Taking care of your vehicle goes beyond just changing the oil. There are some small but important changes you can make in your everyday use of your car or truck that mean the difference between an occasional visit to the mechanic or a constant one. Check out some of the ways you can love your car.
Lighten Your Key Chain’s Load
Have you ever seen the people with a million key chains attached to their keys? You’ve seen them: charms, bottle openers, loyalty cards, personalized souvenir names; but the more and more you add to your key fob, the more damage you are actually doing to your vehicle.
If your vehicle doesn’t have keyless ignition, then you probably rely on a traditional ignition switch. Adding extra weight to your keys will damage the ignition. It creates unnecessary pressure on inner parts and can make the whole ignition function improperly. The heavier the keys the more likely this switch – particularly the ignition lock cylinder – can be damaged. When this component is in poor condition it creates faulty startups. Turn your car on the right way, and get rid of the added weight to your key chain.
Dillon’s Tip: One thing you can do is invest in a valet key chain; that way you can take your car keys on and off quickly and you won’t run the risk of damaging the ignition. If you don’t want to invest in a new key chain, just be mindful of how many keys are on there. Only carry the keys you need on your car key chain.
Use Name Brand Gas
A lot has been said about the differences in name brand versus cheaper alternatives to gas. Most us look for the cheaper gas, however, spending a few extra pennies at the pump might save you a headache in the long run.
Big name oil companies spend millions on research for additives and fuel-efficient formulas to help your engine run better. Believe or not, they actually work. Using even regular unleaded from a name brand company will help keep your car’s engine in pristine condition.
Dillon’s Tip: Invest in a gas card or card with fuel points. This will help offset the cost of higher fuel prices but still keep your car running smoothly.
Idle Engines Are the Devil’s Auto Shop
If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic (ha!) then you’ll know that an idle engine is not a good thing. It can wear on your car and create inefficient MPG (miles per gallon).
Short trips can also wreak havoc on the lifespan of your car. Starting your car, stopping, turning it off, and starting again, all play a big part in how your engine operates. With each turn of the key, your engine ages…and short trips speed up that process.
Dillon’s Tip: Always look for better routes for even short trips. Try to avoid rush hour if possible and find routes that don’t have a lot of stop-and-go traffic. Download traffic apps like Waze or Google Maps to help you find alternative routes.
Stick(er) to a Schedule
We all know that changing your oil is an important schedule to keep up with. You always get your oil changed every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. But there are other parts of your vehicle that need to stick to a schedule. Parts like your tires, windshield wipers and even the cleanliness of your vehicle could all benefit from a steady schedule of care.
Fluids like oil and brake fluids have timeframes for changing – anywhere from 5,000 and 25,000 respectively, but for pieces that don’t have specific time table, you’ll just have to eyeball it. For example, if your windshield wipers are cracking and leaving streaks, then it’s time to change. If the thread on your tires is worn, it’s probably time to change those as well.
Leaving oil unchanged can lock up your engine, while leaving windshield wipers unchanged can cause visual impairment during the next rainstorm. If you don’t adhere to a schedule you’re likely to forget about these important steps, which in the long run can do severe damage to your vehicle.
Dillon’s Tip: Use a service that reminds you of these important updates. When you’re a Dillon’s customer, provide us with your current email address and we’ll automatically email your service reminders to you. You can also set up recurring online calendar events to pop up on your computer or phone.
Love Your Car
Loving your car means taking care of it completely; and at Dillon’s Automotive we give your vehicle the same kind of attention and care you would. Schedule an appointment today and start maintaining your vehicle.