Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

April is National Car Care Month: Check out these Spring Car Care Tips!

April is the National Car Care Month so what better time to give your vehicle the TLC you’ve been putting off during the cold winter months. Taking proper care of your car is vital to the longevity of your vehicle. Follow these simple and easy spring car care basics to extend the lifetime of your vehicle and save you money in the long run.

 

Wash and Wax

A simple but essential spring car care tip is to wash and wax. During the winter, sale, debris, and road grime will build upon your vehicle. Debris and dirt build up will affect your car’s paint and finish, but salt can do much worse damage, leading to rust and other serious problems. Spend a beautiful spring day outside washing your car or take it to your local car wash for a much-needed bath!

 

Change Oil and Filter

Changing your car’s oil and filter will help the engine continue to work at its best and prevent costly repairs to drivers down the road. As the weather begins to warm up, your air conditioning will be on more which means your engine will be working harder. According to Meineke, the average cost of a year’s’ worth of oil changes is approximately $120, which is much lower than the cost of not proactively maintaining a vehicle’s engine, $4,000. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Energy found that with routine oil changes and the right kind of oil, gas mileage can be improved over time by one to two percent! Be sure to take the time to check when you need an oil change and do not push it off if the time is now!

 

Check the Battery

Your vehicle’s battery will drain quicker with colder temperatures, so it is essential to check if the battery is fully charged. Using a voltmeter, you will be able to determine if your battery is good or bad. If you want to test the charge yourself, remember always to wear a pair of rubber gloves and goggles because this will protect your hands and eyes from acid. You can also stop in at your local mechanic or car shop for a test!  Most car shops offer it for free!

 

Check Alignment and Suspension

Driving in wintry conditions and over potholes can damage your vehicle’s alignment and suspension. If you notice uneven tire wear, your car seems to fight against the steering, or if you are using more gas than you used to it may mean your suspension is not correct. Alignment is critical because it increases safety as well as determines how long your tires and gas will last. If you think your alignment or suspension needs correcting, contact your local car shop or mechanic.

 

April is National Car Care Month, which makes it a perfect time to give your car the TLC it needs. Winter weather can take a toll on your vehicle, so follow these spring car care tips for keeping your car in the best shape!

 
Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!

What We Know About Self-Driving Cars | Mark Alexopoulos
Auto Industry, Car

What We Know About Self-Driving Cars

While we still don’t have flying cars, self-driving cars are headed our way in the very near future. Already, automotive manufacturers are testing their first versions of these innovations, but are they ready to hit the mass market? That may be a matter of opinion, as the facts about self-driving cars continue to raise more questions than they answer.

Self-Driving Cars Won’t Be Commonplace For Awhile Yet

Even if manufacturers offer a wide variety of self-driving cars, it will be a long while before you see them out in full force. This may not be because auto manufacturers are failing, but because society and our governments are failing to keep up. Firstly, just because self-driving cars are available, that doesn’t mean consumers are going to run right out and buy one. The high cost of vehicles compels people to hang onto their cars for as long as they can and most people hope to keep their cars long after the loan on the vehicle has been paid.

Additionally, roads will have to be adapted and laws will have to be drafted to permit the use of self-driving cars on a wider scale. Most cities have difficulty in repairing existing roads, so they’re unlikely to approve funding to adapt roads and implement technology that will make it possible for these cars to function. The safety of self-driving cars will rely largely on their ability to communicate with the roads and with other vehicles, so these improvements will be necessary.

Finally, the traffic laws will have to be changed to accommodate self-driving cars. On city streets, that may come sooner, since local governments often act faster and with less red tape. This means we’ll see self-driving cars on surface streets long before they are permitted to hit the highways.

Federal and state laws take much longer to change, so don’t expect to see driverless cars speeding down the interstate anytime soon. That means self-driving cars will have to differentiate between which roads they are prohibited from accessing and those they can drive freely on. This logistical dilemma may mean stalling the addition of self-driving cars to our roadways, until after local, state, and federal laws can catch up. So, while automotive manufacturers may be eager to share this new technology, it may still take months or even years to see these innovations populating the streets.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!

Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

5 Car Maintenance Mistakes

In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of regular car maintenance and basic steps to follow. Routine car maintenance is essential for extending the durability and life of your vehicle; however, there are easy mistakes to make. Here is a list of car maintenance mistakes that are typically made and how to avoid them.   

 

1. Procrastinating Maintenance

Putting off scheduled car maintenance is a common trend because it saves money in the short term. However, your car and wallet will pay in the future. Car manufacturers recommend scheduled service for a reason, so it is best to keep your vehicle on that schedule. Additionally, there are small things you can fix yourself, avoid making costly errors by attempting to service your own car.

 

2. Neglecting Oil Changes

Car manufacturers used to recommend changing a vehicle’s every 3,000 miles. However, many manufacturers have lengthened this mileage frame. While you may be able to go longer before an oil change is needed, it does not mean that oil changes can be skipped. Old oil will break down and may damage parts of your engine. Maintaining routine oil changes will maximize the life of your engine.

 

3. Not Checking Tire Pressure

It’s difficult to gauge your vehicle’s tire pressure just from looking because even when your tires appear to be fine – air pressure may be high or low. Many factors change tire pressure, including weather, debris, potholes and more. Proper tire pressure not only boosts your fuel economy but also improves the car’s safety. It’s important to check your car’s air pressure regularly. If your tires are routinely losing pressure, be sure to check in with your mechanic for a diagnosis.

 

4. Skipping Other Tire Care

Since tire care is not something that has to be frequently done, it is often neglected. Regular rotation allows the tires to serve in both front and rear positions, which help to even out the wear. Additionally, tire alignment plays a factor in tire wear as well as fuel efficiency, tire performance, and vehicle maneuverability.

 

5. Not Changing Wipers

Windshield wipers are a necessity because they help us drive in adverse weather conditions. Even though wipers are easy and cheap to replace, many drivers neglect to purchase new ones. The fall is an excellent time to replace your wipers because it’s right before the harshest weather starts.

 

Taking care of your car is the easiest and best thing to do if you want to extend the life of your vehicle. Many owners will make these mistakes, but avoiding them will help keep your car in peak condition.
Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!

Car Maintenance Basics | Mark Alexopoulos
Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

Car Maintenance Basics

Routine car maintenance can extend the durability and life of your vehicle. Preventative car care is essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and can also help prevent more substantial expenses down the road. Follow these necessary maintenance steps to help keep your car running in peak condition.

 

Change Oil Regularly

Checking and changing your oil is one of the easiest ways to take care of your car. Whether your vehicle has a dipstick or an electronic gauge to check the oil’s color and oil level, you should know how to test it. Understanding the difference between muddy, murky oil and clean oil will also help you determine if something is wrong with your engine. While there is no universal recommendation for how often you should change your oil, your car’s owners manual will have the answer. For years, many mechanics recommended oil changes every 3,000 miles, but due to modern engine technology, some vehicles can go 7,5000+ miles until a change.

 

Maintain Tires

Keeping your tires in the best shape possible is another easy way to save money and prevent accidents. It’s recommended that you check your tire pressure at least once a month and before any long trip. The correct tire pressure is generally printed on a placard found on the driver’s door, or it’s written on the inside of the glove-box. It is also important to routinely check tire tread, rotation, balance, and alignment. Rotating your vehicle’s tires maintains fuel efficiency and prevent irregular wear and tear.

 

Routine Brake Checks

Your braking system is one of the most critical safety features of your vehicle. Brakes will have normal wear and eventually need to be replaced, but be sure to check the braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection includes brake fluid level, brake fluid level, brake and dash warning lights,  rotor thickness, and condition of hoses and brake lines. Additionally, keep an eye out for specific signs such as high-pitched squealing, slower stopping, and steering wheel vibration while braking because these are indicators that your brakes need to be checked.

 

Additional Care

Other car maintenance basics include checking your air filter, hoses, and belts, and replacing your wiper blades regularly.

 

Routine preventive care is the single best thing you can do as a car owner to keep your vehicle maintained. Following these simple and easy maintenance basics can extend the lifetime of your car and save you money in the long run.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!

Auto Industry, Car

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