Facts You Should Know About Your Car
courtesy of ASA
- Always check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle.
- Change engine oil and filter regularly — every 3,000 to 4,000 miles or 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers.
- Have engine tuned up regularly. A fouled spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Follow the service schedules listed in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles or 15,000 kilometers to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
- Change the crankcase vent filter every 24,000 miles or 40,000 kilometers. This filter cleans the air that is exposed to the crankcase and the working components of the engine.
- Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles or 25,000 to 30,000 kilometers. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle. The filter removes dirt and other foreign material from the transmission/transaxle fluid.
- Check the manual transmission fluid level.
- Check the differential (rear-end) fluid level.
- Lubricate the chassis frequently to extend the life of the moving components of the suspension system.
- Check the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle’s tires.
- Change the vapor canister every 24,000 miles or 40,000 kilometers. The vapor canister collects gas fumes from the gas tank to prevent their escape into the atmosphere. These fumes are then burned by the engine.
Maintenance You Can Do Yourself:
The vehicle’s fluids are very important and should be checked regularly.
- Brake Fluid – This check is done by loosening the clip on the master cylinder and removing the lid. If fluid is needed, consult your vehicle owner’s manual for correct type and fill to recommended level.
- Engine Oil – Correct engine oil level should be maintained to assure proper lubrication of your vehicle’s engine. It is best to check engine oil level approximately five minutes after a fully warmed-up engine is turned off or before starting the engine after it has been sitting for a longer period of time (overnight). Remove the engine oil dipstick, wipe the dipstick clean with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Reinsert dipstick until it fully seats in its tube. Remove dipstick and read oil level. Add oil only when the level is at or below the ADD OIL mark.
- Transmission/Transaxle Fluid – This check should be done while the engine is running in neutral with the parking brake securely set. The transmission should be at operating temperature. Remove the dipstick, wipe clean, insert and remove again to check fluid level. (CAUTION: DO NOT OVERFILL!)
- Windshield Washer Solvent – This check should be done by removing the cap of the reservoir and refilling with solvent.
- Antifreeze – This check is done by removing the radiator cap from the cooled engine and refilling, if needed, with antifreeze. (CAUTION: MAKE SURE ENGINE IS COMPLETELY COOLED.)
The Following Preventive Maintenance Checks Can Also Extend the Life of Your Vehicle:
- Inspect windshield-wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Blades should be replaced at least once a year or sooner if smearing begins.
- Check tire inflation monthly. Underinflated tires waste fuel. Check your owner’s manual for correct tire inflation pressure.
- Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine’s performance. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments.
- Check the battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them if needed.
- Inspect all vehicle lights, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights and emergency flashers. Replace burnt-out bulbs.
- Check the air filter approximately every other oil change. This filter, along with the other filters, ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.