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Automotive Emergencies: Part 3

    We all know how important it is to have a basic knowledge of first aid in an emergency, but how many of you know first aid for an automotive emergency? This is part three of a three part series that will help you be prepared should you suffer a automotive break down.
» Part 1: Misc. Emergencies
» Part 2: Blizzards
» Part 3: In General...
» Part 4: Care For Your Car
» Part 5: Emergency Equip.

Periodic Care for The Car

The best way to handle a roadside breakdown is to avoid it in the first place. Regular maintenance is a very important part of this. A lot of these checks can be done while you are waiting for the gas tank to fill up and it doesn't take much longer than that to do.

If the state you live in, New Jersey for example, does not allow self-service, have the attendant make the checks instead of chatting up that pretty blonde in the car in front of you. Here is what should be checked.

  1. At the gas pump:

    1. Check the engine oil level.
    2. Check the transmission fluid level.
    3. Check the power steering fluid level.
    4. Check the drive belts.
    5. Check the radiator and heater hoses for softness, bulges or cuts.
    6. Check the tires to see if they need air or show any abnormalities.
  2. Monthly checks you should make with the engine and tires cold:

    1. Check the level of the coolant in the radiator and the
    2. reservoir tank.
    3. Check the brake fluid level in the brake master cylinder and clutch master cylinder, if you have a manual transmission.
    4. Check tire's air pressure.
    5. Check the tires for cuts, bulges or excessive wear.
    6. Check the headlights, both low and high beams.
    7. Check the tail lights.
    8. Check the turn signals.
    9. Check the brake lights.

Get someone to help you check the last four items. Not only will the vehicle be safer, it could very well save you the cost of a ticket.

  1. Every 3,000 miles or three months:

    1. Change the oil and oil filter.
    2. Lubricate the chassis. Spray the bushings with WD-40 or some other penetrating fluid.
    3. Check, and replace if necessary, the air and breather filters.
  2. Every 12,000 miles or 12 months:

    1. Have the wheel alignment checked.
    2. Have the exhaust system checked for leaks.
    3. Lubricate the door locks and hinges.
    4. Replace the air and breather filters.
    5. Replace the spark plugs.
    6. Replace the fuel filter(s).
    7. Get a general engine tune-up.
    8. Replace windshield wiper blades
  3. Every 24,000 miles.

    1. Repack wheel bearings.
    2. Drain and replace antifreeze.
    3. Flush and refill the brake and clutch fluid.
    4. Tune up engine, and replace PCV valve.
    5. Replace spark plugs on cars using unleaded fuel.
    6. Change transmission fluid and filter.
» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Part 5
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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