Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Tony asks: What, in your opinion, do people tend to neglect most when it comes to car maintenance?
My reply: Two things come to mind immediately.
The first thing is the fuel filter – which in many new cars is out of sight (and so, out of mind) in the gas tank. Or located underneath the car (rather than under the hood) along the frame rails, in between the gas tank and the engine. But the fuel still needs to be filtered – and filters don’t last forever.
Check your vehicle’s service recommendations and you’ll find the time/mileage intervals. If you didn’t by the car new – and you don’t know the filter has been changed – assume it hasn’t been.
And get it changed.
If it’s in the tank, it’s a PITAS. But it might be underneath the car and more accessible. Regardless, take care of this – and keep up with this.
Second item: Brake (and clutch slave cylinder, if the car has a manual transmission) fluid. People understand that brake pads wear out as you drive. So does brake (and clutch slave cylinder) fluid. Heat and chemical degradation and water contamination will do the job – on the fluid as well as your wallet, if you don’t purge/replace the fluid every 2-3 years or so.
This isn’t a difficult – or expensive job. But it can lead to difficult and expensive jobs (e.g., damaged master cylinder, ABS pump, calipers, brake lines) if you don’t do it.
So do it!
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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