CarFAQs

This is an example set of FAQs generated by the Ultimate FAQ WordPress plugin, grouped by category and with the “Slide” reveal effect.

Common Maintenance

The oil filter cleans dirt and particles from the oil that may cause damage. An easy way to remember to change your oil filter is to replace it at every oil change or every other oil change. Oil filters are inexpensive and range from $5 to $20 depending on the vehicle.

You can ask a licensed mechanic to change both your oil and filter at the same time. If you want to change your oil and oil filter yourself, be sure to purchase the correct filter for your engine and follow the filter manufacturer’s instructions.

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    I recommend it in the spring because all winter long, they’re used as scrapers for snow and freezing rain,” Nelson says. “The rubber compound breaks up and doesn’t give a good, clean swipe. In the fall, [replace them again because] they can dry up in the heat of the sun [during summer].

    An easy-to-remember guide is: change your car’s oil every 5,000 kilometres or every three to six months. It may sound excessive, but car companies recommend changing the oil frequently to avoid damage. Depending on the type of car you drive and your driving habits, you may need to change the oil less often. Newer engines and high-quality oil may allow you to drive further between changes. Check your owner’s manual or consult a mechanic on the best option for your needs.

    Here is a general rule of thumb:

    If you live inland in an area where your car is free of salty air and sand, and if you don’t have to contend with tree sap, bird droppings and dead bugs, you can wash your car about once a month and still keep it in good shape.

    If you live in a polluted environment, near a salty coast or in a wooded area, once a week may be your best bet.

    Otherwise, a couple of times a month is a good bet to ensure that you’re not waiting too long to get rid of harmful chemicals, residues, salt, sand, tar, grease and grime.

    As the filter gets dirty the fuel pump has to work harder (draws more current), and will burn out faster. Also, most fuel systems are “return” types: excess fuel pumped from the tank to the fuel pressure regulator gets returned to the gas tank. Any crud that isn’t filtered out can keep getting recirculated blocking injectors/screens and wearing out the fuel pump. Putting in a new filter every 2 years/30,000 miles is cheap insurance and good preventive maintenance.
    There are a number of things that should be done if you plan on keeping a car past 100,000 miles, but most car makers know that most people won’t, so they don’t mention them.

    Costs

    A lot of people think you have to get the best blades out there,” he says. “But there’s not a lot difference between a $7.99 and a $15.99 blade. Even the good ones are still going to wear out. You’ll get more life out of replacing a $7.99 blades twice a year than trying to make a $15 one last all year.

    If you purchase them retail, most auto part retailers will install the wiper blades for you.

    Topics: Costs

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    Winter Maintenance

    Luckily it only takes a second to check your coolant level. Most cars these days have a translucent coolant overflow tank right next to the radiator. It’s white plastic, but you can see inside to see if there’s enough juice to keep things safe. You’ll also see markings on the side telling you the low and high levels to work with. Always check your coolant level when the car is cold.

    If you happen to have an older vehicle without a visible overflow and fill tank, you’ll have to check the antifreeze / coolant level by looking into the radiator. There is no dipstick or other meter to tell you whether you have enough coolant in the radiator on these older vehicles. The good news is that the older systems were much less sensitive to how much coolant you had — or didn’t have — in the radiator. As long as you can visibly see the level of the coolant by removing the radiator cap and looking into the top of the radiator, your level is fine. The following piece of information is very important: Do NOT attempt to open the radiator cap on a hot car.

    The system is highly pressurized and the fluid inside is very hot. The combination of the two can mean some serious burns if it starts to spray out. Patience.

    If your levels are good, no need to go any further, enjoy the peace of mind. But if you’re low, you’ll need to top it off. Your engine takes a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water. That’s a mixture of half water, half coolant In the old days, you had to make measurements yourself and test the mixture to get it right. But since we live in the age of convenience, you can now buy premixed coolant that’s ready to pour. For a simple topping off, I recommend going this route. It might cost a buck more, but you’re in for much less mess.

    To add the coolant, simply unscrew or pop off the cap on top of the opaque plastic overflow reservoir and add your mixture until it reaches the full mark. Now put the cap back on nice and tight and you’re ready for any weather.

    Try the Bluenose test: place a dime in the tire’s groove with the Bluenose’s Sails facing down . If you can see the top of the Bluenose mass and sails, then your tires have sailed long enough and needs replacing. However, this test will not work with performance or off-road tires.

    Tires are manufactured with .wear bars. The bar becomes exposed when there is less than 1.6 mm of tread depth remaining on your tire. Tires must be replaced when the wear bar is visible and even with the neighbouring tread block.

    Measure your tire pressure monthly. Tires are permeable and tend to lose about 2 psi (14 kPa) per month, so it is important to regularly measure their pressure. Tires also lose pressure as the air temperature drops (about 1 psi for every 5°C drop in temperature), so remember to measure your tire pressure year-round.