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10 Basic Car Maintenance Tips To Keep You On The Go

10 Basic Car Maintenance Tips To Keep You On The Go

Regular maintenance of a vehicle can really make all of the difference in longevity and overall performance. Taking time to perform these tips on your car will keep you on the go and will help to ensure safety. Keeping on top of these areas of maintenance can also save you some major dollars, caused by a major breakdown, or worse—a road accident.

Remember, if you are unsure about performing any of these procedures yourself, ask a friend for assistance, or seek a car professional or service specialist for help.

Oil

Car engine oil reduces friction on the moving parts of the engine and assists in dispersing heat. It acts as a sealant between piston rings and cylinder liner, preventing combustion pressure from escaping. It also acts as a rust inhibitor and detergent. To maximize engine performance, oil levels should be checked regularly. Oil should only be topped off with the correct type of oil for your engine, while staying below the maximum fill line.

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Tires

Maintenance on car tires is essential for up-keep and safety of your vehicle. Tires should be checked on a regular basis and before long trips. Check inflation every 2 weeks when cold. The owner’s manual will give you the correct pressure to inflate too.

If you notice abnormal wear patterns, this indicates misalignment or suspension problems. Steering vibrations indicate that the tires might need balancing, and the tires should always have a minimum of 1.6 mm in their tread depth.

Power Steering

Inspect the power steering fluid regularly to make sure that it is filled to capacity. This can be checked via the reservoir indicated in the owner’s manual. Use only the recommended fluid. Never overfill the reservoir. If this fluid needs filling regularly, contact a specialist because this might indicate a larger problem with the car.

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Batteries

Your car battery is the key component in the electrical system and if not maintained or replaced, can cause breakdowns. Ensure that it is working properly by checking the battery terminals which should be clean and tight.

Check that the battery is secure. Consider replacement if it has been 3 or 4 years depending on recommended longevity. Make sure that the electrolyte level is right. Top it off only with distilled water.

Lights and Electrical Components

These are vital to every vehicle. Electrical components power features including your horns and windows. You should check your lights regularly to make sure that they work, use only the recommended bulbs (globes), and test the horn and window demisters regularly as well.

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Transmission

Transmission fluid levels should also be filled to the correct level. Fluid should not be discolored or burnt. Again, refer to the car manual or look up online, the correct type of fluid to use. Care of your transmission can prevent one of the most costly car services — the replacement of your gearbox. Maintenance here will save time and money on this larger problem.

Cooling

Inspect the cooling system while the engine is cold. Do not ever remove a radiator cap when the engine is hot. Check the coolant level regularly. Again, only refill with the recommended type for the car. If the system is requiring a regular refill in the cooling system, there might be a leak.

Brakes

Brakes that squeal, grind, or vibrate can indicate that they need replacing. Slow to respond brake performance will also indicate that they are worn down. Check to make sure that the brake fluid is full, and only use the recommended brake fluid.

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Paint and Exterior Detailing

If you think being meticulous about the paint job of a car is reserved only for fans of the Fast and the Furious, think again. Proper care and maintenance of your car paint work can help protect a car from scratching and natural elements such as tree sap, mud, dirt, bird droppings and more.

Applying a basic car wax essentially provides a barrier over your car paint work. Today there are also chemically engineered car paint coatings which last longer and offer an advanced level of protection.

Why should you consider this type of car maintenance? If you want to retain as much resale value in your vehicle, as well as keep it looking in top condition, the exterior is important to maintain.

Suspension

This is also vital to the safety of the vehicle. Worn suspension can increase stopping distance by up to 20%. The components of the suspension should be checked regularly for signs of physical damage or excess wear. The shock absorbers should be looked over for fluid leaks. The suspension can be checked while driving, by keeping an eye on steering wheel vibrations or even ‘nose diving’ when stopping.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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