TUNING & BRAKES
Brakes are one of the most important components on your vehicle. You need the confidence of knowing that when you press your foot to the brake, your vehicle is going to stop. That's why it's important to keep this tip in mind to help keep your brakes functioning properly.
Tip: One of the warning signs that your brakes need servicing can come from a small indicator in your braking system that emits a high-pitched squeal when your pads need replacing. And, while this sound is loud enough to be heard even when the windows are up, it might be tough to hear with Lady Gaga blaring from the stereo.
Regular preventive maintenance is probably the single thing you can do as a car owner to keep your ride happy and save money on repairs in the future. However, not everyone agrees on what preventive maintenance is, what you should do, and when you should do it.
Anyone who's ever worked on cars or spent a ton of money getting their car repaired will tell you: Don't ignore preventive maintenance. The basics, like changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and getting scheduled inspections and work done are like getting regular checkups at the doctor. They keep you healthy and give you—and the experts—a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. With your car, that can save you thousands.
Tip: Pay attention to your owner's manual. Regardless of the vehicle you drive, your regular maintenance schedule is inside it, and you'll never fall for old car myths like, "You should change your oil every 3,000 miles," (unless of course, your manual says you should, and odds are it doesn't). You will, however, discover how often your manufacturer really does suggest you change your oil (it can vary widely by vehicle), your filters, any drive or timing belts in your vehicle, and more. You'll even find out whether you're putting the right gas in your vehicle or whether you're using the right kind of oil in the first place.
An automatic transmission is the most complex and one of the most expensive to repair components of your vehicle. It has to do a lot of work and it doesn't require as many regular services as your engine. This is probably one of the reasons the transmission often gets neglected. Everybody knows that engine oil must be changed regularly for the engine to last, but what about the transmission? An automatic transmission depends on the transmission fluid to do all the work: the transmission fluid transfers the hydraulic pressure to shift the gears, it lubricates all the moving parts and cools down the transmission. The transmission fluid lasts longer than engine oil, but it still deteriorates over time and under load and high temperature. For this reason, keeping your transmission fluid clean and at the proper level is vital. It's also important to use only the proper type of the transmission fluid.
Tip: Your fluid should be checked roughly every 1,600 kilometres. The fluid should also be changed every 80,000 kilometres or every other year, depending on which comes first.