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Old 05-21-2015, 09:10 AM   #1
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Default My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

I've just passed my driving test and is looking at buying a used vehicle within the next couple of weeks. I'm not much of a "car guy" and is worried about if I will run into problems with the terms "change oil, change filters, (what again needs changing?) etc.I've been looking through some youtube videos etc on basics.

Can you guys recommend me a video online here? or even give me some tips
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Check and maintain the fluids (oil, water, brake/clutch fluid and power steering fluid).

Tires pressure properly maintained.

Doesn't take much to keep up the car.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Regular oil changes! Check the manufacturer's recommendation and do it religiously. It can extend the life of the motor for a long, long time.

Also check the recommendations for all other maintenance, such as transmission fluid/filter changes, coolant changes, whatever. If you take care of your vehicle it will take care of you. My company car is a 2012 Nissan Versa. I got it with 17 miles on it in November of 2012. It now has almost 153K miles on it. Since it is a fleet/leased vehicle I have to make sure to have all of the maintenance kept up and it has yet to let me down.

Also, find a dependable mechanic in your area. Having someone who knows their stuff and that you know is not going to rip you off will make things much less stressful if/when something does go wrong.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

First of all, congrats on passing

Now, the first thing you should do before you ask anything is to read the owner's manual. The right amounts, types, grades, change intervals... etc., should be mentioned on it. If you don't find the manual, look it up online or ask the dealer. It is your best friend in this subject. If you can't manage, then I suggest resorting to asking.

Some advices are that it is better and safer to have a little less fill of fluids and oils in the reservoirs than to have more, specially for the engine oil. Otherwise pressure could blow up seals causing leak. Before you drive every time, look around maybe a tire is low or a door is ajar or something.

Different cars are different to maintain of course. I own a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria and a rundown 1992 Mercedes 300E. The MB can be maintained way much easier than the ford that replacing spark plugs for example can be done DIY (Do it Yourself) with basic tools (only the tool that unscrews tires, whatever it's called in English) while the Ford's requires special tools and care. My point is, find a car that workshops can deal with easier to save time and money later later.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Most definitely follow the manufacturer's suggestion as to how often to change oil and filter. Don't listen to the oil change shops as they will tell you to change oil and filter every 3 months or 3,000 miles whichever comes first. While that interval will certainly protect your engine, it is a waste of money and oil as that is more often than necessary. Those guys want you to change oil more often than necessary because it makes more money for them.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

get a haynes/chiltern manual if it is available for the car that you have got.

That way anything that you think needs fixing will be explained in easy to follow steps. and you'll be able to decide if it is something that is too difficult for you to do at home or not.

also when you actually have your motor then you'll be able to have a look at some make/model specific forums, you'll generally get really good advice on those sites, from people who actually own the car!

strollin makes a good point, if you get generic advice then you end up changing the oil really really far in advance. generic advice is to do oil and filter change at 3k.

on my last car it was 6k,
on the car I have now, oil and oil filter is 12k, with all other filters, (air, fuel and cabin) doing 36k) (on manufacturer advice).
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Make sure when you're buying your used vehicle that not only are you going to keep it well maintained, but that the previous owners also did so. Ask them for maintenance records if they took it to a dealership or if they wrote down when they did it themselves.

A few things you can do yourself to check if they seem sketchy:

Check the oil and wipe the dipstick with a paper towel, it should be brown and, well, oily. If its watery, muddy, milky, or sludgy, stay away!

Try to wiggle the tires to see if they're tight or not. If they're loose, you could be looking at replacing tie rod ends, which aren't that difficult to replace, but its a sign that the car hasn't been maintained.

Get up under the car to look for rust. It may have been painted over or bondo'd. Bubbling paint usually equals rust too.

Make sure when you go look at a car, that you get to start it and hear it cold. Listen for ticks, knocks, and rattles. These are bad. If the owner has "already warmed it up for you", they could be trying to hide noises the car is making.

Lastly, almost every car has its infamous series of issues(Jeep 4 litre flexplate knock, GM 3.1 litre intake manifolds, etc). Research your car thoroughly and be prepared to fix these issues when you buy your car.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Remember, when you check the tire pressure, do it on a cold start. Driving gives heat on tires so doing it after a trip will most likely give wrong numbers if the trip is long enough.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Quote:
Try to wiggle the tires to see if they're tight or not. If they're loose, you could be looking at replacing tie rod ends, which aren't that difficult to replace, but its a sign that the car hasn't been maintained.
if you can move the tire without jacking the car then the tie rod ends, (or track rod ends as we call them in the UK) are massively messed up!
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: My first Vehicle: maintainance tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
if you can move the tire without jacking the car then the tie rod ends, (or track rod ends as we call them in the UK) are massively messed up!
I bought my second car back in November. It has 180k+ miles on it. Original owners never did a tune up, or anything other than oil changes. $500 and two weekends and she's all good now.
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