Driving an automobile is a lavishness that most of us take for granted.  Automobiles are the primary means of transportation in the United States, with ninety percent of American adults owning or previously owning a truck or car.  What we don’t realize is that operating a truck or car is a responsibility that can bring  grave consequences.  Every year in the United States alone, more than ten thousand vehicular accidents happen.

An average of four hundred Americans die yearly as the result of automotive mishaps.  It’s a tragic figure, especially when you consider that many of these collisions could be prevented with proper routine check-ups and maintenance.  Keeping your car well-maintained means reducing the risk of  accidents or even death, and protecting your loved ones and fellow drivers.  
Before hitting the road, be sure to perform these checkups regularly:

Tires

Different kinds of tires

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Many Americans use all-season tires. These tires should bring you safely from season to season, but it is imperative that you check the tires regularly for damage or wear.  Ideally, tires should be checked every week.

Brakes

The brake system provides one main purposes: to slow down or stop the car when it is required.  If you step on the brake pedal and it goes all the way to the floor, you’ve got problem.  Late-model automobiles are furnished with a brake warning light. This dashboard indicator will light up if something is incorrect with your brake system.  If your brake warning light indicates trouble, it is important that you check the brake system urgently.  Refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance advice, and call an experienced mechanic for repairs.  Brake repairs or replacements are no job for a hobby or weekend mechanic.

Headlights

In 2005, over 2,300 pedestrians died because drivers experienced eye problems or had faulty headlights in the automobiles.  Appropriately maintained vehicle headlights help you drive safely, and see more clearly.   Change your headlight bulbs at least once a year.

Wipers

Many people don’t think of replacing their wiper blades until it is too late.  This is one of the most inexpensive and easiest parts of the car to maintain.  Replace your wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and just before winter.

There are 10 common factors why automobile owners visit the mechanic:

1.  Steering/suspension
2.  Ignition/Electronic control
3.  Brake System
4.  Oil change/lube/filters
5.  Exhaust system
6.  Carburetor/Fuel system
7.  Transmission/Fuel system
8.  Air conditioning system
9.  Electrical problem
10. Radiator repairs

Proper maintenance and routine check ups  of a car be expensive, and budget restrictions are often the leading factors in keeping car owners from living up to their responsibilities.  This does not have to be a problem.  The key is in knowing how to save on repair and car maintenance. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed that $20 billion has been put to waste on unnecessary auto repairs due to incompetence and fraud.

If your car is not functioning to its full potential, remember the following guides to help you save money on repairs:

Preventive Maintenance

Be your car’s best friend, and you can put aside a bundle.  By conducting regular preventative maintenance, such as regular radiator flushes or oil changes, you prevent unnecessary damage to the car and save a lot of money in the long run.  Regular checkups by an authorized repair person will keep your car running longer, better.

Conserve

Even automobiles need to take a breather now and then.  If you drive your car daily, the miles will add up quickly, and damage can occur too soon.  To avoid this, consider carpooling with coworkers and friends.  Invite around to form your own carpool group.  You’ll all  put aside on maintenance, and you’ll be able to pool your fuel and parking expenses.

Estimate

Before selecting a mechanic to repair your car, be sure to get a written estimate.  If the mechanic charges more than your budget can afford, shop around.  Compare estimates to find the perfect deal.  Just ensure that you are paying for quality service.

Do It Yourself

You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish after doing a little research.  Read over your owner’s brochure from time to time.  Know as much as you can about your car.  Understand potential troubles and how to solve them.  For instance, that mysterious clunking noise might be bothersome, but could be as simple to fix as tightening a bolt.  Regular maintenance tasks like radiator flushes or oil changes are fairly easy to do if you understand your vehicle and take the time to do the job properly.

As an automobile owner, you have a responsibility to keep your car well maintained at all times.  Consider it an investment in your car’s future, and bear in mind that it could save a life.

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