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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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