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Car Maintanence ( 20/20)
11. Replace engine air filter 
The efficient operation of your engine is quite dependent on the excellent mixture of air and fuel. And for this, it is very important to make sure that the air being sucked into your car’s engine does not contain any debris, particulate matter, or any other contaminant that can undermine efficient engine operation. If not, you’re looking at mediocre gas mileage, significantly reduced horsepower, and unusual sounds emanating from the engine. Your engine can also misfire in some cases. It is for this reason that your engine air filter should be replaced according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
However, while basic car maintenance guidelines dictate that you should adhere to the car manufacturer’s recommendation, we’d say you’d better gain access to your air filter and carefully assess its condition and integrity. If it is already too dirty yet you haven’t met the mileage recommendation for replacement by the manufacturer, it’s best to replace it. Do take note that a lot of factors can affect the integrity of your engine air filter. For instance, if you use your car on daily stop-and-go traffic situations or take it on long drives every weekend, there is a great chance that dirt and debris will accumulate in the air filter a lot faster than if you were driving in open roads or driving it over long distances very rarely. The point is, while the owner’s manual can give you an idea of when you need to replace the air filter, a better approach is to visually inspect the filter.
Accessing your air filter shouldn’t really be challenging; albeit it depends on your car model. Your manual can show you how. If not, you can always ask a mechanic to do it for you
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12. Replace spark plugs

If your car’s engine has a rather rough idle or misfires from time to time, maybe you need to consider replacing your spark plugs. Other symptoms of a malfunctioning spark plug can include lack of acceleration, trouble starting your vehicle, unusually high fuel consumption, or even engine surging. Ideally, you need to replace your spark plugs after every 30,000 miles if it is the standard copper type. However, if yours is of the more advanced iridium spark plug, then these can actually last for up to 100,000 miles. Again, you need to check your vehicle owner’s manual or even your car maintenance checklist to determine when you should replace your spark plugs.
Replacing these should not really be difficult. With the correct tools, you can access these with the turn of a few bolts. However, if you lack these tools or you simply are not confident enough about your skills in the checking and replacing of these plugs, then having a professional do it for you should be an option
Fuel / Gas

13. Stick to the octane rating recommended by car manufacturer
There is this notion that higher octane fuel means more power. Well, technically, this is true. But you do have to understand how this came to be in the first place. Sports cars and cars with purpose-built engines that run on very high compression ratios have the tendency to ‘knock’ if they use lower octane fuel. To provide the necessary power needed for such high compression, a higher octane fuel is needed to help prevent the ‘knocking’ or detonation. Unfortunately, people have quickly picked up on the idea that higher octane fuel means more power. Either they forgot the reason for the high-octane fuel is to prevent detonation in higher compression engines or they simply chose to ignore it. Going back to your car, if you don’t have any intention of running it like a racecar driver, then stick to regular fuel as your owner’s manual says. Now if your manual specifically says that you need to stick high octane premium gasoline into your tank, then do so. Otherwise, there clearly is no point wasting a few dollars per gallon on something that your car’s engine doesn’t really need.
Bodywork / Paint

14. Use superior detailing supplies 

No one wants to drive in a dilapidated, boring, rusting, and dull-looking car; well, at least, none that we know of. While we don’t actually recommend having a complete washover of your car’s paint every so often, it is critical to keep it shining like new. However, choosing the right kinds of detailing tools and supplies not only gives you the near-showroom appearance of your car, they also help provide a protective barrier against the elements. The key here is to use only those detailing products that are proven to be of superior quality.

Car detailing waxes and polishes have significantly improved over the years. They are now more sophisticated, offer better protection, and guarantee longer-lasting effects on your car than products from 10 or 20 years ago. We know it’s more of a vanity thing, but considering that cars are a reflection of one’s personality, you clearly would want to make it look good in other people’s eyes. More importantly however, you’re not there standing guard beside your car every time to help prevent bird droppings and fruits from ever ruining your car’s precious paint. If your car is not properly waxed, these ‘things’ are a lot more difficult to remove. With wax on, it would simply be a matter of wiping these off with a clean piece of cloth.
A word on bird droppings: the moment you notice any on your car, make sure to wash it off as soon as possible. Bird poop contains chemical compounds that can be damaging to your car’s paint. True, wax makes it easier to remove bird poop. However, if you leave it long enough and allow it to bake under the sun, you may still remove it, but the chemicals would have already damaged a part of the car’s paint, leaving in its wake a dull spot.

[b]15. Know how to properly disconnect batteries 

Disconnecting your battery terminals could very well be an easy task. It’s all a matter of unfastening the bolts that keep the cables secure onto the battery terminals, right? Unfortunately, there is a proper way to do it. You don’t just disconnect the very first connector that your hands are able to reach.
Always disconnect the negative terminals first to help prevent the chances of electrical short circuit. This effectively cuts the return path of the electric current. You see, if you disconnect the positive terminal first, current is still pretty much moving along the negative terminal. If, by accident, you dropped your wrench and it landed on the positive terminal and one of its ends also touched any other metal in your care, then you’ve got a complete circuit. Removing the negative end of the connector first will help prevent short circuit. Even if your tool drops on either battery terminals and touches anything else on the car, there simply is no return path for the current to complete the circuit.
Now, that’s disconnecting the batteries. When you’re done working on any electrical system in your car, you will then need to reconnect the positive terminal first before the negative. So, remember, if you disconnect the batteries, remove the negative first before the positive. In reconnecting the battery, do the reverse; positive first before the negative. Of course, if you’re not going to replace the battery, there really is no need to disconnect the positive terminal; the negative terminal should suffice. 
16. Check the battery terminals and clean the contacts as needed 
Just because your battery is labeled maintenance-free doesn’t mean you can already skimp on this basic car maintenance activity. At the very least you should know where it is located in your engine bay. Next, check the battery terminals for any sign of corrosion or mineral buildup. If you notice any, get a cleaning brush intended specifically for battery terminals and rub off the buildup. This should help prolong battery life and lower your average car maintenance cost. It is often a good idea to get a battery tester as well as a jump starter as you don’t really know when your battery will die out on you. For that, you might want to consider having a spare battery in your trunk or those just-in-case moments.
17. Replace broken indicator bulbs 
These fixtures in your vehicle are very important and as such should never be overlooked in your car maintenance checklist. Indicator or signal lights inform other motorists of the direction you are planning to go to. This way they will also know what to do. For example, if you’re signaling left, then they should know not to overtake and to start slowing down to compensate for your own reduction in speed. The thing is that if the indicator light to the direction where you’re turning is flashing a lot faster than when you switch on to the other direction, it simply means you have a blown light bulb. The great news is that today’s cars come with lighting modules that are can be easily replaced without having to go to the shop. A word of caution though, it is important to use only the kind of bulb that is specific to your vehicle’s make. And if you can remember we did mention in the beginning that reading your vehicle owner’s manual can help you a great deal in your basic car maintenance chores. Additionally, the manual will also tell you exactly how to access and replace these lights. 
18. Don’t touch the glass bulbs when replacing 
Whenever you have to replace the bulb on your headlight as it is quite easy to remove from its mounting, make sure to touch only the metal bulb holder located at the base of the lighting fixture. Alternatively you can wear clean mechanic’s gloves or better yet sterile surgical gloves if you really have to touch the glass itself. The reason is quite simple: you don’t want to transfer any of those oils, grime, dust, and dirt on your fingertips onto the bulb since this manufactured with specialized coating on the bulb’s exterior surface. The introduction of particles, grease, oil, or dirt on the bulb’s surface inadvertently affects this special coating. When you turn your headlights on, this part of the bulb will heat up a lot faster than the rest of the bulb, causing it to crack.
19.Replace windshield wipers 
Visibility is a must whenever you’re on the road. And your window to the outside world is your windshield. Keeping it in excellent order is partly the job of your windshield wiper. Now, remember that these wipers are not exactly very durable so they tend to wear out a little faster than other components of your car. The good news is that they’re a lot easier to replace, too. If your windshield is already getting streaky or that it makes a squeaking, grating noise every time it is switched on, then it’s time to replace it. Buy a replacement wiper blade that is recommended for your vehicle. And while you’re replacing your wipers, why don’t you give your windshield a thorough cleaning both inside and out. 
20. Replace cabin air filter 
It may not improve your car’s overall performance, but if you’ve got a family member who’s quite allergic to dust and other airborne particles, you might want to replace the cabin air filter in your car. This is one of the easiest and most practical ways to keep everyone safe and comfy inside your car’s cabin. The current recommendation is to replace your cabin air filter every 12 months or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, you can always refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended schedule of cabin air filter replacement.
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GREAT!!!  Heart

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