3 Car Fixes That’ll Boost Your Car’s Performance & Safety
Could you list all of the vehicle maintenance tasks needed for your car in one go? The next time you’re bored, try it with friends. You’ll probably find it a bit challenging to list them all. There are so many parts in a car, and it’s not easy to remember all of the fixes your vehicle may need at a particular time. In fact, your mechanic is often the one who has to enlighten you regarding the need to replace or fix something. That leads us to our main topic of discussion: frequently forgotten car parts or systems that need your attention. Are there some potential trouble spots you may be neglecting?
Fuel System Cleaning
Think of the engine as your vehicle’s heart. It’s power and overall performance depends heavily on the health of the engine. If your arteries are clogged, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. The result is poor performance in terms of high blood pressure, which has a host of different symptoms. Likewise, if your car’s fuel filters are clogged, your engine will start to sputter. The lifespan of the engine will diminish, leading to very expensive repairs down the road.
The best way to avoid this problem is by means of a fuel system cleaning. This fix often involves the application of a cleaning product. Bluechem, a manufacturer of auto cleaning products, has distilled the process so it’s easy to understand. Your mechanic will pour the fuel system cleaner into the fuel tank, also adding the oil system cleaner to your engine block a dozen miles before your next oil change. This prevents the engine from wobbling, and provides the added benefit of improving your vehicle’s emissions score (here in Ontario, that is the Drive Clean test).
Cabin Filter Replacement
Do you think the air in your car is clean? Don’t assume the absence of dust and a car freshener means the air is breathable. Your daily drive may expose you to a regular dose of mould, allergens, bacteria, fumes and other pollutants, even if you keep your windows rolled up. In fact, the air in your car can be as much as six times more polluted than the air outside! How’s that possible you ask? Your cabin filter is at heart of the problem. For years, the cabin filter may go unreplaced, allowing it to collect thick layers of dirt and debris. This is a major problem for people who live in areas of high pollution, whether it’s an industrial part of town or along dusty roads. It usually isn’t until a mechanic removes and shows the filter, that a driver realizes what they’ve been breathing in for so long.
The fix for reduced air quality in your vehicle is simple: replacement of the cabin filter. Generally speaking, you will receive a new filter during an oil change. It’s important to emphasize, however, that a new filter is not required for every oil change. The usual window for replacement is once every 15,000 miles (24, 140 KM/H). With that said, the frequency at which you should change your filter depends on your driving habits (distance covered, smoking while driving), and other factors such as where you live. To discover your car’s replacement schedule, it is best to discuss your driving habits with your mechanic.
A flat or deflated tire is hard to ignore. After all, you’ll feel the bumps and if you’re having a really bad day, you’ll end up on the shoulder of the road waiting for a tow truck (assuming you don’t have a spare). A more common problem is premature wearing out on tires (due to weakened treads) that can lead to reduced gas mileage and car performance. However, there’s a solution to this problem. The answer is tire rotation. It’s a procedure which both drivers and mechanics may overlook, but it’s vital if you want to keep your tires in good condition for as long as possible.
Before rotating your tires, your mechanic will check what type of tires (ie. directional, asymmetrical) you have as well as your engine and transmission type (ie. front wheel, rear wheel). There are five recognized patterns for swapping tires in today’s vehicles. They are illustrated below:
These three patterns cover just about all vehicles.
These two additional swapping patterns work for vehicles with the directional wheels/tires of the same size, and others with non-directional wheels/tires of differing sizes.
When it comes to the frequency of tire rotation, the general rule of thumb is to make the swap every 10,000KM. Changes in season provide convenient opportunities to make these switches. Ultimately, you are better off following the manufacturer’s recommendations on swapping tires.
Every vehicle, driver and road is different. There’s no telling what will happen to your car while driving since there are numerous elements and factors to contend with. However, neglecting the three fixes (or any repairs for that matter) mentioned above can have serious repercussions if you brush them off. So it’s wise to get on top of them regardless of how minor or inconvenient they may seem. With vehicle maintenance, there are some obvious “chores” you’ll need to keep up with for good car performance and safety, but the small fixings are just as important.
Paying Attention to the Little Fixes
- Reduce car maintenance costs in the future
- Increase your vehicle’s fuel economy
- Improve emissions scores (ie. Ontario Drive Clean test)
- Boost safety performance
- Keep you and your passengers healthier
3 Maintenance Tips Worth Writing Down
The longer you drive and own a car (or cars), the more acquainted you’ll be with automotive repairs. The important thing is to make a note of necessary fixes if your mechanic informs you of their importance. By making that effort, you’ll have a much broader scope of vehicle maintenance, and you’ll reap the benefits of greater reliability. The three repairs mentioned above aren’t the only ones that are often forgotten, but they are some of the overlooked practices that can have a major impact on car performance. So make sure to get them done if they are overdue!