On The Road: Vehicles... Vehicle Maintenance
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At today's interest rates, a $30,000 vehicle will cost you approximately $5,600 annually in depreciation over 5 years. If you keep it for 10 years, it would only cost you about $3,900 annually. What would you do if you didn't have a car payment?

A well maintained car will run better, use less fuel and produce less pollution.

Maintaining your vehicle will help avoid nasty surprises and will keep you moving. Who wants to be mentioned in the next traffic report?

Murphy's Law states that a vehicle that isn't maintained will break down just when you need it and make you late for your job/date/interview/party.

Keeping your vehicle maintained will save you money. A poorly maintained vehicle can use up to 50% more fuel.

Proper oil disposal ensures that oil doesn't pollute our water. One litre of oil can pollute up to 2 million litres of water.

A properly maintained vehicle produces less greenhouse gas emissions and gives us all a bit more breathing room.

Your car failed AirCare. You still have some options! The Scrap It program will give you up to $1,000 for cleaner transportation.

A poorly maintained vehicle can consume up to 50% more fuel, create more greenhouse gases, produce more air pollution and be a hazard to you and everyone else on the road.  Here are some simple tips to keep your ride running safely, cleanly and efficiently.

Read your owner's manual.

Your owner's manual can provide you with all the information on how to keep your vehicle maintained.

Perform a monthly check.

You don't need to be a mechanic to keep an  eye on your car.

  • Check your fluid levels (oil, coolant, brake, transmission),
  • Look for cracked spark plug wires, radiator hoses, and loose clamps,
  • Check for fluid leaks underneath your car,
  • Test your brakes,
  • Check your tire pressures.

Change your oil.

Most vehicles should have the engine oil changed every 3íŽ months (see your owner's manual).  Don't forget to recycle the oil if you change it yourself.  Call the recycling hotline at 1-866-322-8662 or visit  www.usedoilrecycling.com/en/cf.aspx?prov=2 for a listing of oil recycling depots (including Canadian Tire, OK tire, and Mr Lube).

A clean air filter improves fuel economy.

Your engine needs clean air to operate properly and to prevent damage.  A dirty air filter can increase fuel consumption by 10%.  Read your service manual or see your mechanic for recommendations for your car.

Tune it up.

A tune up can improve how well your car runs, improve fuel efficiency and can lower vehicle emissions.  Many vehicle manufacturers recommend a tune up every year or two.  Your owner's manual or dealership will give you the schedule for your car.  Get a tune up from your local service centre, qualified mechanic or dealership.

Keep your vehicle longer.

A well maintained vehicle will last longer and can save you thousands of dollars compared to buying another vehicle.

Report a polluter.

Call (604) 435-SMOG if you see a smoking vehicle.

Failed AirCare?

If you failed AirCare, you still have some options.  The Scrap-It program will take your polluting car off the road and will give you up to $1,000 for a cleaner vehicle or other transportation options.  

For more information on proper vehicle maintenance, visit NRCan Maintenance Tips or BCAA Maintenance Tips.

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