“A man is only as good as his tools.”
Here at Fast Lube Plus we firmly believe that preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle running at peak performance, but we also are realistic in the fact that sometimes things beyond our control can occur, possibly putting you in a position where a quick fix is necessary. The purpose of this post is to help put together a list of some very useful tools to have around should you ever find yourself stranded.
Having access to a few essential tools can mean the difference between towing to a shop or continuing down the road on your own accord. It should be noted that you should only ever work within your comfort level when having to fix your car in a pinch. So if you are comfortable enough to take the reigns in a pinch, here are a few good suggestions to keep tucked away in your vehicle for the occasion.
- Flashlight – This is perhaps the most essential piece of equipment to keep in your vehicle at all times whether you plan on working on it yourself or not. Always keep a flashlight handy, and test regularly to make sure the batteries are charged.
- Jack / Lug Wrench – Your spare tire is useless without these 2 pieces of equipment. Make sure you know the jackpoints on your vehicle, and a handy trick is to loosen the lugs (in a star pattern) while the tire is still touching the ground.
- Screwdrivers – You cannot do any repair without screwdrivers. It would be wise to keep a couple of these tools with different head shapes and sizes. They are necessary in loosening and tightening the different screws in different parts of your car.
- Vise-Grip Pliers – These lockable pliers are worth their weight in gold. They are most useful as a locking wrench to help loosen / tighten tough bolts or nuts.
- Adjustable Wrench – This handy tool adjusts to fit many sizes of bolts and nuts, and with your Vise-Grip Pliers can help tighten free spinning nuts and bolts.
- Tire Gauge – Used to check the pressure of your tires (including your spare), this should be used monthly to keep tire pressure maintained at the correct levels to prevent unnecessary flats.
Feel free to consult with your Fast Lube Plus technician on your next visit for a demonstration of how to use each of these!
Besides your brake pads, fluids are the majority of the most important maintenance to your vehicle to keep on the road for several hundred thousand miles. Friction and heat are enormous by-products of the power your vehicle creates to shuttle us around, and without these fluids your vehicle will simply not work. Keeping these fluids fresh and full can make the difference between simple maintenance and costly repairs.
Which fluids should you check? Here are five of your engine’s fluids you should make a habit of checking:
- Check your oil once a month.
- Check out your owner’s manual to know when to have the oil replaced. Timeframes depend on the car.
- Typical numbers are every 3,000 miles for newer engines up to 7,000 miles for high mileage. Higher mileage engines can go longer due to the parts being “worn in”, causing less friction meaning less lubrication is necessary.
- Transmission fluid should be checked monthly.
- It should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.
- This is a job for FastLube Plus or another professional, as many times gaskets must be replaced as well.
- Coolant should be checked twice yearly, before summer and before winter.
- It needs to be replaced every 2 to 3 years.
- Low coolant can lead to blown radiators when air (which can expand) enters the cooling system.
- You should check this once a month.
- Brake fluid needs to be replaced every 2 years.
POWER STEERING FLUID
- This fluid should be checked once a month.
- Check your owner’s manual for information of replacing power steering fluid. It greatly depends on the car.
The team at FastLube Plus is always happy to answer any of your questions. We can also check your engine’s fluids and replace any necessary fluids. A well-maintained car is synonymous with safe car. To schedule an appointment please call us at919.387.9996 to find your nearest FastLube Plus location.
Fast Lube Plus is making a lot of changes to benefit our clients in 2015 and just the first of many is a new version of our website at FastLubePlus.com!
The new website was created to not only be easier to navigate and find the most important information to you, but was created to be fully mobile-ready!
We look forward to your feedback on the site and hope you continue to return to find out more about all we have in store for this year.
Let us say thanks for reading by offering you $10 off your next oil change in February. Simply print out the coupon below.
We’ll see you soon!