Car Care Tips

Seasonall Automotive Center Car Tips for a Well Maintained Vehicle

Giving your vehicle the proper preventative maintenance can go a long way toward making it perform better. At Seasonall Automotive Center, we can help you with everything from preventative maintenance to major repairs. In business since 1971, we have been providing the Henrietta and Rochester communities with quality auto service for over four decades.

Here are some car care tips to help you keep your vehicle in top condition:

  • Avoid extraneous driving that puts excess miles on your vehicle. When possible try to combine short trips because most of the wear and tear on your vehicle takes place during the first few minutes of driving. For really long road trips, consider using a rental car, particularly if you are leasing your vehicle.
  • Keep your car clean. Ideally, the exterior of a car should be washed weekly and waxed twice a year. This both protects the paint on your car and helps to keep rust from gaining a foothold.  Don’t forget to keep the interior clean as well with regular vacuuming and detailing. Keeping your car clean helps it to retain its value.
  • Check your oil regularly. Drive for about fifteen minutes to give the oil a chance to warm up and then park your vehicle in a level place, turn the engine off, and wait for 15 minutes to allow the oil to drain back into the pan from the engine.  Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel, and then reinsert the dipstick. Pull it out to check the oil level, which should be between the hash marks.  Have it changed every 3000 to 5000 miles, or according to the recommendations in your owner’s manual.  Driving with low oil or no oil can severely damage your engine. Also pay heed to the recommended viscosity and also any recommended brands listed in your owner’s manual.
  • Monitor your tire pressure frequently, particularly in warm weather. Air pressure fluctuates according to the weather conditions. Check the tire pressure when the tires are cold (meaning they have been driven less than a mile) in order to get an accurate reading. Be sure to keep tires inflated according to the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Not only will driving on properly inflated tires improve your gas mileage, but it can also save your life, since your tires will grip the road better, particularly in bad weather.
  • Check the tread on your tires regularly. To be safe, tread should be at least 1/16” thick, but if you drive in rain or snow, you need more tread. One of the easiest ways to test it is to insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it is time for a new tire immediately.
  • Get your vehicle’s wheel alignment checked every 30,000 miles. Improper tire alignment can cause poor handling and will also shorten the life of your tires.
  • Don’t ignore your “Check Engine” light. While it may be something trivial, like a loose gas cap, it could also be a warning of something much more seriously wrong with your vehicle. If you sense anything off about the way your vehicle is running, regardless of whether or not the “Check Engine” light is on, be sure to have it looked at before the problem gets worse and more expensive to repair.
  • To help your engine run more efficiently, replace your engine spark plugs regularly.  In fact, many manufacturers recommend changing the spark plugs every 30,000 or 40,000 miles for good fuel efficiency and engine performance. Be sure to change your spark plug wires as well since deteriorated wires can make new spark plugs fail.
  • Avoid driving at excessively high speeds. Not only is this dangerous, but it also diminishes the fuel economy of your car. Driving within the speed limit will improve your vehicle’s gas mileage.
  • Be mindful of how you drive your vehicle. Try to avoid fast starts, stops, and turns. You should also make an effort to avoid any objects on the road or potholes. Be careful not to run over curbs or hit your tires against the curb when you are parking.
  • Accelerate slowly when you begin your drive. Fast acceleration leads to more repairs over time and can add years to your engine. If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, shifting into neutral at a red light will put less strain on your engine and transmission.
  • Don’t hold your steering wheel in an extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds when you are turning to avoid damaging the power-steering pump.
  • Use your vehicle’s cruise control when possible. Maintaining a constant speed will improve your gas mileage.
  • Don’t allow your vehicle to remain on idle for too long. If you anticipate a long wait until you put it in gear, turn off the engine. Excessive idling is not good for your engine and can promote catalytic converter deterioration and also carbon buildup.
  • Do allow your engine to warm up in cold weather before putting your vehicle into gear and driving away. However, don’t allow the engine to idle for too long, which wastes gas.
  • Run your air conditioner a few times during the winter to prevent the moving parts in your compressor from seizing. By circulating the refrigerant you will help the seals to remain soft and pliant.
  • Prepare your vehicle for the coming season. Winter and summer both are very demanding on a vehicle, particularly on the battery, coolant, and tires, so you need to be prepared. If you can afford to invest in winter tires they will provide you with extra traction and control.
  • Don’t get gas at a filling station where the tanks are being filled. The turbulence of the incoming gas can stir up sediments that can clog your fuel filters and fuel injectors.
  • Schedule routine engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks with Seasonall Automotive Center. We can help you identify problems before they turn into major repairs.