Extending the life of your car (Part 8)

It is very important that you wash the engine of your car once very couple of years because a clean engine will always run better than a dirty one. In addition, if the engine is clean it will be easier for you to detect leaks and find out which components have to be serviced. It is vital that you protect sensitive parts such as the distributor, air intake and electrical components by using plastic bags. For scrubbing the power unit and the surfaces of the components, it is advisable to use grease-cutting detergents and a bristle brush. You should rinse thoroughly or you can take the car to a service where they can get the engine steam cleaned professionally.


In the cold months of the year you should use the vehicle’s air conditioning system once in a while so that it will be ready for those hot summer days. The reason why this has to be done is to prevent the moving parts in the compressor from seizing. In addition, by circulating the refrigerant it will also keep the seals pliant and soft.

Moving on to another crucial car component – the battery. You should start by keeping it clean as often as you can because a dirty battery could lead to a current drain. To keep it clean and fresh, use a mild detergent and a damp rag. After doing so, you should thoroughly clean the battery terminals and posts. To do so you’ll have to loosen and then remove the negative cable first and after that the red positive cable. A paste composed of a mix between water and a few tablespoons of baking soda should be applied on a brass wire battery brush.

The battery case should also be inspected for any signs of damages, like bulges or cracks. If you find such signs, it means time has come to change the battery. Once you are done with the verification and cleaning procedures, you must reinstall the cables, starting with the positive first and then you might want to coat the clamps and terminals by using a thin coating of grease which will do a great job at preventing corrosion.

If the battery installed in your car has vent caps, you should remove these so that you can take a look at the electrolyte level. Normally, it has to rise half an inch above the top plates, but if it doesn’t then you will have to use distilled water to raise the level to a quarter of an inch below the vent cap’s bottom. Avoid using tap water since this probably contains minerals which will damage the battery.

Lastly, instead of spending a small fortune on a new radiator, it will be considerably cheaper and also a quick fix to seal the leak by using a radiator sealer which is available depending on the product in a liquid or powder form. This is very efficient as it circulates into the car’s radiator until it gets to the hole and once it does this it will set up and fill that hole upon contact with air.

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