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06.05.2016 - 20:11

When to Check Your Oil and other Travel Tips for College Commuters

Your commuting car is important. Here are some tips to keep it in good condition.

For most college students, money is in short supply during their academic career. As a result, vehicular upkeep tends to suffer over the course of these four years, especially for commuters. If you want to keep your college commuter car from breaking down while you're hitting the books, heed these maintenance tips.


Check the Oil
Simply put, you should change the oil and filter every 5,000 miles. Check the level right after changing to ensure you have the right amount. Check it at 2,500 miles for an early heads-up on potential oil burn-off and check it again right before the next change for the same reason.


Change all Fluids Regularly
Your transmission fluid should be changed every 150K. Brake fluid should be bled and replaced every 30K and radiator coolant should be flushed and refilled every 50,000 miles. Power steering fluid should be swapped when it appears dirty. Ask your mechanic what they recommend for your particular car and what brands of fluids to purchase.


Purchase a Quality OBDII Scan Tool
Modern automobiles have tons of sensors that will activate the Check Engine Light when something is awry. Diagnosing problems requires an OBDII scanner that can read and clear codes. A decent model can be had for under $50 and can save you a trip to the shop if you already know what to fix.


Buy OEM Parts Whenever Possible
Aside from alignments, piston rings, and transmissions, there are few repairs you can't do yourself. When replacing an alternator or a MAF sensor, try to get a genuine replacement part or an OEM-compatible one for the best results.


Pay Special Attention to Tires
Check your tire pressure every week to avoid uneven wear and lousy fuel economy. Rotate them as indicated in your owner's manual and find good Evans Tire & Service Centers nearby to change out or rotate the rubber when necessary.


Clean Interiors & Exteriors Often
Washing your car isn't just about keeping the paint job looking pristine. It also prevents corrosion underneath that can wear out brake and suspension components early. Be sure to give your engine bay a WD-40 wipe-down on a monthly basis.


Locate a Mechanic You Can Trust
Even if you're a DIY genius, you'll encounter a situation that you can't address yourself. That's why it's important to have a good mechanic you trust just in case.

Knowledge is power when it comes to keeping cars on the road. Your best bet is signing up for a forum site specific to your car, and use it to educate yourself during your commute years. The tips mentioned above should do the rest.

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