Two Key Things Experienced Drivers Know

Two Key Things Experienced Drivers Know

February 11, 2021

You don’t have to be an auto mechanic to avoid having to pay for unnecessary “fixes” to your car. All it takes is a little experience and basic vehicle maintenance knowledge. The following auto maintenance tips for Everett, WA drivers aren’t rocket science, and they could save you hundreds of dollars in car repair fees. Even if you think you don’t know the difference between a screwdriver and a socket wrench, these auto maintenance tips will come in handy.

You might not need a new battery

If your car keeps having trouble starting, you might logically think you need a new battery. And mechanic or auto parts store employee may tell you the same thing—but it might not be the case.

See those cables attached to the battery? They might be damaged with corrosion. That is something a new battery won’t fix in the long run. A quick way to fix this is to pour Coca-Cola (yes, specifically Coca-Cola) over the places where the cables connect to the battery. It sounds weird, but the soda will eat through the corrosion to allow the cables to properly connect to the battery terminal. Try to avoid thinking about that next time you actually drink the stuff!

One more thing to know is that batteries will degrade over time, even if they’re new and just sitting on the shelf in the store. If you do end up having to buy a new one, check the manufacture date on the battery itself. You should try to get one that’s less than a month old.

You probably don’t need to change your oil every 3,000 miles

One of the most common misconceptions about vehicle maintenance, especially on new vehicles, is that you need to have the oil changed every 3,000 miles. Realistically, it’s about 5,000 miles on most cars, and you can go up to 10,000 miles on newer vehicles without needing an oil change.

That being said, however, it’s still important to make sure the oil level doesn’t get too low. Some cars, especially older cars, will leak or burn oil, sometimes without you even realizing it. It’s a good idea to check the oil level at least once a month, and put some oil in if the level is low.

To check the oil, park on a level surface and turn off the car. This can be done at the pump at the gas station, for example. Pop the hood and pull out the dip stick, wipe it off with a paper towel, put it back into the slot and pull it out again. Now you can check for an accurate oil level. There should be markings on the bottom of the dip stick for acceptable oil levels.

To add oil, unscrew the oil cap on the engine. Don’t worry, this is not difficult—it should be clearly marked and easy to open, like the gas cap. Using a funnel, add about ¼ quart of oil at a time until the dip stick reading is in the right range. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the correct kind of oil, like 5W-30, 10W-30, etc.

For more driving and vehicle tips in Everett, WA, or if your car is still having problems, visit or call Auto Truck Service Inc. today for all your vehicle repair needs. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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