parts stores. Always make sure the engine and coolant system are cool before you begin. Opening a hot radiator or coolant reservoir can cause severe burns. If the antifreeze is low, add a 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water. If you changed your antifreeze recently, but your level is low, use the antifreeze ball tester to make sure the antifreeze-to-water ratio is correct. This is also a good time to inspect and replace any bad cooling system hoses. Check for leaking, brittle, spongy, cracked or rotted hoses and make sure that the radiator hose clamps are tight to prevent leaks at the connections. If you're unsure about any aspect of cooling system service, have your car inspected by a professional service technician. Checking your vehicle's cooling system today will ensure that it's ready for the long winter ahead. Let's face it: when it's 95 and humid outside, and you've been stuck in the car for six hours with three rowdy kids, one slobbering canine and a grouchy in-law, having working AC might just be the only thing that keeps you from that one-way ticket to the funny farm. There's nothing to really maintain per se, on your air conditioning system. All you have to do is check to see that you're getting some cold air coming out of the vents when you turn your AC on. If your car is more than a couple of years old, it might be a good idea to ask your mechanic to check the compressor clutch. He can also check to make sure that the system is fully charged with refrigerant. The bottom line, though, is this: if you're getting cold air out of the vents, it's not worth messing with the AC at all. If you think you could tough it out without the AC, remember this: a failing AC system can affect more than just the cool breeze blowing in your face. On many modern cars, the air conditioner's belt drives other things, too.

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If your compressor fails and seizes, the belt could break and you could also be stuck without an alternator or a water pump, which would bring your summer safari to a screeching halt faster than you can say, "Where's Rex? Didn't we leave him tied to the bumper?" Of course, you already checked the condition of the belts.

CHECK AND FIX CARS AIR CONDITIONING Check and fix your cars broken air conditioner, Here are some steps to maintain and fix it. 1. Realize that auto AC is basically a refrigerator in a weird layout. It's designed to move heat from one place (the inside of your car) to some other place (the outdoors). While a complete discussion of every specific model and component is well outside the scope of this article, this should give you a start on figuring out what the problem might be and either fixing it yourself or talking intelligently to someone you can pay to fix it. 2. Become familiar with the five major components to auto air conditioning: o the compressor, which compresses the refrigerant in the system (on modern cars, usually a substance called R-134a) o the refrigerant, which carries the heat o the condenser, which changes the phase of the refrigerant and expels heat removed from the car o the expansion valve, which isn't really a valve at all but more like a nozzle and functions to similtaneously drop the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow and atomize it o the dryer/evaporator, which transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car 1. Understand the air conditioning process: The compressor puts the refrigerant under pressure and sends it to the condensing coils. In your car, these coils are generally in front of the radiator. Compressing a gas makes it quite hot. In the condenser, this added heat and the heat the refrigerant picked up in the evaporator is expelled to the air flowing across it from outside the car. When the refrigerant is cooled to its saturation temperature, it will change phase from a gas back into a liquid (this gives of a bundle of heat known as the "latent heat of vaporization"). The liquid then passes through the expansion valve to the evaporator, the coils inside of your car, where it loses pressure that was added to it in the compressor. This causes

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2.

3.

4.

5.

some of the liquid to change to a low-pressure gas as it cools the remaining liquid. This two-phase mixture enters the evaporator, and the liquid portion of the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air across the coil and evaporates. Your car's blower circulates air across the cold evaporator and into the interior. The refrigerant goes back through the cycle again and again. Check to see if all the R-134a leaks out (meaning there's nothing in the loop to carry away heat). Leaks are easy to spot but not easy to fix without pulling things apart. Most auto-supply stores carry a fluorescent dye that can be added to the system to check for leaks, and it will have instructions for use on the can. If there's a bad enough leak, the system will have no pressure in it at all. Find one of the valve-stem-looking things and CAREFULLY (eye protection recommended) poke a pen in there to try to valve off pressure, and if there IS none, that's the problem. Make sure the compressor is turning. Start the car, turn on the AC and look under the hood. The AC compressor is generally a pumplike thing off to one side with large rubber and steel hoses going to it. It will not have a filler cap on it, but will often have one or two things that look like the valve stems on a bike tire. The pulley on the front of the compressor exists as an outer pulley and an inner hub which turns when an electric clutch is engaged. If the AC is on and the blower is on, but the center of the pulley is not turning, then the compressor's clutch is not engaging. This could be a bad fuse, a wiring problem, a broken AC switch in your dash, or the system could be low on refrigerant (most systems have a low-pressure safety cutout that will disable the compressor if there isn't enough refrigerant in the system). Look for other things that can go wrong: bad switches, bad fuses, broken wires, broken fan belt (preventing the pump from turning), or seal failure inside the compressor. Feel for any cooling at all. If the system cools, but not much, it could just be low pressure, and you can top up the refrigerant. Most auto-supply stores will have a kit to refill a system, and it will come with instructions. Do not overfill!

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Some ImportantTips

• •

If you suspect bad wiring, most compressors have a wire leading to the electric clutch. Find the connector in the middle of that wire, and unplug it. Take a length of wire and run it from the compressor's wire to the plus (+) side of your battery. If you hear a loud CLACK, the electric clutch is fine and you should check the car's wiring and fuses. If you get nothing, the electric clutch is bad and the compressor will have to be replaced. Ideally, if you can do this test while the car is running, you can see if the hub spins. Take care to keep fingers and loose clothes away from moving pulleys and belts. That would rule out a clutch that actuates properly but then slips so badly it won't generate pressure. If your system is empty and you're refilling it, and have access to a small vacuum pump (like what they'd use in a lab or shop), it's best to suck all the air out of the system before filling it. Air contains moisture, and moisture is bad in AC systems because it corrodes things. Your system will have a light oil in it. If you vent off any refrigerant, be prepared to wipe some oil off things nearby. Another possible replacement refrigerant is HC12a which is used quite a bit more in Europe. It performs better than R-134a or R12. It is more flammable. HC12a is more eco friendly than R12 or R134a. Venting HC12a is not believed to cause environmental damage. Must be ordered on the Internet as local shops do not seem to stock it. The issue is that shops will not work on a car that has other regrigerants in it. Special equipment is needed for each type of refrigerant's recovery. Standard R12 or R134a is a safer choice.

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Warnings

• •

• • •

Be extremely cautious about converting your old R-12 system to R-134a. The R-134a conversion kits sold at Auto Parts stores and even WalMart, are called "Black Death Kits" by some AC repairmen. Frequently, the new R-134a refrigerant will not circulate the R-12 oil and you will burn up your compressor. The R-12 mineral oil has chlorine contaminants that will destroy the R-134a PAG or POE special oil. The only way to reliably convert from R-12 to R-134a is to remove the compressor and flush out all the old oil with the new type of oil; then replace the old Receiver-Dryer or Accumulator with a new one; then flush out all the lines, the evaporator, and the condensor with special cleaner then vacuum to a steady vacuum; and finally charge with 70-80%, (by weight) of the original R-12 weight, with R-134a; and expect poorer cooling ability. It is much easier to keep the old R-12 system running with R-12 that is readily available via ebay. Venting refrigerant -- even R-134a -- is illegal in the United States, so act accordingly. NEVER connect refrigerant cans, oil or leak-detector cans to the "high pressure side" of the system. This is often marked with H or HIGH, or a red connector cap. Cans can explode, and that would hurt. Stay away from major leaks of refrigerant. As it vents it will get cold enough to freeze your skin. Look out for moving fan blades and fan belts! HC12 is a hydrocarbon, usually some mix of butane or propane. It will explode with an ignition source. Light up a cigarette if you have an evaporator leak and your car becomes a bomb. Professionals don't use it because of this very reason.

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REPLACE AIR FILTERS

Changing the air filter should be part of any major tune-up, but if you drive on dirt roads or in other dusty conditions, you will need to replace it more frequently. On most cars, this is a fairly simple procedure. Follow these simple steps 1. Pop the hood and find the air-filter housing. It will be either square (on fuel-injected engines) or round (on older carbureted engines) and about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. 2. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws or clamps that hold on the top of the housing. 3. Take out the old air filter (see illustration) and clean any dirt and debris from the housing with a clean rag. 4. Put the new air filter in. 5. Screw or clamp the lid of the air-filter housing back on.

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LUBRICATE CHASSIS

Lubricate all steering and suspension joints with chassis grease. If the chassis parts are not equipped with grease fittings, you may be able to install them in some components by removing the screw-in plug. If a part doesn't seem to be taking any grease, wiggle it a bit. If this does not work you would need to replace the grease nipple. Continue pumping in grease until the dust cover of the suspension joints swells. Check the level of differential oil and manual transmission oil. Differential oil and transmission oil levels usually are checked by removing a plug from the side of the unit. Most cars use hypoid type oil in the rear end. For most rear-drive cars, the tube that is used in the rear end is also used in the manual transmission. Check your shop manual or owner's manual. Some of the new generation vehicles do not require to have the under chassis lubricated at all. Vehicles like the Maruti do not require under chassis lubrication. Only check for torn or damaged rubber bushings. While replacing the same you should use French chalk powder and not grease.

Under Chassis Inspection Every time you have your car is up on jackstands for an oil change, you should perform at least a basic under chassis inspection. Check all exhaust system components for possible leaks or deterioration. Make sure all the hangers are intact and in good condition. Look for areas where the undercoating has fallen off or has been damaged. Remove any dirt, sand off any rust and recoat (paint) the area. Check all rubber bushings and dust boots for obvious deterioration. Pay

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particular attention to those bushings found at each end of front or rear sway bars, as well as those that hold the centre of the sway bar to the frame. The bushings used on front and rear control arms are also potential problem areas. If bushings have shrunk or shredded, handling will suffer and in many cases the component will produce a lot of noise. Check engine and transmission mounts for looseness or cracking of rubber parts. A broken engine mount that allows the engine to rise up from its proper location can be more than an annoyance. In some cases it can make the throttle stick open.

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EVERY 2 YEARS OR 24,000 MILES

REPLACE SPARK PLUGS

Using the right tools with some knowledge, almost anyone can deal with this maintenance item. Spark plugs should be changed every 30,000 miles, usually when your car is getting a major tune-up. Follow the simple steps 1. Pull the hood release lever located under the dashboard. 2. Walk around to the front of the car, reach under the hood, find the latch and squeeze it. Open the hood. 3. Find the spark plugs, located in a row along one side of the engine (on an in-line 4-cylinder engine) and attached to thick wires, called spark plug wires. Cars with V-shaped engines (which can have 4, 6 or 8 cylinders) will have spark plugs and spark plug wires on both sides of the engine. 4. Change 1 spark plug at a time, always putting the plug wire back on before changing the next spark plug (see warning below). 5. Pull off one spark plug wire where it attaches to the plug. There is a little rubber boot at the plug end of the wire; pull on this part. Pulling higher up on the wire can damage the spark plug wire and cause it to separate.

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6. Blow or wipe away any dirt or debris around the spark plug. You do not want anything to fall into the cylinder while the spark plug is out. 7. With the spark plug socket and a ratchet, remove the spark plug by turning it in a counterclockwise direction. You may need an extension for your ratchet if the spark plugs are deep-set or not directly accessible. Ratchets with flexible heads are especially helpful for hard-to-reach spark plugs. 8. Check the spark plug to make sure it needs replacing. A good spark plug should be lightly coated with greyish brown deposits. If heavy deposits are present, if the spark plug is black or if the electrode or core nose are damaged, the plug needs to be replaced. Some Important Tips and Warnings 1. Your socket set should have a "spark plug socket" (usually with a little padding/grip inside it) just for spark plugs. 2. Make sure the car is off and let the engine cool before changing the spark plugs. 3. Change one spark plug at a time, putting the wire back on after you're done. If you pull all the wires off at once, you may put them back on the wrong spark plugs; this changes the firing order, and your car will run badly or not at all. If you must take all the wires off at once, label them with white correction fluid or with masking tape and a marker.

Gapping the New Spark Plugs 1. Find the chart listing the proper "gap" for your plugs in your car's repair manual. The spark plug gap may also be on the sticker on the inside of the car's hood. The parts store can provide you with this specification as well. 2. Insert the spark plug gapping tool in the gap between the metal center electrode and the metal side electrode of the plug's tip. 3. Look at the tool's ruled edge and find the gap's measurement. If it is too big, bend the spark plug's end with the tool to widen the gap. To make the gap smaller, push the side electrode (the metal part at the very top) against a hard service.

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4. After adjusting, measure again. Repeat this procedure until the gap matches the specification listed in your car's manual. 5. Repeat with each plug. Some important Tips and Warnings 1. Spark plug gap specifications are listed in inches and/or millimeters. The gapper will have inches on one side and millimeters on the other. 2. Make sure you buy the right spark plugs for your car based on its model, make and year.

Installing the New Spark Plugs 1. Hand-tighten each spark plug in place. If you feel any resistance, stop and start over to prevent cross-threading. 2. Tighten the plugs with a socket wrench until snug. Do not overtighten. 3. Replace the spark plug wires. Usually, you will hear a soft pop when the plug wire snaps onto the plug. 4. Start the engine. Listen. If the engine runs roughly or doesn't start, make sure the wires are pushed all the way onto the new plugs.

Some important Tips and Warnings 1. Improperly gapped plugs will make your car run roughly, start poorly and have bad gas mileage.

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REPLACING THE PCV VALVE

For replacing PCV valve Lets consider Toyota Tercel's PCV valve in point. Like late-model Civics and Integras, it's in plain sight on top of the cam cover, and is easily yanked out to replace. By the way, even a V6 has only one PCV valve. It will be located in one of the two cam covers. The PCV valve is the white thing. However, on some cars, such as my '91 Integra and certain Civics and Accords, the PCV valve is in a rather odd place. you'll see the PCV valve, located in a web of aluminum between the #3 and #4 intake manifold runners, under the fuel rail. The upper hose goes from that to the intake plenum. The lower hose? Well, keep reading... The first thing we need to do is improve access, so the clutch cable needs to be moved. Your car may different from this, so use your judgement as to what you need to do here. here we undo two of the cam cover nuts (being careful not to lose those acorn nuts), and move the clutch cable back, hooking it over a handy vacuum valve. Before we pull the valve out of its hole, we loosen the other end of the upper hose. we do this by gripping it gently with the same pair of angled needle-nose pliers we'll use to remove the valve, and rotating it either way to break the seal caused by time and corrosion. Don't squeeze too hard or you'll distort the metal stub. A set of angled needle-nose pliers is essential to be able to grab the old PCV valve and pull it out of its hole in the lower hose.

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What also helps is a warm (preferably HOT) day, and a hot engine, so everything is loose and flexible. Now that the valve is popped out, we can pull the other end of its upper hose off the stub on the intake plenum. And there's the hole that's left behind. That's the upper part of the lower hose. we carefully wiped off the sand with the fingertip of baby finger, making sure nothing dropped inside the lower hose. Remove the intake hose so the throttle body was fully exposed, but no matter how you wriggled your arm under the intake manifold, all you could do is touch the lower hose with your middle fingertip. Installing the new PCV id very simple. WARNING: Never use silicone to grease the new PCV valve before insertion! These parts are designed to be in the presence of motor oil, so smear a bit of your choice of motor oil on the bottom of the PCV valve before pushing it into its grommet. Silicone and oxygen sensors do NOT get along! As a final step, we move the clutch cable back, then torque the cam cover nuts back down to 7 ft-lbs. Don't overtighten, or you'll damage something! A decent beam-type torque wrench is all of $20 at your local parts emporium, and is more than suitable for this sort of job.

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CHANGE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID

There are certain advantages with transmission fluid such as, Transmission fluid helps to cool the transmission, and a well cooled transmission should last 100,000 miles or more. If you decide to change your automatic transmission fluid, be sure to dispose of the old fluid properly and take precautions to prevent any fluids from contacting your skin or getting into your eyes. Here are some simple steps to follow. 1. Check the fluid level: Open the hood, start the car and let it idle. Leave the transmission in Park. Always check transmission fluid levels when the car is running. If you try to check the fluid levels when the engine is off, you’ll get inaccurate measurements. Brush away any dirt, grease or grime that could fall into the dipstick tube. Now remove the transmission fluid dipstick and read the level indicated. New transmission fluid looks red. Old transmission fluid is much darker, almost black. Low transmission fluid is always a bad sign. If your transmission fluid is low, it’s probably due to a leak either at a gasket or somewhere in the cooling lines that run to the radiator. 2. Transmission fluid change intervals: The recommended interval between automatic transmission fluid changes is usually about 30,000 to 40,000 miles. Many people wait too long to change their automatic transmission fluid. If you wait until the transmission shifts poorly or begins to slip, then you’ve probably waited too long and a transmission overhaul might be required.

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3. Drain the transmission fluid: First, set the emergency brake and block the tires to prevent the car from moving. Disconnect a cooling line running from the transmission to the radiator. Connect a piece of rubber tubing to the pipe, and place the free end of the tube into an empty milk jug. Start the engine and let it idle. Transmission fluid should flow out of the cooling line and into the milk jug. As soon as the fluid ceases to flow, turn off the engine. You may have to place the car in Drive in order to get fluid to flow. Be sure to dispose of the fluid properly at a recycling center. Reconnect the cooling line to the radiator. 4. Remove the drain pan: Remove the bolts holding the drain pan to the bottom of the transmission. This might get a little messy, but it would be worse if you hadn’t already removed most of the fluid. 5. Clean the drain pan: Use some transmission fluid and thoroughly clean the inside of the drain pan. Remove all metal shavings, sludge, and debris. Also clean all of the metal shavings from the magnets on the bottom of the pan. 6. Replace and the filter: Remove the filter and replace with a new filter. Don’t waste time trying to clean a filter to reuse it; always replace the filter when you change the transmission fluid. Make sure that the O-rings on the new filter are seated properly. 7. Replace the gasket: It’s usually best to replace the gasket sealing the drain pan. You may be able to improve the seal by using black RTV adhesive. 8. Install the pan: Once the filter and gasket are in place, put the pan back onto the transmission. Hand-thread the bolts for the first few turns so that you won’t strip the threading. Use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the appropriate tightness. Do not overtighten the bolts. This can damage the threads in the transmission and dent the pan.

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9. Fill with automatic transmission fluid: Check your owner’s manual to determine the correct type and amount of fluid to use in your car. This is usually Dextron III type fluid, but check your owner’s manual just in case your car requires a different type. Check the fluid level using the dipstick with the engine running and the transmission in park. Be careful that you do not add too much fluid.

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INSPECT BRAKE LININGS

Check your brakes at intervals of approximately 15,000 Km, unless prior experience indicates that less frequent inspection will suffice. Begin by looking for hydraulic fluid leaks at the master cylinder, calipers wheel cylinders and at every junction or valve in the hydraulic system. If you find hydraulic system problems, you may want to seek professional help. At the very least, you should be equipped with a complete service manual and any required tools before attempting to rebuild or replace calipers, wheel cylinders or a master cylinder.The safe operation of a car's brakes depends on the hydraulic system. If the hydraulic system checks out okay, inspect disc brake pads and drum brake shoes to make sure that the lining has not worn to the point where replacement is necessary. If you know for sure that your disc pads are of the bonded type, rather than of the riveted type, you might be able to inspect the lining thickness through an inspection hole provided for this purpose in the top of many calipers. If the pads are bonded, the thinnest section of the friction material should be at least as thick as the pad backing plate. If you don't know whether the pads are bonded or riveted, you'll have to remove the caliper to check pad thickness. In most cases, the job is not very difficult. Exceptions would include some rear wheel disc brakes that incorporate parking brake mechanisms. Once the calliper has been lifted off the rotor, check the friction material. If it's of a non-metallic type, the pads must have more than I/i6 in. of material above the rivets. Semimetallic friction material should be at least 1132 in. above the rivets. While you're at it, check the rotors for excessive discoloration or any beat cracking. If the rotors are damaged, they'll have to be machined or replaced and the pads will have to be replaced. If everything looks okay and there's plenty of friction material on the pads, you can go ahead and bolt it all together.

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Drum Brake Inspections To check the linings of drum brake vehicles, the drums must be removed. In most cases, the shoes will have to be retracted before the drums will come off. To retract the shoes on most vehicles with self-adjusting brakes, locate the adjusting slots, which are either in the backing plate (most likely) or in the drum. The slots should be filled with rubber insert plugs. On cars with slots with a very small screwdriver and lift the self- adjusting lever away from the star wheel. Insert a brake-adjusting tool in the slot alongside the screwdriver. Engage the brakeadjusting tool in the star wheel and turn it to back off the adjustment. Often you'll have to move the brake- tool handle upward to retract the shoes. If the slots are in the drums, use a hook to the hold the adjusting lever away from the star wheel for most applications. Insert the brake tool next to the hook to turn the star wheel. Once the shoes have been retracted, cover your mouth and nose. Inspect the friction material and drums for visible damage. If the drums are scored, they have to be replaced. Check the lining for the excessive wear. Bond linings should be replaced when they have 1/16 in. or less of friction material. Replace riveted linings when they wear to within 1/32 in. of the rivets.

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EVERY 3 YEARS OR 30,000 MILES

CHECK AND TEST IGNITION WIRES

Checking the Cap and Rotor Once the wires are installed, remove the distributor cap and clean the inside with a dry rag. Look for cracks, fractures or any evidence of carbon tracking. Carbon tracks are lines running from one outer terminal to another or from one terminal to the centre terminal. If tracking or physical damage is noted, replace the cap. If the cap looks okay, clean all corrosion from the terminals. If it cannot be scraped from the terminals with a small knife, replace the cap. Remove the rotor and examine it. It should be replaced if it is cracked, chipped or carbon tracked. Clean corrosion from the tip with a knife. If the rotor is to the point where it cannot be cleaned easily, it should be replaced. On cars with electronic ignition, the distributor service ends here, assuming of course that there has been no ignition related performance problem. If an ignition problem is affecting engine operation, diagnostic procedures must be performed. This differs from car to car, and in some cases substitution testing with known good parts is part of the procedure. Therefore, you may want to let a dealer or large independent service facility handle such problems.

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Replacing the Points If your car has a contact breaker ignition system, replace the points and condenser. Begin by rotating the engine until the rubbing block of the points is on the high point of the distributor cam. Disconnect the distributor's primary wire and the condenser wire from the points before removing the points and condenser. Don't drop the screws or you may have to spend hours recovering them. On most cars, the screws that hold the points need only be loosened for removal. Install the new points and condenser and attach both wires to the points. With the rubbing block of the contact set touching a high point of the distributor cam, adjust the point gap to specification using a feeler gauge .

Lubricate the distributor dam with a small amount of cam lubricant or white lithium grease. A very small amount is enough. Don't overdo it. If the distributor is equipped with a lubricating wick( like a Maruti 800) that touches the cam, don't attempt to oil it. Replace it instead. Reinstall the distributor rotor and cap. If you have a dwell meter, start the engine and check point dwell. Readjust if necessary.

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TEST COOLING SYSTEM

Check your vehicles cooling system For better performance check cooling system of your vehicle. A car's engine generates enough heat to destroy itself. The cooling system protects against damage, keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range. Regular checks and maintenance help assure long life of vulnerable engine parts. Here's what's involved in proper cooling system maintenance: 1. Check condition of water pump. 2. Inspect radiator for leaks and corrosion. 3. Be sure to have plenty of coolant. CAUTION: Never open or remove pressure cap while engine is hot. 4. Look for leaking hoses and connections* and tighten loose clamps. 5. Check condition of radiator pressure cap*. Replace if rubber gasket is damaged. 6. If the engine runs too cool, the thermostat is probably at fault and needs replacement. 7. Inspect condition of hoses. Cracked, mushy or otherwise deteriorated hoses should be replaced. 8. Heater hoses need attention too. Look for leaks, cracks, and rotted rubber. Replace faulty clamps. 9. Check belts for wear and tension. Replace when frayed or cracked. Belts usually have a life span of 4 years.

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CHECK DRIVE BELTS

As we discussed earlier the workhorses of your car’s engine Breakdowns are most commonly caused by worn belts and hoses. Neglecting them can leave you stranded.

To prevent an emergency or inconvenience, have your belts and hoses checked every time you have your oil changed. Although a belt can look healthy, the rubber used to make it could be dry and cracked due to age, heat, cold and normal wear and tear. In addition, engine vibration can cause belts to become loose. Your car’s belts make more than 35 million revolutions each year, so don't ignore them. An important part of your car, the belts wrap around pulleys to power many of your car’s other components. Worn, defective or improperly adjusted belts contribute to accidents and breakdowns, costly repairs, battery failure and overheated engines. Check your belts every six months. If they are too tight, they will stretch and break. If they are too loose, they won’t work efficiently. Regardless of how your belts look, you should replace them every four years.

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REPLACE FLUID IN DIFFERENTIAL AND MANUAL TRANSMISSION

As discussed earlier, Keeping an eye on your transmission fluid levels can help keep your car running smoothly-and help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Unfortunately, not all cars have transmissions that can be easily checked by the owner. Newer models are frequently made without fluid dipsticks. Called sealed units, these transmissions require an involved process to check fluid levels. The process often involves electronic testing devices, such as a computer scan tool, and needs to be performed by a technician. If your car has a sealed transmission or needs transmission work, it's a good idea to bring it to a certified repair shop to avoid being taken for a ride. Shops displaying the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) seal adhere to a strict code of quality and ethics-and their "Golden Rule" warranty is honored at nearly 2,000 shops throughout the U.S. However, there are still plenty of cars out there with transmissions that owners can check themselves. ATRA offers these tips: 1. Make sure the car is on level ground. 2. Start the engine. 3. Bring the engine to normal driving temperature. The easiest way to do this is by checking the fluid level right after driving the car for a while. 4. Hold your foot on the brake and work the shifter slowly through the gears. Give the transmission a second or two in each gear. 5. Put the shifter back into park. 6. Set the parking brake. 7. Carefully open the hood. 8. Find the dipstick. (Your owner's manual will tell you where it's located.) 9. Remove the dipstick and wipe it off with a clean rag or paper towel. 10. Slide the dipstick all the way back down into the transmission fill tube. 11. Pull the dipstick back out, and check the fluid level against the markings on the end of the dipstick. 12. Add fluid as necessary.

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EVERY 50,000 MILES

CHECK BRAKE SHOES

Brake Check 1. These symptoms can indicate brake problems: 2. The car pulling to one side during braking. 3. Squeaks, grinding or other noises when the brakes are applied. 4. The pedal goes farther toward the floor than normal. 5. The pedal pulsates during regular (non-panic) braking. 6. Evidence of brake fluid inside the tire/wheel or on the ground.

New Shoes Drum brakes were standard at all four corners on most vehicles until the early 1970s. In a nutshell, this system functions by the brake pedal sending fluid to the wheel cylinders, which push "shoes" outward until they contact the drums. The friction between the shoes and drums slows and eventually stops the vehicle. This friction also wears down the linings on both the drum and shoes over time, which is why brake inspection and replacement is the most vital part of routine maintenance.

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The brakes should be visually inspected every time the car's wheels are off for tire rotation or other service. Begin your brake inspection by jacking up the vehicle, securing it on jackstands and removing the tire/wheel. Play it safe and wear a filtering mask when working on brakes because their dust might contain asbestos. Scribe the drum and hub with chalk so that the drum can be reinstalled in the same position. When servicing rear brakes, make sure that the emergency brake isn't set—then remove the drums. If they don't come off easily, spray penetrating oil around the hub area and tap around the drum with a hammer. Still frozen? Retract the brake shoes by accessing the adjuster's star wheel. Knock out the access plug in the brake's backing plate with a hammer and chisel if necessary, then use a small screwdriver to turn the star wheel until the shoes retract far enough to remove the drum. At this point, look for leaky brake fluid. Spewing brake cylinders should be rebuilt or replaced, which involves disconnecting the brake line and bleeding the brakes after the new cylinder is installed. Then spray all components with brake cleaner; never use petroleum-based solvents. Inspect the shoe lining. It should have more than 1/16-inch of "meat" beyond the shoe's outer surface or rivets. Shoes that are worn to this point or are cracked or glazed should be replaced. Also check the inside of the brake drums for cracks, scratches and discolored areas. Many parts stores will "turn" drums on a lathe for free or a minimal charge with the purchase of new shoes. This process removes high spots and slight imperfections on the drum's friction surface. Different shoe compositions are available for different driving styles. They range from organic to semi-metallic to carbon fiber. The pros and cons of each is a story unto itself.

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MAJOR REPAIR

Every thing fine with minor repair but what if you have a major repair to do, it's wise to get at least 3 estimates, if possible, before you decide. If its under your knowledge, proceed with the process.

CAR MANUAL

Every vehicle have a manual, read and follow your car owner's manual - it's your car's bible for making your car last longer. Reading each and every point carefully can make you and your car to deliver better performance.

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CHECK THINGS ON YOUR OWN

Whether you are a man, woman, boy or girl, learn to do some routine maintenance on your car yourself. a multitude of books, videos, magazines and classes are available at your local library that will teach you for free if you don't know. learn how to check your own oil, transmission fluid, tire pressure and coolant, etc.

FIND A GOOD MECHANIC

If you find a good mechanic who you can trust, stick with him even if his prices are a bit higher - all things being equal. you'll always save time, money and aggravation in the long run.

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ACCELERATE SLOWLY

Don't race or gun your engine when you start it up. accelerate slowly and smoothly when your engine is cold. By doing this you can achieve better performance.

AVOID BURNING RUBBER

Avoid burning rubber - it places excessive wear on the transmission, rear end, not to mention your tires. This is a problem that should not be ignored. If you smell something burning, do not continue to drive. Immediately pull off the road. The cause of the problem presents a dangerous condition and is best identified by smell. After you have smelled something burning and have pulled the car off the road, turn the ignition off. Allow the burning to stop then take a look at the possible causes of the problem. Do not look for the problem while the fire is still burning. Most often this type of problem appears suddenly without warning. The probable causes are. 1. The drive belts on the engine may be loose. 2. The engine may be overheating. 3. There may be an electrical short. 4. A component driven by a belt may be seized. Try to find and take appropriate step.

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INTERNATIONAL TIRE COMPANY

An international tire company estimated that 33% of all tires on the road are under-inflated (low air). Under-inflated tires wear out quicker and have a tendency to blow out easier. Try to avoid this kind of situation.

GARAGED CAR

Use an appropriate garage to park your vehicle. A garaged vehicle lasts longer. A car port is next best, and a car cover is a distant third. If you garage your vehicle properly it delivers better results without your knowledge.

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AVOID JACKRABBIT

Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops. Stop and accelerate gradually. Drive smoothly. Smooth driving saves gas and lowers vehicle emissions. Accelerate slowly, avoiding "jackrabbit" starts; shift to higher gears at the lowest practical speed if you have a standard transmission; and accelerate gently if you have an automatic transmission. If your car is equipped with overdrive, you should use it at the appropriate speeds. If your car is equipped with cruise control, you should use it where appropriate. Also, avoid sudden starts and stops, which increase wear on your tires.

AVOID TAILGATING

Avoid tailgating, tire squealing turns, flying over speed bumps, pot holes and revving your engine.

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RUSH HOUR DRIVING

When possible, avoid driving your car during rush hour stop and go traffic periods.

LONGER TIRE LIFE

Keep front-end aligned, for longer tire life and better gas mileage.

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PROMISED REPAIRS

Make sure you get promised repairs in writing including how much it will cost.

SPECIALIZED REPAIRS

Avoid car dealers except to have highly specialized repairs done that can't be done properly anywhere else.

TRANSMISSION FLUID ONCE A MONTH OR 1,000 MILES

If you have a major repair to do, it's wise to get at least 3 estimates, if possible, before you decide. It's hard to be overcharged when you get three estimates before you have the work done. Make sure you get promised repairs in writing including how much it will cost.

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CHEAPEST NOT BEST

Beware: Cheapest is not always the best. Normally, the best mechanics with the best equipment and training cost more.

LOW PRICES HAVE INFERIOR

Often mechanics that charge extremely low prices have inferior or out-dated equipment, little to no formal training or are under-insured.

ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS

Complex electrical problems are so involved that serious electrical work should be done in an "Auto Electric" shop. They have the equipment, tool and training to do the job more efficiently than the average mechanic.

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CRUISE CONTROL

If your car has "cruise control" use it. using cruise control will save you 5% to 10% of a gallon of gas on long trips. Cruise control systems have been with us for years. They work very effectively to control the speed of the vehicle. Cruise control systems are comprised of electronic and mechanical subsystems. This is how they work. A cruisecontrol system exists to maintain the speed of a car, even over varying terrain, when turned on by the driver. When the brake is applied, the system must relinquish speed control until told to resume. The system must also steadily increase or decrease speed to reach a new maintenance speed when directed to do so by the driver.

This is the block diagram of the hardware for such a system. There are several inputs: System on/off : If on, denotes that the cruise-control system should maintain the car speed. Engine on/off : If on, denotes that the car engine is turned on; the cruise-control system is only active if the engine is on.

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Pulses from wheel : A pulse is sent for every revolution of the wheel. Accelerator : Indication of how far the accelerator has been pressed. Brake : On when the brake is pressed; the cruise-control system temporarily reverts to manual control if the brake is pressed. Increase/Decrease Speed : Increase or decrease the maintained speed; only applicable if the cruise-control system is on. Resume : Resume the last maintained speed; only applicable if the cruise-control system is on. Clock : Timing pulse every millisecond. There is one output from the system: Throttle : Digital value for the engineer throttle setting. We all know that the things that control the speed of the car are the gas pedal and the brakes. And the brain that normally controls the speed of the car is the brain of the driver. The driver senses the speed by looking at the speedometer and then adjusting the pressure on the gas pedal or the brakes to compensate for variations in the desired speed. The cruise control system does the same thing with one exception. It only controls the gas pedal - it doesn't even know there are brakes in the car!! The vehicle's speed sensor which is mounted on the output shaft of the transmission (the thing that drives the wheels) sends electrical pulses to the computer, pulses which are generated by a magnet spinning past a sensor coil. When the vehicle's speed increases the frequency of the pulses increases. For any given speed of the vehicle there is a corresponding pulse frequency. It is this pulse frequency which the cruise control tries to maintain as a constant. You think of it as the vehicle's speed. The brains of the control box of the cruise control has three functions. First, it stores the speed of the vehicle when you press the "set" button whild travelling at the desired speed. It keeps this value in its memory until you turn the ignition off. Second, it receives the pulses from the transmission sensor and compares the frequency of those pulses to the frequency value stored in its memory - the set point. Third, it sends pulses to a vacuum controlled diaphragm connected to the

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accelerator linkage. The pulses it sends regulates the amount of vacuum the diaphragm receives. The more pulses, the more vacuum and the more vacuum the more force on the accelerator linkage. The system continues to add vacuum force until the set point speed is reached. At that point the system modulates the amount of vacuum the diaphragm receives in an effort to maintain the number of pulses coming from the speed sensor as close to the stored value as possible. OK, so this "brain" works just fine in controlling the speed of the vehicle until something goes wrong. What can go wrong? First, the VSS, the thing that sends pulses to the brain might fail. Normally the speedometer also fails so that's pretty easy to diagnose. Next, the power to the brain can be interrupted. A blown fuse or a corroded connector can prevent the brain from working correctly or at all. Next, the brains can lose its ability to function. A faulty component can prevent the brain from doing its thing. The brain is a pretty sophisticated box that contains a lot of electronic components including a microprocessor. Normally when the brains fail you need to replace the box. The vacuum diaphragm can develop a leak. If that happens then the cruise control might set and hold the speed for some time however if the leak is larger than the supply line and modulator can add vacuum to the system the system will slowly lose control and the vehicle will slow down. This can also happen if the vacuum line to the diaphragm is cracked or loose. Finally, the linkage that connects the diaphragm to the accelerator linkage can fail. Some aftermarket cruise control systems use a short length of what looks like fat key chain - bead chain. I have seen several units fail when the chain simply breaks. Diagnosis of a failed system can be a complex process. Most vehicle shop manuals have a multi-page diagnostic flow chart that the dealer mechanics use to solve failures. If there isn't an obvious problem like a broken wire, a blown fuse or a leaking vacuum line then the problem most likely lies in the brains of the unit or in the switch that sets the speed and contains the other functions of resume and accelerate. Most cruise control switches are on the directional signal stem, a multifunction switch assembly with fine wires that break due to the constant motion of the wires as you use the directionals in your daily travels.

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If you do an initial diagnosis and can't find the problem then go to the library in your town and get the shop manual. That is the only way you stand a chance of diagnosing and fixing the problem. Adaptive cruise control Two companies are developing a more advanced cruise control that can automatically adjust a car's speed to maintain a safe following distance. This new technology, called adaptive cruise control, uses forward-looking radar installed behind the grill of a vehicle to detect the speed and distance of a vehicle ahead of it. Adaptive cruise control is similar to conventional cruise control in that it maintains the vehicle's pre-set speed. However, unlike conventional cruise control, this new system can automatically adjust speed in order to maintain proper distance between vehicles in the same lane. This is achieved through a radar headway sensor, digital signal processor and a longitudinal controller. If the lead vehicle slows down, or if another object is detected, the system sends a signal to the engine or braking system to decelerate. Then when the road is clear, the system will re-accelerate the vehicle back to the speed that the driver originally set. Adaptive cruise control is just a preview of technology being developed by both companies. In the future, these systems will be enhanced to include collision warning capabilities that will warn drivers through visual and/or audio signals that a collision is imminent and that braking or evasive steering is needed.

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PRESSING AND RELEASING THE ACCELERATOR

Avoid constantly pressing and releasing the accelerator when driving. This practise not only wastes fuel, but it puts excessive wear on the drive train of your car.

BRAKE PEDAL

Don't ride your brake pedal, this wears out your brake linings pre-maturely, and wastes fuel.

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CLOSING WINDOWS

Driving with your windows all the way down at higher speeds, will waste 10% more gallons of gasoline than driving with them closed.

CAR MANUFACTURER

Research by a major car manufacturer has revealed that neglect of proper routine maintenance is the number one reason for the enormous increase in car repairs being required.

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DEPARTMENT STORES

Tires purchased at department stores such as Sears, Montgomery Wards, K-Mart etc., can be an excellent value because many are made by leading tire manufacturers. Hence give preference.

SPIN BALANCED

When purchasing or changing tires, make sure you have them spin balanced. Which ultimately results in good performance.

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AVOID DRY RAG OR TOWEL

As discussed earlier, avoid cleaning your windshield with a dry rag or towel. Always dampen with water or some other cleaning liquid. Dry towels grind and scratch your windshield hindering your visibility.

AVOID TURNING ON THE CAR AIR-CONDITIONING

Avoid turning on the car air-conditioning while running at highway speeds as this tends to put an immediate heavy load on your compressor and clutch. This could cause excessive wear and tear on these components. Instead turn your air conditioner on at car speeds below 25 to 30 m.p.h. This helps to preserve your expensive compressor.

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TANK LOW ON GAS

Try to avoid running your car with the tank low on gas. Keeping a low tank of gas increases the chance of dirt, water/moisture and rust forming in your fuel system. Keeping a full tank decreases the chance of dirt and other foreign matter forming in your fuel system.

TIRES DRIVEN

Tires driven at 70 m.p.h. wear out almost twice as fast as cars that go 50 m.p.h.

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GOVERNMENT STUDY

A government study has confirmed, the top three causes of car breakdowns while on the road are: (a) running out of gas (b)tire troubles (c) cooling system problems (overheating)

GOOD CAR REPAIR

The best as well as the easiest ways to find a good car recommendation or referrals from satisfied customers.

repair shop is by

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COMPUTER-CONTROLLED ENGINES

To work on a late model computer-controlled engines, make sure the shop you choose has the equipment to handlecomputer-electric service/repair. Sophisticated diagnostic equipment is a must.

RIGHT REPAIR SHOP

To choose the right repair shop for you, it's wise to have a small or minor maintenance or repair job done first to see how the repair shop and mechanic treat you and your car.

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DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Give detailed description of your car's problem when you take it in for repairs. The more you can describe what your car is doing or not doing (thumping, squealing, clacking sound, etc.) the faster and less it will cost for your mechanic to fix it.

COST OF A REPAIR

When in doubt about the cost of a repair or a mechanic's honesty get a second opinion. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself from being ripped-off until you can find a permanent repair shop.

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REGULAR OIL CHANGES

Regular oil changes are the most important thing you can do to protect your engine and make it last longer.

MANUAL TRANSMISSION

If you have a manual transmission, downshift to slow your car down instead of using your brakes. This will save wear and tear on your braking system.

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TRANSMISSION FLUID

Each time you have your engine oil checked, have your transmission fluid checked also.

CAR'S INTERIOR

Protect your car's interior and make it last longer - park your car in the shade or place a windshield guard or cover in the windshield.

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CLEAN IT UP

If you spill something inside your car, clean it up immediately before it dries. Delaying even 30 minutes can sometimes leave a permanent stain or spot. NOTE: To better protect your car seats have them treated with scotch guard.

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SIMPLE STEPS TO FOLLOW

Regular maintenance of your vehicle will extend its life perhaps well beyond what you or others may think is its normal lifespan. Today’s cars can easily top the 100,000 mile mark with many cars on the road exceeding 150,000, 200,000, even 250,000 miles. Ask owners of high mileage cars how they got to that point and most will point to their own rigorous and disciplined maintenance schedules as being the chief factor. By carefully and diligently following a maintenance schedule, you can extend your vehicle’s life too. Let’s take a look at several important maintenance steps you must take in order to avoid costly repairs and to help you hold onto your vehicle longer. Regular oil changes – The 30 minute oil change specialists recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or three months, while some manufacturers state you only need to change your oil once every 7,500 miles or six months. Opt for more frequent changes than lengthy manufacturer recommended intervals, but change your oil [and oil filter] every 3,000 miles if your car is subject to hard driving. Change your air filter – Your engine will run better and cleaner if you change your air filter at least once per year; more so if you do a lot of “stop and go” driving or put on many more miles per year than average. Rotate your tires – Evenly wearing tires will help ensure that your car stops properly and stays on the road. Have your brakes and shocks inspected too to avoid potential handling and control issues. Transmission fluid – Your transmission isn’t guaranteed to run forever. Change your fluid at manufacturer recommended intervals, generally once every 30 or 60 thousand miles. Neglect it and face costly repairs and potentially fatal [to the car] consequences.

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Drain the radiator – Periodically draining the radiator and replacing the antifreeze will help flush out rust and dirt particles that can clog up your cooling system. When the coolant’s rust inhibitors get used up then corrosion will show up within the radiator as well as in the engine block Change the spark plugs – Some manufacturers have installed long life spark plugs meaning that changing spark plugs once every 60 or even 90 thousand miles or more is a possibility. Keep in mind that the longer your spark plugs sit in place, the more difficult it may be to remove them later. Optimally, replacing your spark plugs once every 30 thousand miles is ideal. Examine your exhaust system – Your muffler, catalytic converter, and remaining exhaust system parts can wear out. A poorly functioning exhaust system saps your engine of needed power. Wash and wax – Yes, your car may mechanically run well, but if the body falls apart, then what do you have left? Regular washings and a once a year wax job should do the trick. Other stuff – Replace your battery, fuel filter, PCV valve, belts, and hoses as needed and every other part that wears out. Sensors come and sensors go; usually you will only have to replace your knock or oxygen sensors if and when a problem arises. Ultimately, refer to your manufacturer’s repair book for guidelines as to when to perform maintenance. The key to extending your vehicle’s life is in doing the maintenance when needed to head off costly repair bills. Otherwise you will be neglecting your car to the point where it “dies” prematurely. You can extend the life of your vehicle. If you aren’t up to the task, hire a qualified mechanic to service your vehicle regularly.

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