Your Vehicle’s Life Cycle

Like people, vehicles have a life cycle; with proper maintenance and repair, that life can be extended; without it, however, the chances of more things going wrong with your car dramatically increase. In addition to investing in a vehicle-specific volume like a repair manuals , you’ll want to keep the following general information in mind.

carIn the early days of your vehicle’s life, from 0 to about 25 or 30,000 miles, you should ensure your vehicle’s longevity with scheduled maintenance, checking parts for abnormal wear or looseness, and generally tightening anything that’s loose; you should also keep changing fluids, such as the engine oil, as well as regularly checking other fluids, such as the transmission or brake, or window washer fluids. Rotating and balancing the tires is also important. While you don’t have to have these maintenance checks done by a dealer, it’s important to have them done by reliable mechanics at about the time the dealer recommends to do them. If you’ve lost your maintenance schedule, it’s an easy thing to find a good automotive repair manual on the Internet.

At around 40,000 miles, most vehicles require more expensive replacement parts, such as tires or a new battery, brakes, a V-belt, and so on. The 40,000 mile mark is also the time when you really do need to replace the long-lasting fluids, such as radiator coolant , brake line, and transmission fluids, as well as other lubricants. Neglecting this kind of maintenance may lead to expensive repairs later. In particular, have the battery checked. While the life of a battery depends upon its quality and the environment, such as extremely cold weather or hot weather, most batteries last at least two years, and often not more than five years. At this point, too, you might consider trading in your car or keeping it.

If you decide to keep it, then consider the car as it wears more than 80,000 miles. Repairs at this stage may exceed a thousand dollars. Take a look on line for the best sites to do some quick research on long term reliability for your vehicle. It’s a good bet that your warranty has run out after 80,000 miles, and so the expenses will be all yours. Consider such issues as tire wear, and look for the insulation on the spark plug wires, which may be dry and cracking, which will lead to a rough-running motor. Keeping some of these maintenance issues in mind may allow you to keep your car well after it reaches a 100,000 or more, a respectable life cycle for any man-made vehicle.

Will Simmons is a self taught mechanic who has turned his passion for racing and cars into a career as an automotive writer and blogger.

Doing It Yourself Great for Self-Image

Having a do-it-yourself attitude and taking care of car problems can not only save some money, it also helps boost your self-confidence and your self-image. Though you might not be particularly handy or think that you’ll be able to fix a car, it just takes some time and practice.

Before long you’ll be able to tinker with the best of them and get a bit of self confidence to boot.

How To Get Started

Car repairs don’t have to be difficult, but you should know your limits. It’s important to start small with things like changing the fluid and checking the oil. By starting out slow and with minor repairs you’ll get more familiar with your car’s layout and how it works. You should read some books on car engines to get a better idea of what you’re doing and the consequences of making a mistake. This will save you the trouble of making a mistake and possibly injuring yourself or damaging the car.

When you first start learning how to fix a car you should ask for some help. One of the best ways to learn something is by having someone show you how to do it. Most people have friends or relatives that know a little something about cars. Try asking around to get see who knows what and then go from there.

There are also many tutorials on youtube or videos that you can watch to get information from experts. By spending time watching this and listening to people who have experience, you’ll get a full array of knowledge. Because car repairs are a mechanical skills your confidence will come back working on the car itself.  If you start out by working with friends or family and then progress to doing the minor repairs then you’ll eventually build enough confidence to do the repairs on your own.

What Not to Repair

There are some car repairs that are too delicate unless you happen to have training as a mechanic. If there is any repair that needs to be done on the brakes then you should certainly consult a mechanic. There’s no sense in risking the life of you and your passengers because you want to tinker around on your car.

By sticking with minor repairs, you’ll be able to gain self confidence and boost your self image. As long as you take your car in for more serious repairs, it will be totally fine to do the easier repairs on your own.

Guest post by Neela Dodson, blogger and lifestyle coach specializing in helping women take control of their environment through home repair, auto maintenance, and DIY in general.