Owning a car is a privilege and so are the freedoms that it provides. Henry Ford, creator of the Model T﹘the first mass-produced vehicle marketed to the middle class at consumer-friendly prices﹘had this to say about his vision for a world on wheels:
“I will build a motor car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.”
Today, the world as we know it moves at the speed of flight, the speed of sailing, and the speed of rail travel. And while we might engage in those modes of transportation﹘some of us more frequently than others﹘for the vast majority of us, our lives propel forward on four wheels and go from 0 to 60 in less than six seconds.
Maneuvering Dangerous Roads
With so much driving to be done, and so many other motorists with whom we share the road, driving during rush hour can feel like going to battle each day, fighting tooth and nail for space in your lane and inches forward (to say nothing of getting anywhere quickly). This is a hectic way to travel and staying in fighting shape means keeping your vehicle in top condition. Unfortunately, many drivers routinely make mistakes that inhibit their car’s ability to function at optimal levels. Below are a few of the most common perpetrators.
Auto Repair Apathy
There is a strange phenomenon that exists among car owners (particularly young people), where drivers will see a dashboard light come on﹘perhaps reminding them to check the engine or maintain the oil﹘and they will just ignore it, almost as if it doesn’t exist if they don’t acknowledge it. The light will remain on, however, until the car repair is carried out. Our team at Master Muffler in Bountiful can help make sure that the most important parts of the car are in working order. Dashboard warnings cover a range of alerts, including:
- Engine Temperature: This light looks like a thermometer with the bottom in water. It indicates that your engine is running too hot to remain safe and functional.
- Battery Charge: This warning looks like a car battery, and tells the driver that the battery is not charging properly. This usually indicates that the battery itself is dead, but could also mean other parts of the car aren’t functioning properly.
- Oil Pressure: This alert looks like an oil pitcher with a drop coming out of the spout. This light comes on when the car has lost oil completely or there’s not enough lubrication to keep the engine working at optimal levels.
- Brake Warning: This light looks like an exclamation mark with a circle around it. It tells the driver that either the handbrake is on, or (if it won’t shut off) that the brake fluid is low. It could also mean that there is a problem with the hydraulic pressure being exerted on the brake system.
Taking your vehicle to a car repair shop each time a dashboard warning light comes on is a good habit to get into. It might be annoying, but the time and money spent keeping your car working will trump the cost of replacing an entire system or buying a whole new car.
Car Fluid Refills
The car functions properly by utilizing a series of separate, yet important, types of fluid. Ignoring their levels or not changing them out often enough can choke the performance of the vehicle altogether, which can lead to serious complications. These fluids include:
- Motor Oil: Motor oil ensures that the engine runs smoothly and has manufacturer-suggested guidelines for how often your vehicle will need an oil change.
- Brake Fluid: This type of fluid helps the hydraulic system in your brakes to work properly, engaging the brake pads and stopping your vehicle. For how crazy it can get out there with each driver looking out for themselves, each road warrior should have fresh brake fluid topped off.
- Power Steering Fluid: Without this fluid, it becomes extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel, which will shudder under your hand.
- Radiator Fluid: This keeps your car cool by redistributing the heat that comes from the engine. If you don’t want to have to deal with the engine temp warning, keep this up to date.
- Windshield Wiper Fluid: It seems like a no-brainer to keep wiper fluid topped off at all times, but all it takes is not being able to see once for a grievous accident to occur.
So much of car repair is keeping abreast of the regular maintenance that your car needs. Fluids are an essential part of that to keep track of but by vising our Bountiful auto repair Master Muffler, we will make sure to check every fluid’s levels for you.