Transmission

Maintaining Your Present Vehicle May Make Financial Sense

Although you may want to get rid of your present vehicle in favor of a new car, taking better care of your current set of wheels may make much more sense in the long run-helping you achieve a goal of financial freedom.

"We advise our clients that if they want a 10 percent increase on their investments every year, they need to cut down on their expenses," said Terry Mulcahy, vice president of investments for R.W. Baird.

Keeping Up with Proper Vehicle Maintenance is Easier Than You Think

Motorists can protect their family’s safety by meeting their vehicle’s maintenance needs. While it’s easy to be car care aware, too many people are putting off simple preventative maintenance and repairs that could make their vehicles safer and more dependable.

It’s All in the Timing

With automotive engines as with many aspects of daily life, timing is critical. One vehicle component often overlooked during routine maintenance is the engine-timing belt. If it fails, the engine will stop and the car will coast to a stop. The lucky motorist will only have the inconvenience of being stranded on the side of the road until the car can be towed to a repair facility to have the timing belt replaced. On the other hand, the engine might suffer severe, if not catastrophic, damage to its internal components.

How NOT To Save Money

It doesn’t take an accountant to recognize that it costs more money to operate a vehicle than it did a few years ago. This may cause some motorists to try saving a few dollars by using cheap gas delaying needed maintenance. “That’s a classic case of false economy,” says Rich White, of the Car Care Council, “and it’s no surprise that these ‘money-saving’ measures can cost big money in the long run.”

Drivetrain Quiz

Your car's drivetrain is a vital power-transmitting component, and key to dependability. It's responsible for transmitting the flow of power from the engine to the wheels. The components include the clutch, torque converter, transmission, driveshafts (or axle shafts in front wheel drive), U-joints, CV joints, differential and axles.

Connecting Jumper Cables

In the world of automotive emergencies, motorists need to learn certain procedures for "safety's sake." Two of the most valuable lessons, changing a tire and hooking up jumper cables are best learned before an emergency arises, according to the Car Care Council.

Check Your Cool Quotient with a Cooling System Quiz

A fairly common household disaster is flooding of the laundry area due to a split hose on a washing machine. Also vulnerable to a similar disaster is your car. A bulging radiator hose, carrying hot water (coolant) under pressure, can rupture.

Botox for Your Car

America’s growing obsession with younger looking faces evidenced by the Botox craze, is inspiring car owners to prolong the appearance of their automobiles as well. Four billion dollars were spent last year in the United States on enhancements to keep the interior and exterior of vehicles looking like new, according to the Car Care Council.

“As consumers spend more time in their vehicles and drive more miles each year, they are placing more importance on comfort, luxury and appearance,” said Rich White, spokesperson for the council.

Avoiding a Stalled Vehicle

The stalled car syndrome, more noticeable on our roadways than in our driveways, has been with us for generations. But it becomes more critical with increased population. Beyond missed appointments or being late for work it also results in the condition known as road rage. Not only can a disabled vehicle have an annoying "ripple effect" that goes beyond the immediate scene; it can be disastrous for the driver who is left vulnerable to roadside crime or to the elements.

Bad News: An Engine “Totaled” Good News: A Remanufactured Engine

It was among travelers’ worst nightmares and a very expensive trip for this motorist. His beloved pickup blew the engine and had to be towed 250 miles home. The temperature gauge didn’t work, nor did the check engine light. By the time he realized the engine was overheated the damage was done.

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