Don’t let your car break your heart by neglecting to take care of it. Being car aware can add years of useful life to your relationship with your vehicle and keep you from being stranded because of an unexpected breakdown.
- Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
Batteries always have an indicator (sight glass) which is present at the top of the battery. Peering into a sight glass lets you know the specific-gravity rating of the acid.
- If there is a green dot inside a black border, the specific gravity rating is good. The battery is probably not to blame for the engine not starting.
- If only black appears in the sight glass, the specific-gravity rating of electrolyte is between low. The battery could be causing your starting problem. Charge the battery.
- If the sight glass of a maintenance-free battery is clear or light yellow, replace the battery. Do not charge it
- Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check engine performance to make sure the engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy, and produces the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
By giving your vehicle a little more attention now, you’ll avoid the heartbreak and unplanned expense of car trouble.
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