Your vehicle manual will specify the type of oil and weight you should be using. In today’s light trucks and passenger cars that have a gasoline engine the oil should meet the American petroleum rating or SH rating.
What type of viscosity oil should I be using? In today’s new cars the engine requires a multi viscosity oil such as a 5w-30 oil for every day driving. The 5w-30 engine oil has friction reducing additives that will give you better fuel economy and when your engine is cold it will allow the oil to reach the upper valve train components faster. In cars that are driven at highway speeds, hot weather or towing a heavy load you would want to use a 10w-40 or 10w-30 motor oil. A multi viscosity oil like 20w-40 would only be used in heavy load applications or always running at high RPMs. This weigh oil is not recommended for when your car is being operated in cold weather.
You also have straight weight oils such as 40w and 30w which are not too common anymore but there are those gear heads that insist it is a better oil to use. When the oil is thicker it will hold up in higher engine operating temperatures and will have a higher oil pressure, but the straight weigh oils are way too thick if you are going to be driving your car in cold weather climates. This is why the multi viscosity oils give you the best of both worlds, cold weather starting and high temperature protection. If you are looking for the best engine protection, performance and durability then you might want to take a look at the synthetic oils. This oil is much more costly since the synthetics are man made, but it will definitely improve the performance of your engine and your oil change intervals will be longer.
If you like to camp out away from it all, not in a campground, then you know the house batteries in your motorhome are one of the most important things you must watch, especially if you are running off a small battery bank. There are ways to save power but one of the most effective ways is to change out your existing incandescent lights to LED lights. The LED lights require very little power to operate and will save your batteries from being drained. You may think this could not add up to much, so let’s put forward an example and see how much power can be saved. If your motorhome has 20 incandescent bulbs inside that run off 12 volt and were to have them on all at the same time, you would be drawing close to 20 amps from your battery. In just a couple of hours your single house battery would be completely dead.
So if you were to go and replace all the incandescent interior bulbs with LED lights that each draw 180 milli amps, your total power draw would go down to 3.5 amps which is 5 times less power than your incandescent bulbs. As a test replace the bulbs in the fixtures you use the most. The cost of LED lights are not cheap, so this would give you the opportunity to see how much battery power you can really save. Most RV part stores will sell LED lights that will work in your RV fixtures.
One of the most common reasons your check engine light comes on is your computer has detected a system vapor leak. In 1996 the federal emission laws were changed and all car manufacturers were required to lightly pressurize the fuel system in order to check for vapor leaks. When you turn you key on to start your car the onboard computer will perform a pressure test automatically to see if there are any vapor leaks. If it detects a problem then the check engine will come on. It can be as simple as your gas cap did not get tightened all the way on your last gas stop, or a spider has built a web in the vent line. These are considered nuisance codes that have given many car owners a reason to purchase a check engine light scanner.
When the check engine light is turned on by the OBD 2 system it will remain on until the code is cleared with a scanner, even if the problem that turned the light on in the first place has been fixed. Many scanners can tell the operator if the code is an old code or a present code and will provide common solutions to resolve the problem. A simple possible fix is to tighten the gas cap then clear the code with your scanner. After driving the car for several days if the check engine light does come back on again you have just fixed the problem and saved yourself money by not having to take it to a mechanic. If the check engine light does come back on then it is probably best to take it to your local automotive repair shop for further diagnosis.
It is important to get brakes inspected at the first sign of trouble. Symptoms of bad brakes include smells, vibrations, abnormal sounds and feelings. This indicates you need new brakes. Don’t wait, replace worn parts immediately. Parts such as pads are the first to wear out , and rotors start to warp, both of these shorten the life span of brakes due to grinding of metal to metal.
Regarding brake pads and shoes, screeching, grinding, squealing, rubbing and other loud noises are considered indications that you need new pads. In addition, if you find yourself pushing down on the brake pedal longer and farther, this tells you its time to replace the brake pads. Don’t” wait till they are so worn down you find yourself in a predicament where you cannot stop. Your brake system speaks volumes to you and listen for vibration and pulsation in the pedal of your steering wheel. This can cause your rotors to get warped.
Odd smells can signal something isn’t right with your breaks. If you experience odors or a pungent smell from your brakes, its time to visit your local auto repair center. These smells are not normal and can result in hazardous driving conditions. Conduct a thorough brake inspection to know what part of your braking system has lost integrity.
Your braking system on your car is a very important to pay attention to. When you hear abnormal sounds or something seems different to you it is time to have your brakes checked. The longer you wait the more potential damage will be done to your brake system. You are your best first line of defense to prevent expensive repairs.
Any company that has a sizable amount of commercial vehicles is probably familiar with the term “fleet service” or “fleet management.” Fleet management is a very important aspect of the company and could mean the difference between being able to service a customer or not. It is mandatory that certain companies that have delivery as their sole source of income – ie, delivery companies and taxi services, perform regular and preventative maintenance to their fleet of vehicles.
Companies usually assign a fleet manager to oversee the maintenance of their vehicles. The fleet manager is an important position and his management could create lower maintenance costs and improved tracking and budgeting. A good fleet manager can also impact a company’s reputation – they could be known for their over the top service rather than undependable.
On top of preventative maintenance, a good fleet manager will also know how to budget fuel for the company’s vehicles. Software usually aids in this process and helps the fleet manager log and track mileage and fuel consumption. This software could also help manage past fleet service records and a history of every vehicle in the company’s fleet.