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Summer usually means spending more time with family, whether that means staying local or heading elsewhere. For us, it means staying within our budget but still having fun.
One of the best ways we can do that is by planning local day trips.
But, before we hit the open road to a nearby location, we make sure that the car has been taken care of.
An older vehicle with plenty of use, Kyle’s SUV has been good to us. And in return, we want to make sure that we’re good to the car. That means staying on top of routine maintenance by following these 8 essential car care tips.
Most Americans use all-season tires. These tires should carry you safely from season to season, but it is imperative that you check the tires regularly for wear or damage. Ideally, tires should be checked on a weekly basis.
The brake system serves one main purposes: to slow down or stop the car when it is needed. If you step on the brake pedal and it goes all the way to the floor, you’ve got trouble.
Late-model automobiles are equipped with a brake warning light. This dashboard indicator will light up if something is wrong with your brake system. If your brake warning light indicates trouble, it is imperative that you check the brake system immediately. Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance advice, and call an experienced mechanic for repairs. Brake repairs or replacements are no job for a weekend or hobby mechanic.
In 2005, over 2,300 pedestrians died because drivers suffered eye problems or had faulty headlights in the automobiles. Properly maintained vehicle headlights help you drive safely, and see more clearly. Replace your headlight bulbs at least once per year.
Many people don’t think of changing their wiper blades until it is too late. This is one of the easiest and most inexpensive parts of the car to maintain. Change your wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and just before winter.
There are 10 common reasons why automobile owners visit the mechanic:
1. Electronic/Ignition control
3. Electrical problem
4. Brake system
5. Oil change/filters/lube
6. Exhaust system
7. Radiator repairs
8. Fuel system/carburetor
10. Air conditioning system
Routine check ups and proper maintenance of a car be expensive, and budget restrictions are often the leading factors in keeping car owners from living up to their responsibilities. This does not need to be a problem. The key is in knowing how to save on car maintenance and repairs. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed that $20 billion has been wasted on unnecessary auto repairs due to fraud and incompetence.
If your car is not performing to its full potential, remember the following tips to help you save money on repairs:
Be your car’s best friend, and you can save a bundle. By conducting regular preventative maintenance, such as regular oil changes and radiator flushes, you prevent unnecessary damage to the car and save a lot of money in the long run. Regular checkups by a qualified repair person will keep your car running better, longer.
Even automobiles need to take a break now and then. If you drive your car everyday the miles will add up quickly, and damage can occur prematurely. To avoid this, consider carpooling with friends and coworkers. Ask around to form your own carpool group. You’ll all save on maintenance, and you’ll be able to pool your fuel and parking expenses.
Before choosing a mechanic to repair your car, be sure to get a written estimate. If the mechanic wants more than your budget can afford, shop around. Compare estimates to find the best deal. Just be sure that you are paying for quality service.
Do It Yourself
You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish after doing a little research.
Read over your owner’s manual from time to time. Learn as much as you can about your car. Understand potential problems and how to solve them. For example, that mysterious clunking noise might be bothersome, but could be as simple to fix as tightening a bolt. Regular maintenance tasks like oil changes and radiator flushes are fairly easy to do if you understand your vehicle and take the time to do the job properly.
And for those jobs that you just don’t want to do yourself, visit your local Walmart Automotive Care Center.
Our first step was to locate the oil that we needed. And for Kyle’s SUV, that meant Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle®. This motor oil helps clean out the sludge lesser oils leave behind, while helping to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines. It’s a motor oil specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, with the mission of keeping engines running clean and going strong.
It’s also on rollback from $39.88 to $35.88 until September 28th.
Then it was off to the care center to get that oil changed
While we’re waiting, we can stock up on our road trip and day trip essentials inside Walmart. Win-win!
After picking our destination, we’re off! Did you know that Albany is in a fairly central location for day trips?
Sometimes our day trips are similar enough and involve visiting family, like spending the day in nearby Feura Bush to see Grandma and Grandpa.
Or heading up to nearby Schuylerville to visit cousins
Other times, it might mean heading up to Grafton Lake or Thacher State Park
And, of course, we can’t forget Saratoga Spa State Park
Whether we’re going near or going far, when we take a road trip, we also take along a copy of our road trip bingo game. It definitely helps to pass the time and it can be easily adapted for even the youngest traveler in our bunch. You can also play in teams, if you’d like.
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