Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 Minute Car Care

Here are some basic car care tasks that take less than 5 minutes each.
  1. Change you wiper blades. Wipe blades wear out and need to be replaced every 6 months to a year. On most vehicles they just clip on. To make this job easier use a slotted screw driver to depress the little tab that holds them in place. The new ones just clip in.
  2. Change your air filter. Air filters need regular replacement so you car can perform at its best. This is a simple task that requires at most a screw driver. 
    1. Open the filter box, sometimes the filter box is held closed by clips, other times by screws
    2. Remove the old filter
    3. put the new filter in
    4. close the box, put the screws back in or redo the clips.
  3. Change you PCV valve if you vehicle has one. When the PCV valve gets plugged your vehicle will smoke a lot because it is sucking up oil.  This is really easy it only takes about 30 seconds and a new PCV valve is usually in the range of $3-$5. 
    1. Find the PCV valve (hint it is in the valve cover on the top of the engine and will look kind of like the new part you just bought)
    2. pull the old PCV valve out of the valve cover
    3. remove the hose attached to the old PCT valve
    4. connect the hose to the new PCT valve
    5. put the new PCV valve in the valve cover
  4. Check you tire pressure. This will maximize your tire life, fuel mileage, and ride quality. The longest part of this fix is going to a gas station if you don't have your own compressor. You will need a tire pressure gauge and if you don't have one buy one it they are a couple of bucks.
    1. Go around to each tire and check the pressure (you can find the correct tire pressure in either your owners manual, on the drivers side door pillar, or the gas door)
    2. add some air if it is low or let some out if it is high, 
    3. recheck and add or remove air as necessary until at the correct pressure.
Doing all of these tasks is cheep, typically you could do all 4 of them for less than $15 if you didn't own anything and needed to buy a screwdriver, and tire pressure gauge. 

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