Here’s how to extend the life of your auto parts

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There are certain components in your car that you can do without. Broken air conditioning, a flat tire, or a cracked windshield are irritants, but your car can still roll. Photo; Supplied / Archive

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New cars and quality used vehicles are either unaffordable or scarce or both, so consumers need to rely on their cars longer than ever before. Use the following tips to make your vehicle and its parts last longer.

There are certain components in your car that you can do without. Broken air conditioning, a flat tire, or a cracked windshield are irritants, but your car can still roll. However, if the engine fails, you could suddenly find yourself stranded on a busy highway, or worse, entertain your kids for the day because you can’t take them to school.

Engine maintenance begins with the ignition key. Allowing the engine to idle while the car is stationary in order to warm up the engine oil is simply a waste of time and causes unnecessary air pollution. It could even be harmful to the car.

Today’s synthetic motor oil heats up quickly, allowing engine components to move with minimal friction. Like human muscles, the engine must first do light work to warm up. So, drive calmly for the first five kilometers so that the oil becomes fine and liquid, like oil in a frying pan. Then he is ready for some hard work.

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Still, it’s best not to let a car work too hard. Heavy use shortens the life of the engine. It also means that consumables such as brake pads, brake discs, shock absorbers and tires need to be replaced sooner. Smart drivers anticipate the behavior of other road users (and traffic lights) and refrain from accelerating until the next stop. If you get into the habit of driving smart, your car will thank you and you will save fuel as well.

Another bad habit that reduces the longevity of your car is carrying heavy items on a regular basis. That beautiful rock that you found for your garden? Take it off when you get home, not three weeks later. The extra weight makes the engine work harder and, again, you’ll use more fuel.

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When the engine is running, the gearbox and clutch are also exposed to increased mechanical stress. By the way, the gearbox also uses oil, which must be replaced according to the manufacturer’s requirements, but not regularly. A new gearbox can cost as much as a new engine, or even more, so consider its health.

Clutching a manual gearbox doesn’t come cheap either. The usual culprit here is one foot on the clutch pedal, or preventing the car from reversing while waiting on a slope for the light to turn green.

The warm months are here, and the engine radiator needs to be able to do its job properly to keep the engine from overheating. For this it needs antifreeze, which also prevents the coolant (the water that cools the engine) from overheating.

A warning light on the dash will come on if the water gets too hot, but it’s best to avoid this altogether. Consult your car’s manual to determine what the coolant level in the reservoir should be and what the required mixture of antifreeze and water is – for example, 50% water and 50% antifreeze.

While you have your head under the hood, check the oil level as well. To do this, the car has stood still for 15 minutes or more without the engine running. By this time, most of the oil has flowed into the oil pan and your reading will be accurate. Do not add oil as the gasoline attendant thinks “he needs a quart”. Read your car manual again or ask a mechanic.

If your car has a turbo engine, remember that it also uses oil. This oil gets extremely hot, especially when the engine has been working hard and is then turned off. The oil that breaks down has claimed the lives of many turbos. Engineers have solved this problem so to speak, but it is still desirable to keep the engine below 2000 RPM for the last 3 miles of your ride to allow the turbo oil to cool.

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Because car engines are so complicated, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Usually a warning light or message on the dashboard alerts the driver, but sometimes the warning sounds like a strange noise. Park the car in a safe place (at home, if possible) and find out about the problem immediately. The ailments of a car do not go away on their own.

If you live near the ocean, where the air is high in salt, a weekly wash will also help keep your car healthy. Don’t leave your car outside or in the sun, no matter where you live.

Make sure the car’s tire pressure is still within the manufacturer’s specifications. The default gasoline attendant is two bar, but most cars require higher pressure – up to 2.6 bar; even more when the car is heavily loaded. The right pressure prolongs the life of the tires and also improves fuel economy.

Finally, extend the maintenance plan for your car before it expires, especially if it is not Japanese.

Why choose a synthetic oil?

Fully synthetic oil is more expensive than other motor oils, and often an automobile manufacturer does not require its use to keep the warranty valid. So, why choose him over the others?

To provide the best possible protection for your car’s engine, it is worth exceeding the manufacturer’s standard by using a fully synthetic motor oil. Even if the manual does not specify its use, this is the best option. This is especially true in conditions that can overload an engine, such as driving in extreme temperatures, towing heavy loads, and driving in stop-start traffic.

Synthetic oil can also improve a vehicle’s performance and reduce fuel consumption. And it takes longer to degrade than mineral oil or partially synthetic oil.

How to recycle used motor oil

If you prefer to do the oil changes yourself, dispose of the old oil responsibly. The easiest way to do this is to pour it into the container (s) of fresh oil and return it to the store where it was purchased, or take it to the auto repair shop on the next day. closer.

If neither of these options are available, you can take the used oil and filter to the nearest recycling center, which is listed on the Rose Foundation website at rosefoundation.org.za.


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