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What are some thing I can do myself to help keep my Jeep Liberty operating safely?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Gayle Clark, Owner at Motor City Sales & Services Michelle, Keeping your car properly maintained will assist you in keeping it as safe as possible. I believe we have special bonds between ourselves and our cars, just like we do with other things...like a special relationship. The first thing I want to suggest to you is to get in tune with you feelings when driving your car. Many people agree, that you can "feel" when something is right, and you can "feel" when something is wrong with your car. I always say we should "listen" to your feelings when driving. I have personally found it to be a life-saver. When it doubt - check it out....if your steering is off, tires feel strange, car is pulling to the left or right etc... In these times of busy and hectic life schedules, we can sometimes over look the importance of doing basic maintenance, and tend to put things off, until something happens to force us to address these needs. You made mention you would like to know some things you can do yourself.... So I would like to suggest that you look for a basic auto maintenance class in your area. [Many community colleges and community centers are offering auto basic maintenance classes which are open to the public for very reasonable fees] Or if you know a mechanic, you can possibly get a one-on-one basic auto session taught to you. Before you can do it yourself you must know what you are looking at, and what you are looking for, so this type of class would be perfect for the woman who want to do it. Some additional things are: 1. Read your manual: In it you will find the suggested maintainance from the makers for your specific automobile. 2. Learn how to pop the hood, identify the parts, then you can check and change all the vehicles vital fluids. 3. Check and change filters 4. Check connections and clean battery posts when needed 5. Check belts for excessive wear and damage 6. Check tires air pressure and wearing other things such as regular oil changes and tire rotation can be done at your automotive repair center or dealership service centers. I think it's wonderful that you want to learn about maintaining your automobile, it is an investment, and other than that what greater investment is there than you and your family safety on the road. Good Luck to you, and best wishes. Gayle Clark

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Michelle, Always glad to see a pro-active woman! The three most important things you can to yourself to help keep your car operating safely are: 1. Check your oil on a regular basis. Say every other oil change. Even new cars can burn some oil, and older cars tend to burn even more. This also gives you a heads up if your vehicle is starting to spring an oil leak. Better to find the leak while it is small and doing no damage, instead of when it explodes all over the place and it's undrivable. Or worse, it does a major dump on the highway while you’re driving, and you ruin the engine. 2. Check the pressure of your tires on a regular basis. You should check your tire inflation pressure (including the spare) at least once a month and definitely before every long trip. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if the tires are “low” by eyeballing the tires and can’t count on the air meters at gas stations to let you know if your tires have the right pressure in the tire either, they tend to be inaccurate due to overuse. You should have your own personal tire gauge, so you can be sure! 3. Take your vehicle in to a certified mechanic for a regular check up every 1,500 miles! This service is the annual physical check-up for your car. The mechanic will do a series of preventative maintenance tasks and system checks that helps make your car live longer and allow them to save you money and avoid extra stress by finding problems when they are small. Having your vehicle in for the 15,000 mile maintenance is a pro-active approach to keeping your car safe, reliable and long lived. Great question Michelle, Sincerely, Amy Mattinat Automotive Experts LLC

Kim Walker, Marketing Director at Peak Automotive Following your manufacturer's recommended service schedule is an excellent start.  For example, regular oil changes, fluid flushes like coolant, transmission, and power steering, as well as replacing belts and hoses.  You can also visit www.carcare.org for more information on a recommended service schedule.  With the winter months fast approaching be sure to winterize your vehicle.  You can read a very good article about winterizing your car at http://www.carcare.org/Winter/winter.shtml .

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Michelle, There are several things you can do to keep your vehicle running safely. You can check tire pressure and make sure they are properly inflated. Check your owners manual for correct pressure, check the tire when it's cold. Depending on the age of the vehicle, check your oil level once a month by looking at your dipstick and make sure it's full. Make sure your battery terminals are clean. This could cause a no start situation if they aren't properly maintained. Check your overflow bottle for the coolant and make sure it is filled to the full line, and of course if you hear any abnormal noises that you can't identify, take your vehicle to a service station and have it checked out. Lori

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