Don’t Shorten Your Car’s Life Automobile manufacturers know that their cars take a lot of abuse and, as such, they need to be designed to last. They honestly want their cars be on the road for a long time so that you’ll not only buy another one (from their company) but tell all your friends about it. As hard as they try, though, no one can make automobiles impervious to everything. Car owners still need to do, or not do, certain things. We contacted the Service Department at Stork Auto and asked them what they thought. Here’s five points to consider. Avoid potholes All the parts in the front end of your car are precisely aligned to each other. This alignment makes the steering feel precise, and it keeps the tires from wearing out prematurely. However, when you subject your car to violent jolts, such as when you hit a speedbump or a dive into a deep pothole, things can get out-of-alignment. The result: steering can be affected, the car may pull to one side or the other, or your tires will start wearing unsymmetrically. We know that accidents occur, but try and minimize hard bumps and bangs as much as possible. Don’t put pure water in your radiator The engine coolant in your car does something besides just cooling your engine, it contains additives that prevents internal corrosion. Here’s why you need them: The metals in your engine tend to react with each other because they are different chemical elements, such as iron, aluminum, and such. When connected by a good conductor (like water,) these metals create a small electric current between them that causes internal corrosion. Over time it will ruin an engine. Good antifreeze has special corrosion inhibitors in it to stop electric corrosion so always use it in your cooling system. Don’t shift into drive while rolling OK, a lot of us do this. When you are in a hurry and are backing up, it’s very tempting to slide your gearshift into “Drive” just before the car has come to a complete halt. While this isn’t a major thing when you are going very slow, it still stresses transmission parts. And, transmission repair is expensive! The solution is: when backing up, put your foot on the brake and take a second to let allow your car to come to a complete halt. Then you can shift the car into drive and continue on. Don’t ignore your Check Engine Light One of the most common misconceptions about cars is that a Check Engine light (CEL) glowing isn’t serious, and therefore “can be ignored.” Here’s the response to that concept: It is true that when the CEL comes on you shouldn’t panic, but it might be important. The best practice is to bring your car to a competent mechanic, after a CEL comes on and get an official diagnosis. Look for odd tire wear If your car’s tires are wearing on one side of each tire, you likely need a wheel alignment. This is one you don’t want to put off for long because it doesn’t take long for tires to be ruined when the alignment is off. If your tires look to have odd wear patterns, stop by your local dealer and have them take a look.
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