Blog Page at Monicatti Auto Sales in Chesterfield, MI

Why You Need To Rotate Your Tires


6/3/2022 - 9:00 AM

Virtually every vehicle manufacturer, tire manufacturer and tire dealer recommends that you rotate your vehicle's tires periodically so that they will wear evenly and last longer. But is tire rotation really necessary?

Apparently there are many motorists out there who don't think so, as tire rotation is one of the more neglected routine maintenance items. You can often even spot vehicles that are in need of tire rotation while out on the road. They are the vehicles whose front wheels are nearly pitch black from brake dust. The reason for this is that the front brakes are larger than the rear brakes on most vehicles (front-wheel drive vehicles) and they do 75 percent or more of the braking. Thus, they generate more brake pad dust, which in turn gets all over the wheels.

Whether your vehicle has front-wheel, rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive, your tires will benefit from a change of scenery from time to time. The weight and workload the tires carry is unevenly distributed which makes them wear unevenly.

A majority of vehicles on the road are front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive which operate in front-wheel drive most of the time. On these types of vehicles, the front tires carry an extraordinary load.

First of all, the front tires carry far more weight than the rear tires because the engine and transmission are typically mounted over the front axle. When you apply the brakes, more weight shifts forward which adds to the load. The front tires also endure uneven wear and tear from powering and steering the vehicle. They also bear the brunt of cornering forces when weight shifts to the outside of a turn. By contrast, the rear tires on a front-wheel drive vehicle are mostly just along for the ride!

Rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles spread more of the load to the rear tires because they drive the vehicle. However, the front tires still carry a significant burden from steering and from the weight of the engine and transmission.

Tire wear and tear can also indicate other problems or issues with your vehicle. For example, if the shoulders are worn more on your tires, it could be an indication of a misalignment or worn suspension parts. If the outer edges of your tires are worn more, it could indicate your tires are underinflated. Conversely, if the inner part of your tires are worn more, it could indicate your tires are overinflated.

How frequently tires should be rotated depends on the vehicle and the manufacturer's recommendations, which can typically be found inside the vehicle's owner's manual. A good rule of thumb is to rotate them at least as often as you change the oil. So if most mechanics tell you to change your vehicle's oil every 6,000 miles and you typically drive around 12,000 miles per year, you should rotate your tires twice a year.

The tire rotation pattern also depends on the vehicle. For most front-wheel drive vehicles, a typical pattern is to move the front tires to the rear on the same side and crisscross the rear tires to the front. The pattern might be different for rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles and will also be different on vehicles that have directional tires or different size tires in the front and rear.

With directional tires, for example, the tires have to stay on the same side and only move between the front and back. If the front and rear tires are of different sizes, they are rotated to the other side of the same axle.

If your tires are in need of rotating or if you're unsure about rotating your tires, our MONICATTI AUTO SERVICE CENTER can assist you. Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

(NOTE: Information loosely taken from a similar article on

Why You Should Never Ignore Your Warning Lights


5/4/2022 - 9:00 AM

Over the years, cars and trucks have come equipped with a variety of safety technologies to enhance driving safety. These safety technologies typically also come with warning lights that will flash on your dashboard to let you know if and when something is wrong.


YES! As a car or truck owner, it is your responsibility to take these warnings seriously. Not only do these warnings serve as a way of alerting you of potential issues with particular vehicle components, but they can also save you from ending up broken down on the side of the road and also save you the trouble of dealing with much more serious and costly repairs down the road.


As humans, an injury can hamper the performance of completing mundane, day-to-day activities and your vehicle is no different! If you ignore your warning lights and certain components begin to malfunction, it can lead to reduced performance for your vehicle. A broken sensor could send the wrong signals to your vehicle's ECU (Engine Control Unit) which might throw off the performance and maybe even force it into limp mode where the engine protects itself from large loads and stresses.

To better help you stay on top of your vehicle's performance, here are the main vehicle warning lights to look out for:


This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT light of them all! The check engine light can be anything from a loose gas cap to something much more serious. If this light is ignored, it could lead to a much more costly repair or even irreparable damage. This could mean there are engine problems, emissions issues or even a faulty oxygen sensor. If the check engine light comes on, you want to have it checked out right away!


The oil pressure light can come on when there is an engine problem, a sensor problem or simply just a low oil level. If you ever see this light come on, you need to have it checked out right away. Just like the check engine light, ignoring this warning can lead to serious damage and more costly repairs.


Any time you see this warning, you should pull over immediately and turn off your engine. This warning light is a serious sign of engine overheating and keeping the engine running could lead to irreparable damage.


If the tire pressure light comes on, it means there is an imbalance in tire pressure. One or more tires might have too much or too little air pressure in them and it may not be adequate according to what the vehicle's manufacturer suggests. This is typically a very easy fix as you can add or remove air pressure using an air pump or by visiting your local gas or service station. However, in some cases it could mean the tire pressure sensor has gone bad and needs to be fixed.


Your brakes should always be in perfect working condition as they can save your life. If the brake light or the Anti-Braking System light comes on, there is likely an issue with your brakes. If your brakes are not working properly, your vehicle could skid or even not stop at all. When this warning light comes on, it is best to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible.


While your brakes can save your life by helping you to avoid an accident, your airbags can save your life when an accident does occur. If you see the airbag light come on, it means there is a problem with one or more of the airbags in the system. So if you are in a collision, one of the airbags may not deploy. Needless to say, it is of the utmost importance to get this warning light checked out right away!

In addition to the warning lights mentioned above, there are many other lights that can come up on your vehicle's dashboard. Below is a fairly comprehensive listing of many of the others.

All of these vehicle warning lights can be checked out and serviced for you here at our MONICATTI AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE CENTER! Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

10 Tips For Cleaning Your Car


Friday, April 1st, 2022 - 9:00 AM

Unless you're a car fanatic like we are here at Monicatti Auto Sales
& Service, washing your car can be a bit of a hassle, especially if
your car doesn't end up looking much better than when you started.
With the right tools and the right methods, you can get your car
looking like a brand-new showroom piece!

However, before you just throw some soap and water at your ride,
read on for our top 10 tips for cleaning your car the RIGHT way!


While this might sound a bit arbitrary, picking the right day and
even TIME of day to wash your car can make a difference. Don't
try to wash your car in extreme cold or heat. If it's too cold, obviously
the water will freeze and make things extremely difficult for you. If
it's too hot, the water will evaporate quickly and form grimy residues
before you have a chance to wipe them off.

Dark colored cars can absorb so much heat that they become hot to
the touch. This not only burns your hands and fingers, but it can also
affect some of the chemicals used for washing and detailing your car.


Before you clean the outside, start with the interior. Remove any obvious
trash from the ash trays, doors, seat pockets, glovebox and other interior
storage spaces. Don't forget to check under the seats for food wrappers,
missing sunglasses or even misplaced money (HEY, you never know!).

If you use seat mats, take them out and clean them separately. If they're
rubber, wash them with warm soapy water.


Once all of the trash has been removed, it's time to get out the vacuum!
Oftentimes, dirt gets into tough to reach places. So you may need to
loosen it up or get it out into an open area where the vacuum nozzle
can reach it. You can use a stiff brush (like an old toothbrush) to
accomplish this.

If you have a pet that frequently rides in your car, chances are you
have pet hair on your seats or in the carpet. Try using a moistened
rubber glove or wrap sticky tape around your hand with the sticky
side facing outwards to clean it up.

Finally - and this is a pretty cool trick - use a compressed air canister
to blow dust and dirt out of the little nooks and crannies that you
can't reach with the brush or the vacuum nozzle.


We're not quite done with the interior yet! The dash and instrument
panel can collect a lot of dust. However, these areas are more delicate,
so use a damp cloth on the dash and controls. There are also dash
and upholstery cleaning products for these areas, which can help.
Try using a soft paintbrush to get dust out from the rims of the
instrument dials if needed.

*NOTE* Don't be tempted to use any silicone sprays that add shine
to your interior. A shiny dash can create horrible glare and make it
difficult to see when driving. Also, if any overspray gets onto the
pedals it can make them slippery, which can also be dangerous.


Finally, while you have all of the doors open, grab a bucket of clean,
soapy water and clean the door sills and door openings. These are
easily overlooked during a regular car wash, but will stick out like a
sore thumb when you open the doors later.


If you look around or ask around enough, you will get all kinds of
advice for the best way to wash your car. We suggest you start by
rinsing the car off with a steady stream of water to get all of the
loose dirt off. This will help reduce the risk of rubbing dirt into the
paint later on.

Once the entire car has been rinsed off and most of the loose dirt has
been cleared, it's time to wash the car. Grab a clean bucket and fill it
with a mixture of warm water and car washing solution. Do NOT
use household detergents as this can strip away any protective wax
layers from the paint.

Next, grab a car washing glove or a large sponge and start from the
roof and work your way down the sides, front and rear of the car. This
gives the car wash solution a little more time to soak into the grimiest
areas near the bottom and means the water in your bucket stays cleaner
for longer. If the water in your bucket becomes too dirty, it is a good
idea to empty and re-fill it to keep from washing your car with dirty
water or even scratching the paint with small bits of dirt.

If you find any stubborn spots, don't keep rubbing away at them because
this could damage the paint. Instead, try using a tar and bug remover
spray. And if you have any dirt that appears to be bonded into the
paint, you can use a clay bar to remove it. However, be sure to read
the instructions carefully to prevent from doing any damage.


It is not necessary to wax your car every time you wash it. Most
detailing experts suggest that you wax your car 2-4 times per year.
There are even car wash solutions that contain wax in them and help
to preserve your wax layers in between waxes.

First you need to rinse off the car and allow it to fully dry. However,
do not allow the water to puddle and dry naturally because this will
often leave some residue, even if it looks clean. Instead, use a leather
or silicone squeegee or a chamois. These are not designed to dry the
surface on contact, but rather spreads the water out into a thin layer
that evaporates more quickly and cleanly.

Next it is time to apply the wax. Follow the instructions carefully
from the manufacturer's bottle that you are using. It may seem
counter-intuitive, but in the case of waxing your car, less is more.
A good application of wax is not very visible. The smallest and most
thin layer is the best and most effective way to apply. For applying
the wax, follow these steps:

  1. Apply some wax to an applicator. This can be a small foam
    or microfiber pad or a special finishing pad on a waxing/
    polishing wheel.

  2. Rub the wax all over all of the body panels on the car. This
    can be done using small circles or straight lines. A thin layer
    is better and should be so thin that you have to look at the
    surface in the light to see what you have already done.

  3. After the entire car has been coated in wax, allow it to dry
    and haze. The time needed for this depends on the product
    itself as well as the humidity and temperature. Lower
    temperatures slow down the hazing while higher temperatures
    speed up the hazing. If you want to test and see if the wax is
    finished hazing, perform the "swipe test".

    • Wrap a piece of a microfiber towel over the end of
      your finger

    • Swipe the waxed area with the towel-covered finger
      in much the same way that you would swipe a

    • If the wax is done hazing and ready to be buffed off,
      you will see a smear-free clear swipe area left behind

    • If the wax is NOT ready to be buffed, you will see an
      oily smear left behind over the waxed surface

    • If the wax is NOT ready yet, wait a little longer and
      repeat the "swipe test"

  4. When the wax is ready to be buffed, take a clean/un-used
    microfiber towel and wipe off the entire car. If you applied
    the wax in a very thin layer, this should be very quick and

  5. While buffing the wax off, you should start to see the shine
    appear. After you are done with an area, turn your microfiber
    towel over and use the clean side to wipe it again to prevent
    any smears. You could also possibly use two separate towels
    for this.

  6. Once you are done buffing the entire car, step back and enjoy
    your hard work!

Some detailing experts will wax and buff the car twice for extra
protection and extra shine. However, there is a clever test you can
perform to check the depth of your shine. Place a ruler perpendicular
to the surface and see how many numbers you can read in the
reflection. The more you can see, the better the shine.


We may be done with the car, but let's not forget about the wheels
and tires! If washing the wheels with your sponge or washing
glove doesn't get them fully clean, try using a stiff brush to remove
any brake dust or road grime. And here's a handy tip: when you think
you're done, move the car forward about half a rotation of the tires
and clean again to get the areas you may have missed the first time

There are special wheel degreasers and cleaners which will remove
the dirt and brake dust without damaging paintwork or the finish on
the wheels like a regular detergent will. Some even contain sealants
to help protect against dirt and pitting in the future.

Lastly, you can get tire cleaners and sprays that will give your tires a
shiny, new car look. This shine typically fades away, but it looks great
while it lasts and can be a handy tip if you're trying to sell your car.


Once everything else is done, it's time to clean the glass. It's a good
idea to leave this until the end because the windows tend to pick up
dirt and grime from all of the other steps.

Some people use straight up glass cleaner for the glass on their car.
However, this can sometimes leave lots of streaks. Other people
wash their car's glass with soap and water. A good combination of
water and glass cleaner can work great as well.

Whatever you decide to use, make sure to roll down the windows
a bit to clean the top edges as well. Otherwise, these will stay dirty
even though the rest of the windows are nice and clean.


While cleaning your car, you probably noticed a few cosmetic
flaws here and there. Dings and scratches are typically best left
to the experts at the body shop. However, some things, like faded
paintwork or plastic trim, can be fixed fairly easily.

For faded paintwork, you will need a polishing solution and a little
bit of skill. And remember, polish is NOT wax! Polish is abrasive
and designed to remove the top layer of paint that's faded to reveal
the true color underneath. But when in doubt, leave it to the

On the other hand, bumper polish is very easy. Many cars have black
plastic bumpers and trim that fade over time. Bumper polish can be
messy to apply, but is also quite easy and can help to restore that
showroom gleam to faded plastics.

So even if your car is 10 years old or older, it doesn't have to look
like it. A good cleaning will leave it looking YEARS younger and
will make you feel much better about your ride!

If any or all of this sounds like too much work, at MONICATTI
we offer Auto Detailing Services.
So feel free to give us a call at 844-463-6722 or fill out
our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment

(Note: Information loosely taken from

Simple Winter Car Care Tips


2/18/2022 - 5:00 PM

Sometimes it seems as though winter will never end! We get a few
nice, warm days and then BAM, Mother Nature dumps some more
snow on us!
For many drivers, facing the challenges of salted streets,
icy roads, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow can be quite
daunting. So how do you keep your vehicle in top condition during
the winter months? Plan ahead and use our car care tips to make
sure your vehicle stays in great shape all winter long.


One major hazard with winter driving is that the sun sets earlier in
the day, which means there’s less daylight, especially on your
commute home. As a result, you’ll want to make sure your
 are in excellent shape, providing the brightest possible
illumination they can. If a bulb is out, fix it before winter starts, and
if there’s snow covering any exterior light, make sure you remove it
before setting off to drive anywhere. If your headlights are foggy or
yellow, consider replacing them or look into an easy restoration kit.


It’s often more difficult for a car battery to operate in cold weather
than it is for it to operate in warm weather. As a result, a battery
that’s merely weak during the summer could turn into a dead battery
during the winter. Our advice is to have a volt test performed on
your battery before winter starts to make sure it’s still in good
working order. If it isn’t, buy a new battery as soon as possible so
you’ll never have to worry about being stranded or left in a cold
parking lot with a car that won’t start.


Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is tremendously important to
your car, as it keeps the engine from freezing in cold temperatures.
Before you head into winter, make sure your car isn’t low on
Also, check to see that there aren’t any leaks in your vehicle’s
engine components that could cause coolant to drain out. Many
mechanics recommend drivers use a 50/50-mix of coolant and water
in their radiator. This blend usually results in a lower engine freezing
point than just coolant.


You might be wondering what gasoline and washer fluid could
possibly have in common. The answer is that they’re two liquids
you should try to keep full during the winter. You should keep your
gas tank full for several reasons. First, a full tank may prevent
accumulated water from freezing inside your fuel pump. Second,
it will allow you to run your engine longer and keep you warm if
you get stuck. Meanwhile, a full windshield-washer reservoir is
tremendously important, as messy road debris from a snowstorm
can sometimes necessitate constant window washing to see where
you’re going.


All-wheel drive can be confidence-inspiring when you’re
accelerating, but it doesn’t help you when you’re braking and turning,
experts say. For drivers who live in areas where the temperature
regularly drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, 
winter tires are a must.
Winter tires are more capable of staying flexible at low temperatures.
This means that they can provide improved traction when you’re
trying to stop and turn on cold pavement, even if there’s no snow on
the ground.


It’s incredibly important to keep track of your tire pressure as
temperatures get colder. This is because tire pressure can drop along
with the air temperature, losing up to one pound per square inch
with every 10-degree drop in air temperature. Driving around with
low tire pressure could mean premature tire wear or potential tread
separation, which could lead to a major accident. Also, your car
handles less predictably with underinflated tires. If you check your
tire pressure and find that one or more of your tires are low on air, fill
them at a gas station air pump. Don’t forget to let out a little air as
temperatures start to climb again in the spring.


Before winter gets into full swing, be sure to check your car’s
window defroster and climate control system to make sure both
work properly. Their purpose is obvious: The climate control
system will help keep you warm in the winter (and can help keep
your windows from fogging up), while the defroster will keep your
windows from icing up. Both items are crucial to maintaining
comfort and safety throughout the winter. Then again, you could be
lucky enough to own a car with a
 heated windshield!


Although this isn’t a car care tip as much as a winter preparedness tip,
we suggest considering a survival kit for your vehicle if you want to
really be ready for winter. While it might sound ridiculous for some urban
drivers, motorists in rural areas might find themselves stuck on a deserted
road with heavy snow falling and few vehicles around for miles. In any event,
a survival kit is a good idea. Select one that’s stocked with the following:

  • Thermal blanket

  • First-aid kit

  • Multi-tool that includes a knife

  • Flashlight and charger or batteries

  • Jumper cables

  • Cellphone charger and extra battery

  • Shovel

  • Sand or cat litter

  • Ice scraper

  • De-icer

  • Flares

Because snow and ice cause hazardous driving conditions and it can make
it difficult for other vehicles to see you or your car, be cautious and remain
vigilant if you must pull off to the side of a road or interstate.

(NOTE: Information taken from an article posted on the AutoTrader website. 
Monicatti Auto Sales & Service is a proud sponsor of AutoTrader and lists 
all of our vehicles on their website.)

How to Protect Your Car From Rust

Rust never sleeps: Here's how you can protect your car

No matter what type of automotive rustproofing protection you favour (electronic, one-time spray, factory coating or annual treatments) there are large gaps in warranty coverage from even the best companies out there. First things first; if you operate a vehicle on public roads 12 months of the year, there really is no such thing as rustproofing. About the best we can hope for is to slow down Mother Nature’s ravage of our daily drivers so that the loan payments end before the sheet metal. We really can’t stop rust altogether.

All rustproofing suppliers offer pretty much the same warranty; they will repair or replace outer sheet metal panels if rusted through from inside/out and if all other guarantee conditions have been met (annual inspections, reapplications, etc.). But what about all the other steel and iron on the vehicle? Cast iron and steel suspension and steering components, fuel and brake fluid lines, exhaust systems, fuel tanks and straps can all be affected by rust and can bring major repair bills. Is there anything we can do to extend the life of these components?

1. Park carefully. Parking your vehicle on grass, dirt, snow or poorly drained surfaces is just asking for rust to come and take up permanent residence in your vehicle. As our vehicles spend most of their idle time at our place of residence, tackling the home-parking front can go a long way to keeping rust at bay. If you think investing in a driveway improvement is too expensive, ask your regular repair garage for some cost estimates on replacing brake rotors, exhaust systems, suspension control arms, fuel tank and the like and you’ll quickly find the financial justification. Don’t rest easy if your parking lane is paved. Old cracked asphalt surfaces can provide just as much moisture to the undercarriage of your chariot as a dirt field in spring. Even applying a layer of asphalt sealer can help out.

2. Keep it clean. Most of us like to keep the paint work and interior of our vehicles clean, but what about the underbelly? If you drive on gravel or dirt roads or take an off-road adventure from time to time, the mud and gunk that can collect underneath your vehicle will act as a moisture trap increasing the speed with which your wheels will head to the scrap yard. Check horizontal surfaces under the car/truck such as control arms, skid-plates, axles, etc. from time to time and do a little down-and-dirty cleaning when needed. If you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden hose and stiff brush will do. You may have to jack the vehicle to improve clearance, so make sure you take the necessary precautions with proper jack supports and wheel chocks and have a spotter standing by.

3. Keep it full. One of the most expensive repairs a driver can face because of rust is the replacement of a fuel pump module (the electric fuel pump and level sender unit located in the tank). While the interior parts of this piece (which can range in price from $300-$1500 plus labour) are well protected, its metal top plate and output lines are very exposed and prone to rusting. Fuel tanks and their parts can be attacked from two sources of moisture leading to rust. The first is external and the second is internal condensation caused by the difference between liquid fuel and outside air temperatures in a humid environment. Keeping the fuel tank topped off during the wet seasons can help to reduce the condensation effect. It also provides better traction in snow and on icy surfaces.

4. Blow it clean. On trucks and SUVs with large fuel tanks, the dirt, dust, and road grime that can collect on the top of the tank can lead to premature rusting of the fuel pump module. The labour involved in periodically lowering the tank to inspect and clean off its top can be pricey and can make it hard to justify as a means of extending the life of the pump module. A safe DIY method involves spraying compressed air on top of the tank while it’s mounted in its location to dislodge any debris or gunk. Use safety goggles and go easy on the air nozzle trigger as small stones can hurt when propelled by compressed air.

5. Spray it on. While no rustproofing company will guarantee undercarriage components against rust, that’s not a reason to not have the more vulnerable iron and steel parts treated. You can purchase aerosol cans of rust inhibitors at most auto parts stores, or you can have the pros take care of it for you. If doing it yourself, avoid getting any spray on brake rotors, drums, linings, or calipers. Keep it off hot surfaces such as catalytic converters and exhaust components as well as away from electrical wiring and connectors. Don’t overdo it. It’s better to perform annual touch-ups rather than try to lather on enough protection for the next decade.

Article Originally published

Top Car Cleaning Hacks

So, your car has seen better days. The upholstery is looking a bit worn, and the once-shiny windows are now…well, not so shiny. Sure, you could take your car to a professional cleaner—or you could save your money and spruce things up yourself. Here are our top car-cleaning hacks.

Shine A Light

After a few years of driving, the plastic on a car’s headlights tends to oxidize, giving it a cloudy, yellowish appearance. That film can be dangerous because it cuts down the amount of light they cast. You could splurge on an expensive buffing compound to clean them up, or opt for a cheaper solution—toothpaste. Just dab some on a rag and rub away. Once you’re done, rinse with water; you’ll be amazed by the difference.

Window Polish Perfection

Have your kids decided to do some finger-painting on your car’s windshield? To give your windows a streak-free shine, follow these easy steps.

Combine ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol. Add two cups of water and a few drops of lemon essential oil. Mix together and add the contents to a spray bottle. You’ve now got a solution that will have your windshield, windows and rear-view mirrors looking spotless. Try wiping down your windows with old newspapers—you might be surprised with the streak-free results.

Dashing Dashboards

If your vinyl dashboard has seen better days, there’s an easy way to get it looking new again: take a slightly damp cloth and run it over all the surfaces. This will remove dust and grime. For tougher stains, use a small amount of the mildest laundry soap you can find—the plastic and vinyl on dashboards can be scratched or discolored by abrasive cleaners. When you’re done, wipe away excess soap and moisture with a soft, clean, dry cloth.

Bye Bye, Bugs

Dead bugs—is there anything harder to clean off your car? Some people rent power washers to blast them away, while others opt for cleaners laden with special enzymes and harsh chemicals. But those solutions are both expensive and could damage your finish. The better way? Wet your car and apply a healthy dose of car soap, which you probably already have on hand, with a soft washing mitt. Work in small areas and rinse each section when you’re done. With a minimal amount of elbow grease, those critters will start dropping like, well, flies.

Article Originally published

Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.


Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:


Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.


Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.


There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.


A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.


If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.


A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.


Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.


Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible


Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.


Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.


Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

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