Pay Attention to Warning Lights

The warning lights on your dashboard are there for a reason – they serve to let you know about a potential problem with your car. However, many people choose to simply ignore the warning lights, even going as far as to put tape over their dashboard in order to avoid seeing the flashing lights. This is a terrible idea! Ignoring warning lights will only make a bad situation worse and could lead to major car troubles.

It’s important that you immediately take your car into a mechanic if you get a “check engine” light or other warning on your dashboard. A mechanic can run a diagnostic check to see exactly what the problem is with your car. In many cases, the problem will only get worse as time goes on. If not fixed, many minor issues which can trigger a warning light can turn into significant problems down the road.

For example, the oil light is a sign that your car does not have enough motor oil to function properly. This is not a sign that you need to drive home and then check the situation but a warning that your car is in serious danger. Driving without enough motor oil can cause your engine to seize up and create major damage. Pull your car off the road immediately and call a tow truck to take you to a service station immediately if you get this warning sign.

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Breaking in Your New Car

If you’ve bought a new car, your first instinct might be to “see what it can do” and see how fast it can go. Don’t! Not only will this put you in danger of getting a speeding ticket, but it’s also potentially very bad for your car. Car salesmen will warn you about the “break-in” period for a new car and they aren’t kidding. New cars need to go around 1,000 miles before all of the parts and fluids are working at maximum efficiency. Taking your car to the limit out of the lot is a recipe for disaster.

During the 1,000 miles of use, it’s a good idea to not drive faster than 55 mph. You’ll also want to check the owner’s manual of your new car for further advice – certain cars will require that you drive even slower. Placing additional strain on the drive train is also a bad idea – this includes towing trailers or other vehicles or loading the roof rack and truck with heavy items.

It’s also a bad idea to let your car idle for long periods – this decreases the oil pressure in the engine, meaning that oil might not be getting everywhere it needs to be in the system. In fact, avoiding lengthy periods of idling is good for the car at all times.

In general, you’ll want to baby your car for the first 1,000 miles – including keeping your engine under 3,000 rpms. If you do this, you and your car will have a long and wonderful relationship.

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