|We created this Money-Saving Vehicle Maintenance Guide for 2018 to remind ourselves and you how to avoid costly car repairs in the future.
Our tips are Cost-Effective and completely Hassle-Free. If you follow this guide, your car will be running at its best performance for many more years to come.
Here is a short overview:
- Regular Maintenance – Change regularly oil and filters for oil, fuel and air
- Keep it clean – dust can damage your paint and cause abrasions
- Go Easy During Startup – cold engine needs up to 30 seconds to get its act together, to get oiled properly and start running smoothly
- Make Fewer Short Trips – if not possible, change your oil more frequently
- Watch for Engine Warning Signs – especially for most dangerous ones (the engine oil light, the engine temperature gauge and the brake light)
- Unload Extra Weight – It places extra demands on our engine, and it creates suspension, braking and even exhaust problems
- Change Oil and Other Vital Fluids – Transmission, differential, brake, power-steering fluid; oil; and antifreeze
- Take Care of Your Tires – not only because safety issues, but also because gas consumption and some other things
- Get Problems Checked Out Sooner Rather Than Later – don’t let the cough turn into pneumonia
Please continue reading and we will explain exactly why taking care of your car is important and can save you money (not to mention how safer and happier you will be).
2.8 Million Miles…and more to go!
Meet Irv Gordon, a 73-year-old retired science teacher from Patchogue, N.Y. He holds the Guinness world record for the most miles driven by a single owner in a noncommercial vehicle.
His 1966 Volvo P1800 has more than 2.99 million miles on the odometer. The car still has the original engine (although it has been preventively rebuilt twice), transmission and radio.
|What’s the secret to his car’s longevity?
Gordon has always changed the oil and fluids — and performed other maintenance — according to the recommendations in the Owner’s Manual.
Do Your Regular Maintenance
Skipping regularly scheduled maintenance intervals is one of the quickest ways to assure your car finds its way to an early grave. Regular oil changes and oil, fuel and air filter changes all help make sure your car has what it needs to run without problems: clean air and clean fuel, plus fresh, uncontaminated oil to prevent wear and tear.
Simply because there is no apparent problem with the car, it doesn’t imply that everything is likely to be fine with it. An added bonus to regular service? It gives good mechanics an opportunity to spot problems before they balloon into something more serious.
If you’re wondering how often to do these things, there’s a book that explains it all to you. It’s called the owner’s manual. You’ll find it in your glove box, shrink-wrapped in plastic, because — if you’re like most vehicle owners — you’ve probably never looked at it. In the back you’ll find a list of service intervals, and the services that are recommended during each of them. If intervals in the book stop at 120,000 miles, that doesn’t mean you’re done with maintenance. Go back to the beginning and start over (so, for instance, do all the services called for in the 7,500-mile service at 127,500).
By the way, if you’re fretting over the ongoing cost of routine service, remember this: “It’s the stingy man who makes the most boat payments!”
Keep Your Car Clean
You must clean your car often. This serves two purposes – it keeps the car spotless and glistening, and it also protects the layer of paint from dirt which can cause abrasions.
Go Easy During Startup
A cold engine (one that’s sat for more than five hours) will have little or no oil left on the moving parts because it has all seeped down into the oil pan. It takes only a few seconds after start-up for the oil pump to adequately lubricate an engine. During those few seconds, however, is when you should keep engine RPMs down to a minimum.
Give the engine at least 30 seconds (longer if it has sat for more than 24 hours) before popping it in gear and roaring off.
Make Fewer Short Trips
Short trips of less than 10 minutes can be particularly hard on a car, resulting in excessive wear and tear. During a short trip, your car’s engine never has a chance to reach its full operating temperature.
Here’s why it matters: One of the byproducts of engine combustion is water. When an engine reaches its operating temperature that water turns to vapor and is expunged, either out the tailpipe or the crankcase ventilation system. On a short trip, however, that water stays inside your car’s engine and exhaust. Unfortunately, water is one of only three ingredients necessary to make rust (you’ve already got the other two, oxygen and metal), and rust kills.
A further complication of condensation and water is that it dilutes your oil, which then does a poorer job of lubricating the engine. If you can’t avoid taking lots of short trips, we recommend you change your oil frequently, such as every 2,000-3,000 miles.
Watch for Engine Warning Signs
It’s OK to drive your car short distances with certain warning lights illuminated or gauges out of their normal range, but there are three that you dismiss at your car’s peril: the engine oil light, the engine temperature gauge and the brake light. A few minutes of an excessively hot engine or low oil pressure and the groceries you’re hauling in the back could suddenly be worth more than your car. A couple of minutes with the brake light on and you might end up playing bumper cars with the Cadillac Escalade ahead of you. The one being driven by Tony Soprano. In a bad mood.
Get in the habit of glancing at your engine’s temperature gauge and warning lights. If the lights come on, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so and shut off the engine. Failure to heed warning may result in an expensive engine rebuild.
Unload Extra Weight
|Most of us know what it feels like to be hauling a few extra doughnuts around the midriff, so to speak. It places extra demands on our engine, and it creates suspension, braking and even exhaust problems. If you catch our drift.
It’s no different with your car. Extra weight adds stress to critical systems and causes premature wear. Check your car right now.
What’s in there that can come out? Toss out the four bowling balls, the barbells and the lead-lined box of plutonium fuel rods.
You should also remove anything that causes additional drag. Creating aerodynamic drag is similar to adding weight in that it increases the demand on your engine, so think about removing the big, flat bug shield that sticks up above your hood.
Remove any roof racks you’re not actively using, and take the cargo carrier off the top of the minivan. We know it gives you some hope of looking cool, like you do something besides haul kids around, but it’s killing your gas mileage and making your engine work harder.
Change Oil and Other Vital Fluids
What fluids are we talking about?
Transmission, differential, brake, power-steering fluid; oil; and antifreeze.
Windshield washer fluid? Not so important. Blinker fluid? There’s no such thing. We just wanted to make sure you are paying attention. 🙂
Your car’s fluids will often be changed during regular service intervals, but it’s important enough that we wanted to mention it separately. As you drive your car, and even if it just sits in the driveway, your car’s fluids degrade.
That’s a problem because each of the fluids in your car is vital to the long-term health of the engine, transmission, steering or brakes. Simply keeping the fluids topped off isn’t enough because over time they lose important properties — like their ability to remove heat and lubricate, as well as the ability to prevent rust and freezing.
Regular transmission and differential fluid changes are often overlooked, but this service is very important. If you really want to keep your car forever, get these fluids changed as needed or more often. Fresh, clean transmission fluid assures that your car’s drivetrain stays cool and uncontaminated.
Some cars, by the way, have two separate differentials. If yours is one, and make sure that both sets of differential oil get changed. It’s easy to overlook this particular service, but you do so at your own peril: A cooked differential can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Routine maintenance service to flush your transmission fluid and replacement is much less expensive.
Take Care of Your Tires
When was the last time you checked your tires’ air pressure? Don’t remember? Or maybe it was done the last time you had an oil change (or at least you hope it was). Most people don’t care about tire pressure because they don’t notice “anything wrong” with their vehicle. Well it may seem that way, until you’re forced to quickly slow down and/or swerve to avoid an accident, be it on dry, wet or icy pavement.
When a tire is under-inflated, most of the car’s weight is concentrated on the tread that’s located just under the sidewalls, rather than being spread out evenly across the full width of the tire. This means that as the tire rolls, the sidewall gets continually flexed (squished, if you will) and heats up. This affects both performance and safety. In addition to degrading the handling of the vehicle (via the mushy steering response courtesy of the flexing sidewalls), a tire that’s considerably low on air can blow out due to the stress from the heat buildup and the constant flexing of the sidewall.
A tire with a scalped tread pattern on the tire will cause a grinding sound at speed over 45MPH. This tire condition is caused by a combination of worn struts or shocks and or tire imbalance. If a tire is controlled unevenly the tire will vibrate causing the tread to contact the ground inconsistently. This inconsistent contact with the road causes the tire tread to wear unevenly. To check for this condition (called ―cupping‖ – example on the right) take your hand and pass it over the tire tread, it should be smooth. If high and low points exist the tire is cupped and needs to be rotated or replaced depending on the severity of the cupping condition.
Get Problems Checked Out Sooner Rather Than Later
This is like saying “Don’t let a cold turn into pneumonia.” If you have a small problem with your car, get it checked out sooner rather than later.
For example, a torn CV boot is a common problem and a simple repair. Delay getting it fixed, though, and you’ll eventually end up by the side of the road, unable to drive and forced to fork over some additional money for a tow and a whole new axle.
That’s just one example. There are many other problems that start small but balloon into something much larger if they’re not addressed right away. Don’t believe in this theory? Talk to the secretary of the Treasury Department.
Above all, make sure your car is safe to drive!
If you have any doubts about such things as brakes, brake lines, ball joints, tie rods, airbags, seat belts or even the structural integrity of your car, get it checked out.
Remember: Even though you want your car to last a long time, you still want to outlive your car.
► Voted Best Transmission Repair in Charlotte NC by CitySearch & MerchantCircle
Slipping gears? Grinding noises? Shuddering? No reverse? Harsh shifting? No overdrive?
The transmission in your car is one of its most important components. Transmission issues can render your car motionless and you will be hunting for a ride or walking. If you take care of your car and its transmission, then it should last you a good long time. However, you do need to know which problems to look out for. With that in mind, read on below for a few of the most common transmission issues to be revealed.
Automotive repairs are costly. It is important to care for your vehicle the best way possible to avoid these repairs. Most importantly your transmission and engine as these repairs can cost you more out of pocket than any other repairs. Below, you can find a few tips that can help you avoid these repairs concerning your transmission.
Always Mange Fluids
When it comes to transmissions the fluid is one of the most important aspects. Without proper fluid or fluid levels, it can cause damage to the transmission. Therefore, check your transmission fluid regularly, if low add more. It should also be reddish in color, clear, and smell sweet. Anything other than this could cause damage.
There are a few different types of transmission fluid, it is important to use the one your owner’s manuals says. If you can’t find it in the manual, visit Twin Transmission is Charlotte and they can assist you.
Allow Car to Warm Up
This helps your car overall. Just a simple letting it warm up for 5 minutes before you drive it can make it last drastically longer. It allows all your fluids to get warm and start moving freely. Which helps it run more smoothly as well.
Avoid Towing if Possible
Towing heavy loads puts a strain on your transmission. Especially if it is hot outside. The extra work your transmission has to do to pull can cause your transmission fluid to burn up. Therefore, unless you have a special transmission for towing avoid it as much as you can.
Use Same Size Tires
Believe it or not, driving on different sized tires can cause real damage. This includes prolonged driving on spares. It can ruin wheel alignment, wear out other tires, and even throw your transmission off. Always, always use the same size unless in the event of an emergency.
Twin Transmission in Charlotte, NC can assist you with maintaining your transmissions. They specialize in rebuilds, repairs, and even flushes. Contact them today!
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Your vehicle is prone to have an issue or break down completely. However, it can be hard to tell exactly where the issue is coming from. Whether it is the motor, transmission, or something completely different. Only a trained eye can really tell you exactly what the issue is and steps needed to fix it. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help you figure out where exactly the issue is coming from. First, we are going to tell you about common transmission issues.
Your vehicle’s motor isn’t the only part that can overheat; the transmission can occur as well. One way to tell if your transmission is overheating is a burning smell. Since transmission fluid is really sweet smelling it is easy to tell if it has a burnt smell because it is very distinguished. The main reasons for your transmission to overheat is low fluid levels or even using the wrong type of fluid. The transmission is like all the other parts of your car; they have to be lubricated correctly to run right.
This is ones of the most dangerous issues your transmission can have. Imagine driving down the highway, and your transmission slips out of gear, and you lose power. You will be stuck in the middle of highway traffic; this is completely unsafe. Therefore, if your transmission is slipping get it to a repairman as soon as possible. Your transmission is designed to stay in gear, therefore if the transmission is slipping into another gear or popping into neutral, there is a possibility that you could break a gear which can be rather costly.
The transmission is not something you should try to fix alone. Contact Twin Transmission today to get your transmission looked out before it gets further damaged. Just a phone call could save you thousands and even your life.
Keeping the fluids in your vehicle clean and full is an important aspect to keeping it healthy. Though your transmission shouldn’t ever need to have the fluid changed, there are some circumstance that may require it.
Check Fluid for Irregular Traits
A good transmission should have a reddish tint and be a little sweet smelling. If you find your transmission fluid is burnt smelling, a dark color or has metal shavings in it, it will need to be drained and changed out.
Refer to Manual
Every make and model is different. Therefore, if you find your transmission does need its fluid changed it is important to know what type of fluid your vehicle requires. The manual will also be able to tell you where your drain plug is. All transmission troubleshooting tips can be found in the manual as well.
Take Safety Precautions
Anytime you work on your vehicle you need to take certain precautions. Unless you are a serious mechanic all big repairs should be taken to a repair shop in your area. Though changing your transmission fluid might not seem like a big repair it is. If you feel that you are not equipped to handle the task or don’t have the right equipment such as jack stands and supports you can contact a transmission repair shop to help you.
Repair shops not only take the stress away from you doing it yourself, they also typically come with a warranty as well. You never know what could be wrong with your transmission once you get it all drained. Each symptom such as a burnt smell or metal shavings are caused by their own issues. Contact a transmission service in your area to get the best and easiest results. Twin Transmission can handle all your transmission fluid needs. Visit them today to make sure your transmission is working properly.
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The transmission, whether automatic or standard is one of the most important aspects of your vehicle. Therefore, you should always make sure it is well cared for. One of the best ways to ensure that is getting the proper repairs is to go to a professional. It is understandable to weigh the options of hiring a profession compared to trying to do it yourself.
One of the first and foremost cons is the cost. More often than not people are choosing to try doing most repairs at home because of cost. When people find out how much a transmission rebuild is, they get worried. However, risking the repairs yourself can end up costing more ultimately.
We live in a world where everything and anything can be found on social media. This makes it hard to find a company with reviews you are satisfied with. One bad review can make you scared to go with a company. However, you have to keep in mind sometimes people just have a bad experience and try to ruin it for everyone else.
One of the best things about going to a profession transmission repairman is they warranty their work. Therefore, if the same thing happens to your transmission again, the repairs are already covered.
Time is precious. When you go to a repair shop you don’t have to take time away from your family or your work. Not only does taking your transmission to a repair shop allow you time to do the things you love, but they can also get it done faster as well. After all, this is what they do every day, all day. They know the fastest ways to get your car back and the most effective ways.
The decision is yours and you should always weigh the pros and cons in these situations. However, take into considerations your mechanical knowledge and your budget while making up your mind. Twin Transmission offers a 1-3-year warranty for your transmission needs. Contact them today to get back moving.
Your vehicle is made up of three major components, the motor, transmission, and the rear end. If one of these goes out your vehicle can be at a standstill. Therefore, you need to find a specialist. But, how do you go about finding the right person to repair something like your transmission, below are some tips.
Ask your friends
In the automotive world, word of mouth means a lot. Chances are some of your friends or family members has had their transmissions worked on at one point in time. Ask them for referrals as well as who to stay away from. If they don’t have any suggestions, maybe they know someone who does. Referrals are often the best way for you to feel comfortable about being treated right.
Social media and review sites also help a lot when trying to find a trustworthy company. People often leave reviews on these sites to help you know how they have treated customers in the past. Once you get a few ideas on who you might go to, start calling around.
Talk to the Shop
You never truly know what you are getting into. First off, you want to avoid places that seem too cheap. Yes, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but you have to remember you get what you pay for. Therefore, it is always best to go with someone who isn’t extremely cheap or overly expensive, the middle is just right.
See if they offer anything that might help you save money. People have learned in the past that the companies who don’t nickel and dime you are often the best ones to go to. Many shops will offer free estimates and some will even offer free towing if your car is stranded and unable to make it to the shop.
Twin Transmission offers both free estimates and free towing. If you want a trustworthy repairman with the experience you need, visit them today.
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When it comes to transmission issues or your transmission going out you are really stuck with only two options, do you repair or do you rebuild? Ultimately you need to take a few things into consideration before making the decision.
Your budget plays a big factor when it comes to repairing or rebuilding a transmission. You first need to get it to shop so that they can give you an idea of what is wrong. If it is going to be anything too drastic, keep in mind that a repair you have to pay not only for the labor but for the parts as well. If too many parts are messed up it can end up costing you more to repair everything broken than it would just to get it rebuilt.
Often a transmission repair won’t come with a warranty. A warranty is definitely something you want to consider. After all, you don’t want to repair your transmission just for it to mess up again and be out of pocket again. With a transmission rebuild, you typically get a 3-year warranty that should cover any mess up concerned with the transmission.
Asking a professional transmission repairman their opinion can often be your best bet. There are shops out there that will tell you what is best for your situation and not just try to take your money. The professionals know what they are looking at and will be able to tell you the extent of your damage. You never know, it could just be a small repair and you won’t be without your transmission for very long.
Twin Transmission specializes in transmission repairs and rebuilds. Stop by today to find out what option is best for your situation.
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When it comes to your transmission there are some tell-tell signs that something is wrong. However, each sign has its own issues and it takes an experienced transmission service center to be able to diagnose and fix the issue. Below are a few signs that can let you know that your transmission is about to bite the dust.
This is one of the easiest signs to notice. It often is the start of transmission issues and if left unattended it can cause you to need a new transmission. Automatic transmissions are the ones that start slipping the most. You will notice your transmission slipping when you are driving and it “slips” into a different gear for no reason. A slipping transmission can also have a whining noise or a change in pitch.
Your transmission is the part of your car that should never leak or go through any fluid. Unlike most car parts the transmission uses the same fluid over and over unless there is an issue. Therefore, if you see a puddle under the middle of your vehicle there is a chance that it could be transmission fluid. This fluid is reddish in color and has a sweet smell to it. However, if it is leaking there is a chance there is something wrong with it. In this case, it can smell burnt and even be dark in color. Transmission fluid is a key component to keeping the transmission cool. If you find your car leaking fluid get to a repairman as soon as possible.
Check Engine Light
Believe it or not, the check engine light could be due to your transmission. If you find your light is on and you are unsure why stop by your local transmission shop. They have the tools needed to check the codes and see if it is transmission related.
Twin Transmission can assist you with all your transmission needs. Visit them today for the experience you need.
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If your car breaks down, is it a good idea to take it into your garage and rebuild your transmission by yourself, instead of taking your car to a transmission mechanic, an expert who deals with the transmission on a daily basis? According to most expert opinions, rebuilding the transmission on your own is not the brightest of ideas, but if you know a thing or two about transmissions, nobody is stopping you from giving it a shot. Still, the ideal solution would be to take your car to a mechanic, especially if you’re a noob.
A DIY transmission rebuild is a bad idea because the modern vehicles of today often incorporate the use of automatic transmissions that are significantly more difficult to deal with as compared to those old manual transmissions. So if you think you know about transmissions, ask yourself whether automatic transmissions are a piece of cake for you or not. If you’re thinking right now that your ‘transmission knowledge’ is failing you, there’s still time to take your car to its dentist.
Another important thing to consider before you start messing with your transmission system is that if you’re working on your own, you’re really on your own. A DIY rebuild comes with no warranty, so if your car gets blown out in the process, tough luck. However, if you show your car to the transmission expert, he’ll solve everything out for you for some cash and might even offer you a warranty saying that if the car causes problems in the following week or two, he’d be more than happy to deal with your car, this time without charging you at all. So yeah, there’s that advantage of heading over to your mechanic right now and get your transmission rebuild under his supervision. For more information, contact Twin Charlotte today.
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