If you’re one of the many people that drive internal combustion (petrol or gasoline) vehicles, then advance auto parts is a place you’ve probably stopped by.
Here’s how it all started:
The first ever “production” vehicle was the Benz Production car developed by Karl Benz in 1886.
It was the very first car to be produced in mass quantities for the consumer market.
It used petrol or gasoline and was powered by a single cylinder two stroke engine.
Fast forward 130 years later to 2016 and we’re still using the same principles of an internal combustion engine to power most of our vehicles.
Petrol or gasoline cars do have some drawbacks.
On the one hand:
They’re great at transporting us long distances and are reliable.
While, on the other hand:
Gas and petrol vehicles do require a substantial amount of maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
People would much rather have their cars powered by electric means of propulsion as that would mean nearly zero yearly maintenance and even greater reliability and safety.
There’s just one problem:
Batteries today just aren’t up to par with the demands of the consumer market just yet.
For those of you unaware:
Here’s a brief overview of mankind’s recent progression through the various eras of energy.
Prior to 1750:
Humanity obtained their energy from primarily two sources (whale oil and trees).
This period is known as the pre-Industrial era.
From the year 1750 until today:
We have been obtaining our energy from fossil fuels or non-renewable forms of energy (coal, oil, and natural gas).
This current period of time is known as the Fossil Fuel Era.
Since, by definition, fossil fuels are non-renewable and will eventually run out:
It means something has to take its place.
That something is renewable forms of energy (primarily solar and wind) stored inside batteries.
The only catch is that the batteries of today are not sufficiently energy dense enough to be able to be able to convert all forms of transport (i.e. airplanes) to electric.
When that day arrives:
It’ll be obvious to people that electric cars are superior to gasoline/petrol cars.
But for those that still drive gasoline/petrol cars today:
Here are some great products you can purchase at Advance Auto Parts to keep your cars running in tip-top shape.
Windshield wipers are something everyone needs to change regularly.
They’re inexpensive and help you to keep your eyes on the road.
If you start to notice that your view of the road seems to be a bit murky:
Then it might be a good idea to invest in a new pair of windshield wipers.
Keeping your eyes on the road is of prime importance.
There’s another organ in your body that is also important; your lungs.
The difference between a clean cabin air filter over a dirty cabin air filter is one your lungs will thank you for when driving through polluted areas on your travels.
It may surprise you to find out that a car’s engine uses over 10,000 gallons of air for every gallon of oil burned.
So, it’s a good idea to change your oil air filter if needed during your oil change.
If your engine’s air filter gets clogged:
Performance problems are sure to follow.
Here’s one that’s actually a lot of fun to change.
Changing your spark plugs once they’re worn or covered in dirt ensures that your engine continues to function properly.
Spark plugs work to create the ignition necessary for your engine to start.
Ever swap spark plugs with a friend’s vehicle?
Every petrol car needs electricity to run.
So, in a sense:
All cars on the road are already electric.
Your car’s battery is super easy to maintain (no need to hire anyone to do this).
Make sure to check and clean the contacts on your battery’s terminals and replace the battery once needed.
This is the one item that everyone is most familiar with; your car’s oil.
Changing the oil in your car keeps your car’s engine running smoothly.
The purpose of oil is to reduce the friction and hence heat between the many moving parts inside your car’s engine.
While changing your oil:
Save time and go ahead and change the fuel filter as well.
The fuel filter functions to remove contaminants from engine oil.
This ensures that the oil does its job by keeping your engine lubricated and ready to go.
Pair this task with changing the car’s oil.
Older cars used to have multiple belts inside their engine.
More modern cars now have one large serpentine belt which replaces the need for multiple smaller belts.
A good rule of thumb:
Always check the serpentine belt’s condition during your oil change.
Change it if the need arises.
There’s actually another hidden belt that keeps your engine running called the timing belt.
Since the timing belt is often hidden from plain sight:
It’s referred to by some as the “forgotten belt.”
The timing belt does need to be replaced after 60,000-90,000 miles.
If your car is squeaking when you hit the brakes:
That is a sure sign that your brake pads need to be replaced.
Most brake pads are designed to make that squeaking noise when they are worn down to the last 25%.
Once you replace the worn brake pads:
The squeaking stops!
The only point of contact between your car and the road should be your tires.
Keep it that way by ensuring that your tires stay inflated year-round.
Under inflated tires can end up costing you money at the pump in wasted fuel.
Simply check your tire’s pressure once a month and you’ll be A okay!
Rotating your tires is a simple process you can do in the comfort of your own garage.
For those of you unfamiliar with the process:
Rotating your tires is simply the act of swapping the position of your tires from one spot to another.
It’s pretty easy to do if you feel like taking care of your own car.
Wheel alignment is an important aspect of maintaining your vehicle.
Improper wheel alignment can end up causing your vehicle a lot of harm down the road.
Here’s the deal though:
Make sure to compare quotes by multiple mechanics (at least 2) before you commit to an alignment.
Windshield washer fluid can be added to your car in under 60 seconds.
If the reservoir runs dry of the washer fluid:
It can, in turn, damage the windshield washer pump.
Don’t substitute with water as water doesn’t provide anti-freeze properties and doesn’t clean as well as the real stuff.
Properly working head and tail lights are crucial to your visibility at night.
It doesn’t take a genius to run down to the store and buy some replacement bulbs or LEDs.
You can easily change the lights yourself and be on your way to a brightly lit drive for many more miles to come!
Changing your transmission fluid is vital for providing the necessary hydraulic (fluid) power to ensure your automatic transmission functions properly.
This is a pretty involved task.
So, unless you’re willing to cope with some spills and stress:
Take your car to the mechanic.
In the old days, when power steering wasn’t an option:
You didn’t have to go to the gym for a good workout.
You went for a drive!
Today, power steering comes standard (and drivers have weaker arms as a result).
To maintain the ease of turning the wheel:
Make sure your power steering fluid remains up-to-date.
Inside of your hood:
You’ll find a couple of hoses that if they were to ever leak would mean big problems.
Hoses provide a flexible connection for flow between the engine and the radiator.
Have a mechanic look at them every now and then to ensure they’re snug tight and leak-free.
If you’re hearing odd noises such as clunking while turning:
Chances are you might need to do a quick chassis lubrication and that should take care of the problem.
Of course, a second opinion can’t hurt.
Inspecting the chassis should be done about every 6,000 miles.
Coolant (antifreeze) is a necessary component to ensuring your engine runs smoothly.
The chemical coolant (antifreeze) actually has a dual purpose.
It both prevents the water in your car from overheating in hot weather and freezing in cold weather.
It’s vital for your engine!
Maintaining a healthy suspension is crucial to both ride enjoyment and longevity.
It’s not something you should worry about until you hit 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Once it’s time:
Inspect the shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as the ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.
The outside of your vehicle matters too!
Give your car a good polish and please avoid detergents as they can strip the wax finish off your car.
Polish twice a year and you’ll be set!
Be proud to drive your car.
There’s nothing like a well-maintained car both inside and out!
If you’re driving an electric vehicle, you can disregard many of the maintenance items listed here as this list is primarily aimed at petrol or gas cars.
And, of course, remember to consult your owner’s manual prior to any other source!
What are your thoughts on the maintenance of vehicles?
Are you ready for the renewable energy era as the world prepares to go electric?