Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Simple DIY Car Maintenance Checks To Keep Tow Truck Away - Vol.224

A car can be a very convenient means for transportation, but they also require a little bit of work. Even if you don't know much about automotive repair, it helps to be able to perform general maintenance on your vehicle so that you can reduce the chance of even bigger problems from occurring. If you want to keep the tow truck away and keep your car in good working order, here are some simple DIY checks that you should be performing regularly.

Check The Oil
Turn off your vehicle and allow it time to cool off if it's recently been driven. In the meantime, collect a few paper towels. Once it has cooled down, open up the hood and locate the oil dipstick; it should look like a yellow ring protruding from one of the compartments, but the color may vary. If you aren't sure where to find the oil dipstick, consult with your vehicle owner's manual for reference.

Remove the dipstick and wipe off the residue using the paper towel; then return the dipstick to the original container. Remove it once more and visual inspect the level of oil on the stick. The oil should be a dark shade of tan and should appear between the two lines, one reading min. and the other reading max. If the oil is too low but in good condition, go to your local auto repair shop and purchase some extra oil of the same type; the oil type should be written nearby the engine compartment. Fill up the oil container till it reaches the line.

Air Filter
The air filter is what removes all the dirt and particles from the air before it reaches the engine. The engine then uses this air for the combustion process and provides power to the vehicle. If the air filter is too dirty, it risks depriving the engine of air and reducing the power of the engine.

Go to your local auto repair shop and purchase an air filter that matches the make and model of your vehicle. Check your owner's manual to find the square box under the hood that contains the air filter and remove the old filter; you can then throw the older filter away. Replace the filter into the box with the screen side facing up. There should be directions on the box if you are having trouble fitting the filter into the slot. This air filter should be changed at least once every 20,000 miles.

Spark Plugs
Automatic engines utilize spark plugs to ignite the gasoline and rotate the pistons in the engine. On average, these should be replaced once every 30,000-40,000 miles. Fortunately, they only cost about $10-$20 and aren't very difficult to change out. Just make sure that when you do buy your spark plugs you are buying the ones that say they are 'pre-gapped' as these are much easier to install.

Underneath the hood, your engine should have a rating on how many cylinders it has, 4, 6, or 8. This number correlates to how many spark plugs are under the hood. Each spark plug is attached to a rubbing wiring. Using a ratchet wrench go through and remove the old spark plugs and replace it with the new plug; then replace the wire and make sure that it is secured tightly.

Perform These Check Regularly
Cars last the longest when they are driven by owners who care. Regular maintenance can save you time, money, and frustration and help to reduce the probability that you'll need a tow truck anytime in the future. If your vehicle is beyond repair and you're looking to buy another one, shop online at PickNBuy24. We provide you a wide selection of quality used vehicles to choose from.