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Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.

The Car Maintenance Checklist

Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:

Inspect and Maintain Tires

Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.

Change the Oil

Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.

Check the Fluids

There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil

  • Coolant

  • Power steering fluid

  • Brake fluid

  • Transmission fluid

A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.

Test the Lights

A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.

Replace Windshield Wipers

If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.

Change Your Engine Air Filter

A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.

Regular Checkups

Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.

Have Your Brakes Checked

Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible

Wash Your Car

Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.

Check Belts and Hoses

Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.

Review Your Car Insurance

Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

Article Originally published allstate.com

Sports & Imports - Best Midsize Sedans

Please Read Sports & Imports - Best Midsize Sedans

Content provided by MotorTrend

MotorTrend tests more than 200 vehicles at the track every year. We rate cars using the same factors you do, including how they drive, interior space, efficiency, tech, value, and safety. Ratings are only applicable within each respective segment.

  1. 2022 Honda Accord - 9.1/10 - After a midcycle refresh for 2021, we're not expecting any major changes to the Accord for 2022. Barring any significant revisions, it will carry forward with two gas engines and a hybrid option. The Accord competes with other affordable four-doors including the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Kia K5, and Subaru Legacy.

  2. 2022 Subaru Legacy - 8.6/10 - Subaru knows its buyers and delivers on their priorities with the Legacy. The midsize sedan offers a compelling blend of technology, safety, and performance in a roomy and comfortable vessel. Middling style and a vexing CVT are the Legacy's greatest Achilles heels.

  3. 2022 Hyundai Sonata - 8.5/10 - Hyundai has been selling the Sonata here in the U.S. for more than 30 years, and the current eighth generation is the best version yet. Redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Sonata is among the better midsize sedans on the market. It's mechanically related to the Kia K5.

  4. 2022 Kia K5 - 8.3/10 - The midsize sedan once known as the Kia Optima has transformed into the K5. Introduced for 2021, the K5 stands out in the segment with evocative exterior styling. Yet despite those looks it remains a relatively normal car in terms of features and capabilities. The K5 is offered with a choice of turbocharged engines and available AWD. Like the Optima before it, the K5 targets sedan stalwarts like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and mechanically related Hyundai Sonata. The K5 is built in West Point, Georgia, alongside the Kia Telluride.

  5. 2022 Toyota Camry - 8/10 - Although it's no longer Toyota's best-selling model (that title now goes to the RAV4), the venerable Camry remains a go-to choice for those seeking a dependable midsize sedan. The current-gen Camry was introduced for the 2018 model year and sees a mild face-lift for 2021. The Camry sits squarely in the center of Toyota's lineup of sedans between the compact Corolla and full-size Avalon. Besides its longtime rival, the Honda Accord, the Camry also competes with midsize four-doors including the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Altima, and Hyundai Sonata.

  6. 2021 Nissan Altima - 7.7/10 - Positioned above the compact Sentra and below the full-size Maxima, the Altima is the middle child of Nissan's sedan lineup. Nissan issued a full redesign of the Altima for the 2019 model year, and the family sedan has been relatively unchanged since. The Altima competes in the midsize sedan segment alongside cars such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and Subaru Legacy.

  7. 2022 Volkswagen Passat - 7.1/10 - Once one of Volkswagen's most successful cars in the United States, the Passat enters its final year of production with a Limited Edition trim. It rides on the platform that's been on sale in the United States since 2012, the same year it won our MotorTrend Car of the Year award. The Passat last received a major refresh in 2020. Although this midsize sedan no longer feels like a fresh offering, it comes with the traditional advantages of its segment, namely a comfortable ride, a large trunk, and spacious interior.

  8. 2021 Chevrolet Malibu - One of the longest-running nameplates in the Chevrolet lineup, the Malibu has been a mainstay in the midsize sedan segment for decades. Since its inception, the Malibu has evolved from a rear-drive car that's available in multiple flavors to a front-drive model offered only one body style. Chevrolet even offered a hybrid Malibu for a short time to lure eco-minded consumers to the brand. With only a short time left before it's discontinued, the Malibu lineup has been streamlined. A number of cosmetic packages are also offered.

  9. 2021 Mazda Mazda6 - As we wait for the rumored RWD, inline-six-powered, next-gen 6, Mazda adds some polish to its midsize sedan for 2021. The current-generation model debuted for the 2014 model year and saw a mid-cycle facelift for 2018, adding a turbocharged engine option. The 2021 Mazda 6 competes with other affordable midsize sedans including the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Hyundai Sonata.

Original Source: https://www.motortrend.com/style/sedan/

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