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Basic Car maintenance

 
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automotivejtm-#001 automotivejtm-#001
Guru | Posts: 1019 | Joined: 03/06
Posted: 03/30/06
09:48 AM

General Car Maintenance



Preventative maintenance is the best kind of maintenance.  Here is a list of basic maintenance tips on an average mileage interval schedule.

     1.)  Check your tire pressure every 3000 miles
               Tire pressure is the easiest thing to check on your car as far as preventative maintenance goes, yet so many people neglect doing this simple task.

Your tires support the weight of your vehicle, right? Well they don't! It's the air pressure inside them that actually supports the weight. Maintaining sufficient air pressure is required if your tires are to provide all of the handling, traction and durability of which they are capable.
However, you can't set tire pressure...and then forget about it! Tire pressure has to be checked periodically to *** that the influences of time; changes in ambient temperatures or small tread punctures have not caused it to drop.
While tires appear solid, the molecular structure of the rubber used to manufacturer them actually looks like strands of cooked spaghetti stuck together. These molecular strands are stretched and returned to their relaxed state every time the tire rolls (about 800 times every mile).
Since typical tire pressures range from 30 to 35 psi for cars (with light truck tire pressures often higher), there is a constant force trying to push the air through the tire. This allows some of the air to escape (called permeation) right through the microscopic spaces between the rubber molecules. And somewhat like a rubber balloon, the air will eventually escape if it is not replenished.
All things being equal, a tire's inflation pressure will go down by about 1 psi every month. This means that if air isn't added for two to three months, the tire's inflation pressures will probably be 2 to 3 psi low.  (tirerack.com)
Effects of low tire pressure:
     An underinflated tire can't maintain its shape and becomes flatter than intended while in contact with the road. If a vehicle's tires are underinflated by only 6 psi it could weaken the tire's internal structure and eventually lead to tire failure. Lower inflation pressures will allow more deflection as the tire rolls. This will build up more internal heat, increase rolling resistance (causing a reduction in fuel economy of up to 5%) and reduce the tire's tread life by as much as 25% while increasing the probability of irregular treadwear. Drivers would also find a noteworthy loss of steering precision and cornering stability. While 6 psi doesn't seem excessively low, it typically represents about 20% of a passenger car tire's recommended pressure. (tirerack.com)


2.)  Oil and filter change-  Average 3750 miles

           Motor Oil performs several Functions.  Cooling, Lubrication, Corrosion protection and contaminant transfer.  It is wise to change your oil at least every 5,000 miles for several reasons.  As oil is used it becomes dirty, drastically reducing its capabilities to transfer heat.  Running contaminated oil in your engine also increases the risk of internal scarring of engine parts.  Time, temp, and chemicals, break down additives that control the viscosity in your thus changing your oil viscosity over time.  Running an improper means that oil might not be contacting high points of bearing journals and other important friction points in your engine.  These are just some reasons why changing your oil frequently is important.  There is a multitude of information on the internet about oil.  This is a good site that I have found.  http://www.atis.net/oil_faq.html

3.) Air filter, fuel filter (if applicable)  and in cabin micro filter every 15,000 miles

   Air filter
A clogged, dirty air filter is never a good thing.  It restricts your engine from breathing properly which results in bad gas mileage and loss of power. Your air filter is one of the easiest things to replace on your car.  It is recommended you change it every 15,000 miles on average and from what I have seen this is a good mileage interval.

  Fuel Filter
           The purpose of the fuel filter is to clean dirty and contaminated fuel before it reaches your injectors. Clean fuel is extremely important for your car.  There are two types of fuel filters, In tank and In line.  An in-tank filter is constructed of woven plastic. The filter is self-cleaning and requires no maintenance. In line filters are the ones that need to be changed around every 15,000 miles. Around this time your filter becomes saturated with contaminants and can no longer filter your fuel.  A dirty fuel filter can lower your fuel pressure at the fuel rail and starve your engine of needed fuel, lower your power output, cause hesitation and hard starting.  Also dirty and contaminated fuel can easily clog injectors.

In Cabin Micro Filter
    An in cabin micro filter filters the air that is coming through your air vents.  They significantly reduce road dirt, pollens and air pollutants.  


4.) Coolant Change every 30,000 miles.  
            Coolant helps prevent corrosion, lubricate seals and water pumps and aid in heat transfer from the metal of the engine. Over time the corrosion inhibitors depleted and the corrosion protection is lost.  


5.) Spark Plugs 60,000 miles.
           After a certain amount of time and use a spark plug begins to lose its sharp edges as material from the center and ground electrodes is slowly eroded away. As the gap between these two points grows, the voltage required to bridge the gap increases proportionately. Even the best ignition systems will be hard pressed to supply enough voltage to completely burn the fuel. Old spark plugs can causes misfires, reduces power output, increase fuel consumption and increase emissions.


Added By User Name Lariat4x4

1) If you have a new vehicle, change the differential fluid in the axle between 500-7500 miles depending on type of use of vehicle.  It is also a good idea to change the oil on a new vehicle at 500 miles, 1000 miles, 1500, then 3000.  Moreover, a complete transmission flush is very beneficial to the longevity of the transmission if done at 10K miles.  

When a car is new, there are many wear metals that mesh in the gears, and motor.  Changing the fluids early on help rid the differentials, transmission, and motor, (and transfer case) of these wear metals.  

2) Coolant should be changed every year regardless of miles or "it's a 100K mile coolant" if you are in a very hot climate like Arizona, or very cold climate like the Dakotas.  Every 2 years in moderate climate.  Coolant should not be changed based on mileage.  Coolant additives like Royal Purple's "Purple Ice" or Redline's "water wetter" are excellent coolant additives, you can read more:  www.redlineoils.com or www.royalpurple.com

3) Despite popular opinions on dino oils, synthetics are better. Period.  That is evidence based, not opinion.  However, from just a "motor wear" standpoint, there's no conclusive evidence that syn is leaps and bounds superior to dino overall.  Dino oil will always provide adequate protection for a vehicle IF PROPERLY MAINTAINED, but many folks do not adhere to the regular maintenance schedule.
If anyone feels these facts are incorrect or has something to add please let me know I will be glad to help.  

Thanks
   John  

Lariat4x4 Lariat4x4
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 07/06
Posted: 07/05/06
10:25 AM

Well, I'm just curious, why didn't you just post the link instead of a lot of cut and paste?  

h3nry h3nry
Enthusiast | Posts: 441 | Joined: 04/06
Posted: 07/05/06
10:34 AM

you might want to note that if your car happens to have iridium spark plugs, like mine does, i think the replacement time is around 90k miles...which is good since those things are expensive.  

Lariat4x4 Lariat4x4
New User | Posts: 6 | Joined: 07/06
Posted: 07/05/06
10:38 AM

I will add some maintenance issues that are rarely addressed but should be considered just as important as filter changes.  

1) If you have a new vehicle, change the differential fluid in the axle between 500-7500 miles depending on type of use of vehicle.  It is also a good idea to change the oil on a new vehicle at 500 miles, 1000 miles, 1500, then 3000.  Moreover, a complete transmission flush is very beneficial to the longevity of the transmission if done at 10K miles.  

When a car is new, there are many wear metals that mesh in the gears, and motor.  Changing the fluids early on help rid the differentials, transmission, and motor, (and transfer case) of these wear metals.  

2) Coolant should be changed every year regardless of miles or "it's a 100K mile coolant" if you are in a very hot climate like Arizona, or very cold climate like the Dakotas.  Every 2 years in moderate climate.  Coolant should not be changed based on mileage.  Coolant additives like Royal Purple's "Purple Ice" or Redline's "water wetter" are excellent coolant additives, you can read more:  www.redlineoils.com or www.royalpurple.com

3) Despite popular opinions on dino oils, synthetics are better. Period.  That is evidence based, not opinion.  However, from just a "motor wear" standpoint, there's no conclusive evidence that syn is leaps and bounds superior to dino overall.  Dino oil will always provide adequate protection for a vehicle IF PROPERLY MAINTAINED, but many folks do not adhere to the regular maintenance schedule.  

automotivejtm-#001 automotivejtm-#001
Guru | Posts: 1019 | Joined: 03/06
Posted: 07/10/06
02:17 AM

Thanks Lariat4x4  

ssali ssali
User | Posts: 219 | Joined: 06/06
Posted: 07/10/06
04:02 AM

Excellent sticky thread... great job automotivejtm.  

automotivejtm-#001 automotivejtm-#001
Guru | Posts: 1019 | Joined: 03/06
Posted: 07/10/06
09:28 AM

"Well, I'm just curious, why didn't you just post the link instead of a lot of cut and paste?"

Its much easier then if I would have typed all of that.  

Burtreyn0lds Burtreyn0lds
Enthusiast | Posts: 538 | Joined: 06/06
Posted: 07/13/06
10:36 AM

you forgat that you should check the specs on the rotary girder at least once a month  

automotivedp automotivedp
Enthusiast | Posts: 484 | Joined: 06/06
Posted: 07/13/06
10:48 AM

i was just checking the specs on the rotary... girder... im retarded.

oh, and did i catch a 9-er in there?  

emil 4avdarov emil 4avdarov
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 09/06
Posted: 09/09/06
04:50 AM

Hi everybody !!!
I own nissan 240 SX model 1990 and I'll be grateful if someone can give me advise what type of engine oil is appropriate for this car. Also what size tires is good for it.
Thanks !!!  

kstar2 kstar2
New User | Posts: 12 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 10/09/06
08:56 AM

http://kstar4.bravehost.com/car/auto-insurance-company.htm
http://kstar4.bravehost.com/car/car-insurance.htm
http://kstar4.bravehost.com/car/carinsurance.htm
http://kstar4.bravehost.com/car/index.htm  

240 240
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/06
Posted: 10/13/06
11:50 AM

5W 30 oil and P205/60/R15 tires (or P195...but 205's are better).

I have a 1990 240sx as well!

Just curious...does your 240 happen to have a really rough idle for no apparent reason? No one can figure out why my car has such a rough idle.  

driftcar.net driftcar.net
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 12/06
Posted: 12/17/06
02:48 PM

how many miles are on your 240? i have a 1990 as well, 70k miles and i know what you mean about this rough idle thing, what is the gas mileage you get? email me steve@driftcar.net or steve@freshcoldbeer.com  

daninewman daninewman
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/10/07
06:57 PM

Wow... this is a nice one

This thread is indeed very helpful to car owners and first-time car buyers. A crash course on car maintenance.

Anyway I would like to add on something. I think it would to check the exhaust system too. I mean a check up on it and the engine would be harmless. It is important that we should if our car's really in good shape. This determines if replacements for the cold air intake has to be made. Just like what happened to my Plymouth. Good thing there's this site (http://forums.automotive.com/70/9392/auto-maintenance/basic-car-maintenance/index.html)
that made life easy for me.

I hope I helped...

Adieu!  

car101 car101
New User | Posts: 9 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 06/08/07
10:42 PM

This is a great post. This helped me!

Thanks!


______________________
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A bmw Lover...
bmw spare parts owner...  

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