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Helpful Car Tips From Matthey Automotive

Click on one of the topics below to learn more about helpful car tips.

» How do I know if my brakes need service?

» How do I know if my brakes need service?

Your vehicle provides several warning signs before your brakes may reach the point of potential failure or extensive repair. Simply using your sense of hearing, sight and touch may alert you to potential problems. Here are some common questions you should ask yourself concerning your vehicle's brake system:
  • Does your brake warning light come on when you are driving?
  • Is your brake fluid low, or appear very dirty?
  • Do you hear a grinding sound or a squealing sound when you apply the brake pedal?
  • Do you feel a pulsation or some sponginess in the brake pedal when it is depressed?
  • Does your vehicle steer or pull to one side when braking?
These are the most common signs that can suggest potential brake system problems that need attention. Any other sights, sounds or sensations in the brake system that seem out of the ordinary also should be taken into consideration. Most times, brake system problems only will escalate if disregarded.

» What preventative maintenance does the automotive industry recommend?

» What preventative maintenance does the automotive industry recommend?

The Car Care Council has developed a service interval schedule with general guidelines for the regular maintenance of:
  • Passenger cars
  • Mini vans
  • Pickups
  • SUVs
This is customary for the majority of drivers and vehicles. However, always look at your owner's manual for specific recommendations from your car manufacturer. For more information on what the Car Care Council recommends, visit their website at www.carcare.org.

» Car Care Checklist

» Car Care Checklist

Engine Oil and Filter

  • Check level with engine off at every fill-up.
  • For maximum engine life, change oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles.

Chassis Lubrication

  • Many newer cars are lubed-for-life - many others still require this service. Check with your mechanic or owner's manual.
  • Steering and suspension components may require periodic lubrication.

Fuel Filter

  • Inspect filter at each oil change.
  • Replace if restricted or water contaminated, or once a year on cars with carburetors.
  • On cars with fuel injection, replace filter every two year or 24,000 miles.

Engine Air Filter

  • Inspect filter at each oil change.
  • Replace annually or when torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs of wear.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

  • Check fluid level with engine running and transmission in park.
  • For maximum performance, change every two years or 24,000 miles.

Windshield Washer Fluid

  • Check fluid level monthly.
  • Use washer fluid only.

Power Steering Fluid

  • Check the fluid with the car warmed up.
  • If frequent topping off is required, inspect for leaks and replace if contaminated.

Cabin Filter

  • Replace annually, or more often in areas with heavy airborne contaminants or whenever heating or cooling efficiency is reduced.

Coolant (Antifreeze)

  • Check level at reservoir - never open a hot radiator cap.
  • If low, add 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water.
  • Change coolant annually on most vehicles.

Belts and Hoses

  • Inspect hoses at each oil change and replace when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted.
  • Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition.
  • Replace when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear.
  • Typically replace
This is customary for the majority of drivers and vehicles. However, always look at your owner's manual for specific recommendations from your car manufacturer. For more information on what the Car Care Council recommends, visit their website at www.carcare.org.

» What service interval schedule does the automotive industry recommend?

» What service interval schedule does the automotive industry recommend?

The Car Care Council has developed a service interval schedule to provide general guidelines for the regular maintenance of passenger cars, mini vans, pickups and SUVs. Intervals are built around an oil change every 3,000 miles, an accepted recommendation for the majority of motorists who are severe service drivers. Always consult your vehicle's owner's manual for specific recommendations by the car maker.

√ Check Monthly

  • Check Engine Light On
  • Cleaning
  • Lights
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

√ Check Every 3 Months/3,000 Miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

√ Check Every 6 Months/6,000 Miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Polish
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wiper Blades

√ Check Every 9 months/9,000 Miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

√ Check Every 12 Months/12,000 Miles

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Battery and Cables
  • Belts
  • Brakes
  • Cabin Air Filter
  • Chassis Lubrication
  • Check Engine Light On
  • Polish
  • Coolant (Antifreeze)
  • Engine Air Filter
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hoses
  • Lights
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Tire Inflation and Condition
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Wiper Blades
This is customary for the majority of drivers and vehicles. However, always look at your owner's manual for specific recommendations from your car manufacturer. For more information on what the Car Care Council recommends, visit their website at www.carcare.org.

» 16 Fuel Saving Tips

» 16 Fuel Saving Tips

  1. DON’T DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY.  Rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by 33%.

  2. DRIVE WITHIN POSTED SPEED LIMITS.  Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.  Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas.

  3. DRIVE IN THE MOST EFFICIENT GEAR – OVERDRIVE IF YOU HAVE IT.  If you own a 4WD, drive in 2WD.

  4. DON’T HAUL UNNEEDED ITEMS.  Extra weight in your vehicle adds to the work the engine must perform and uses more fuel.  An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1-2%.

  5. REMOVE YOUR ROOF RACK AND ACCESSORIES UNLESS YOU ARE USING THEM.  Not only does the carrier add extra weight, but it also increases the aerodynamic drag on the vehicle.

  6. RUNNING THE AIR CONDITIONER will cause your vehicle to consume more fuel, but driving with the windows rolled down can be even worse due to increased drag on the vehicle.  If you are driving slowly around town or in city traffic, then you are better off leaving windows open.  For highway driving, rolling up windows and turn on the air conditioning.  In either case, fuel economy is maximized if you leave the windows closed and get by with adjusting fresh air ventilation.

  7. PLAN AND COMBINE TRIPS.  Combining errands into one trip saves time and fuel.  Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

  8. AVOID EXCESSIVE IDLING.  When a car is idling, it is using fuel, yet not going anywhere.  This translates into 0 mpg.

  9. DRIVE OFF PEAK HOURS.  Adjust your work hours to avoid peak rush hours, you’ll spend less time sitting in traffic and consume less fuel.

  10. CHECK TIRE PRESSURE.  You can improve your gas mileage by 3.3% by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure.  Under inflated tires lower gas mileage by 0.4% for each 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.

  11. USE THE RECOMMENDED GRADE OF MOTOR OIL.  You can improve gas mileage by 1-2% by using the manufacturers recommended grade of oil.  Using 10W-30 oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can increase gas mileage by 1-2%.  Also, look for oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

  12. CHECK THE FUEL CAP.  Check for proper installation and check rubber seals for cracks.  According to Sun Oil, a missing or defective fuel cap can allow as much as 176 pounds of gasoline vapors (22 gallons of gasoline) to evaporate into the atmosphere each year.

  13. PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT.  If you are concerned about fuel theft, invest in a locking fuel cap.

  14. CHECK THE AIR FILTER.  Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by up to 10%.

  15. INSTALL A PREMIUM THERMOSTAT.  Thermostats with non-linear, v-notch groove reduce cycling, bring your car to the operating temperature more quickly, improving engine efficiency and fuel economy.

  16. PERFORM REGULAR TUNE UPS.  Fixing a car that is out of tune can improve gas mileage by an average of 4.1%.  Results may vary based on the kind of repair.  If your car has a faulty oxygen sensor, gas mileage may improve as much as 40%.

 

Matthey Automotive puts your safety first and hope you have found these car tips useful and informative. If you would like to set up an appointment or would like to inquire further about us and our services, we encourage you to contact us anytime, 24/7.

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