methods can keep your vehicle run like a PRO!
You can minimize your garage visits if you use the proper car maintenance methods
Let us say during winter while going to work in the middle of traffic; your car suddenly quit. If you are one of the many who cannot afford to drive a new vehicle and dont do PROPER car maintenance, you probably has a cell phone and could get help. And most likely, these possibilities could happen:
You phone several tow trucks and the earliest one is 3-4 hours away
After the vehicle was taken to a garage, you are told it will take another 2-3 days before they can look at it. With this news, you are basically without a car for a week if the problem is serious.
If you are smart and do your own car maintenance, this might happen to you instead: (this actually happened on Nov.3.07 in ATS)
Email from Mike M. to ATS:
My truck 2003 GM truck with 6.0L engine ran out of fuel and died while in drive, I coasted to the side of the road, added fuel and tried to restart. It seems to be stuck in drive, the engine will not crank over and the gear indicator bar is not there. I have disconnected the battery this did not reset anything. Do you have any idea what may have happened?
ATS email after analyzing all the facts:
Have you checked all your fuses?
Email from Mike M. to ATS:
Thank you for all your help. With a second check of the fuses I found the PCM (computer) B fuse in the engine compartment was blown. I replaced the 50 cent fuse and the truck started right up. I appreciate all your responses.
Imagine the savings here. In the first case, you would be extremely lucky if you end up paying a couple of hundred dollars but in reality, you could have fixed it by a 50 cent fuse. Of course ATS will not promise that this is the case all the time. However after monitoring all vehicle problems over the years, ATS has concluded that the real high cost of vehicle repairs is lack of good direct information.
Also, these 2 cases above clearly show you some exciting
possibilities if you do your own car maintenance. Gone are the days that you will read your service manual and follow the maintenance guidelines and in the hour of need, nobody has a clue of what to do when there is a breakdown. Knowing car maintenance tricks means knowing your car and what makes it work.
of our vehicles right now are very complicated. This means,
car maintenance must be approached in a realistic manner.
You have to be selective on what information you really
have to know. If the vehicle is complex, then your resources
should MATCH the complexity. This means you also have
the means to access that complex information. In ATS,
we only require 2 important car maintenance tricks from
your engine at least every month till you know it by heart.
Monitor your instrument panel so you will be familiar
is all and here are the reasons why:
your engine gets you familiarized with your engine components.
The parts like sensors, wires, vacuum hoses and other
parts showing in your engine compartment will unravel
to you their secrets. You will know their colors, connections,
routings, sounds, smell, looks which are all important
if there is a problem. Example, to find any component,
you need to know the colors of the wires. If the engine
is dirty, you will not recognize anything. If the spark
plug wire starts to get weak, you will know it right away
because it will misfire as soon as it contact with water.
you drive your vehicle, you are basically just like inside
the pilots cock pit. The dash talks to you and tells
you everything it the car does. From fuel tank level,
engine oil pressure and temperature including check engine
light and all accessories like air bag, radio, and cruise
control are displayed for you to see. Being the eye of
the system, you need to know the meaning of all these
Example if the engine starts to deteriorate, a
blinking light will flash to you. If one of your tire
pressures is low, another light will show. The most important
thing is knowing when to act as soon as the light shows
up. It could be important or not but ATS will advise you
when to act.
how about the regular maintenance like your oil change,
belts, hoses, etc? As a member, you have the liberty to
get involved and do that but if you analyze the cost,
these jobs are pretty cheap compared to this knowledge
that you learn.
Example, you could be doing all the oil
changes every 3-4 months and save $30 on labor but are
you willing to pay a garage $100 an hour later when your
vehicle breaks down? Most drivers should be able to fix
the UNIQUE common problems that garages are charging everyday
like changing fuse, sensors, electrical parts, etc
reason? For most part; this is where most money is being
made and it is about time the regular guy got to know
this and let the garages do the difficult jobs like changing
the engines, transmissions and other REALLY complicated
is ATS car maintenance tricks confined only to electronics?
Not at all because every vehicle is unique meaning each
of them has a different way of manufacture that can cause
a problem that is only common to them. Whether the components
are non electrical like brakes, air bags, AC, transmission,
differential or any parts as long as there is a unique
pattern of making the car, it also produces a unique problem
are a few QUICK car maintenance methods that you can use
When you have a short and your engine circuit fuse blows,
most of the time it can be replaced in a matter of minutes.
However, make sure to find the cause of the short or that
fuse will blow if the affected wiring circuits get hot.
Using a wiring diagram, you can find the circuit causing
the fuse to blow and track it. Sometimes touching the
wires can help you find the shorted wire because it will
be hot to touch (you can even smell it).
When people find faults with their car they automatically
take it to a professional mechanic who can often have
the minor faults analyzed within minutes and still charge
you an excessive amount. By having some basic knowledge
of how your car works and its operating system, you can
save you some money by doing the odd minor repair or modification
yourself. always use a service manual when performing
this on your own.
Finally, in case you do not know where to start or thinking
of going to a garage in which you know has had contacts
previously, you can ask them for reference. You can then
evaluate the recommendation according to how often your
friend has been using their favorite garages. Example,
if they have been using the same garage for sometime,
that recommendation can weight more than another's advice
who has just saw the garage once. This makes sense because
the more you see a garage, you will have an idea how good
When faced with difficult troubleshooting problems, always
surf the internet to get help which can be really useful
if you live in a remote places. A lot of times, there
is always an online mechanic willing to help you for a
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