3777 S Redwood Road West Valley City, UT 84119 801-904-2809

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

How to Protect Your Car From Rust

Rust never sleeps: Here's how you can protect your car

No matter what type of automotive rustproofing protection you favour (electronic, one-time spray, factory coating or annual treatments) there are large gaps in warranty coverage from even the best companies out there. First things first; if you operate a vehicle on public roads 12 months of the year, there really is no such thing as rustproofing. About the best we can hope for is to slow down Mother Nature’s ravage of our daily drivers so that the loan payments end before the sheet metal. We really can’t stop rust altogether.

All rustproofing suppliers offer pretty much the same warranty; they will repair or replace outer sheet metal panels if rusted through from inside/out and if all other guarantee conditions have been met (annual inspections, reapplications, etc.). But what about all the other steel and iron on the vehicle? Cast iron and steel suspension and steering components, fuel and brake fluid lines, exhaust systems, fuel tanks and straps can all be affected by rust and can bring major repair bills. Is there anything we can do to extend the life of these components?

1. Park carefully. Parking your vehicle on grass, dirt, snow or poorly drained surfaces is just asking for rust to come and take up permanent residence in your vehicle. As our vehicles spend most of their idle time at our place of residence, tackling the home-parking front can go a long way to keeping rust at bay. If you think investing in a driveway improvement is too expensive, ask your regular repair garage for some cost estimates on replacing brake rotors, exhaust systems, suspension control arms, fuel tank and the like and you’ll quickly find the financial justification. Don’t rest easy if your parking lane is paved. Old cracked asphalt surfaces can provide just as much moisture to the undercarriage of your chariot as a dirt field in spring. Even applying a layer of asphalt sealer can help out.

2. Keep it clean. Most of us like to keep the paint work and interior of our vehicles clean, but what about the underbelly? If you drive on gravel or dirt roads or take an off-road adventure from time to time, the mud and gunk that can collect underneath your vehicle will act as a moisture trap increasing the speed with which your wheels will head to the scrap yard. Check horizontal surfaces under the car/truck such as control arms, skid-plates, axles, etc. from time to time and do a little down-and-dirty cleaning when needed. If you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden hose and stiff brush will do. You may have to jack the vehicle to improve clearance, so make sure you take the necessary precautions with proper jack supports and wheel chocks and have a spotter standing by.

3. Keep it full. One of the most expensive repairs a driver can face because of rust is the replacement of a fuel pump module (the electric fuel pump and level sender unit located in the tank). While the interior parts of this piece (which can range in price from $300-$1500 plus labour) are well protected, its metal top plate and output lines are very exposed and prone to rusting. Fuel tanks and their parts can be attacked from two sources of moisture leading to rust. The first is external and the second is internal condensation caused by the difference between liquid fuel and outside air temperatures in a humid environment. Keeping the fuel tank topped off during the wet seasons can help to reduce the condensation effect. It also provides better traction in snow and on icy surfaces.

4. Blow it clean. On trucks and SUVs with large fuel tanks, the dirt, dust, and road grime that can collect on the top of the tank can lead to premature rusting of the fuel pump module. The labour involved in periodically lowering the tank to inspect and clean off its top can be pricey and can make it hard to justify as a means of extending the life of the pump module. A safe DIY method involves spraying compressed air on top of the tank while it’s mounted in its location to dislodge any debris or gunk. Use safety goggles and go easy on the air nozzle trigger as small stones can hurt when propelled by compressed air.

5. Spray it on. While no rustproofing company will guarantee undercarriage components against rust, that’s not a reason to not have the more vulnerable iron and steel parts treated. You can purchase aerosol cans of rust inhibitors at most auto parts stores, or you can have the pros take care of it for you. If doing it yourself, avoid getting any spray on brake rotors, drums, linings, or calipers. Keep it off hot surfaces such as catalytic converters and exhaust components as well as away from electrical wiring and connectors. Don’t overdo it. It’s better to perform annual touch-ups rather than try to lather on enough protection for the next decade.

Article Originally published driving.ca

How to Find the Best Used Car for You

When looking for a second-hand vehicle, it’s important to get the right one. After all, it should be durable enough to make the purchase worth it. Keep reading to learn how you can find the right vehicle for you! You deserve to drive a car that will help you live your life to the fullest. One that will take you where you need to go—to your place of employment, to your child’s soccer games, and to adventurous destinations. Not every used car on the street with a “For Sale” sign or in our local ads will lead to a satisfactory experience. Here, we’ll discuss how you can find the best used car for you and your family.

First, Consider Your Needs

The first thing you need to do is consider your personal “why”. Why do you need a second-hand vehicle? There are a variety of reasons as to why you might need one. To help you find your reason, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Do You Have Bad Credit?

Your credit score could be bad for several reasons. You may be new to the credit accruing world or you might have landed on hard times. Either way, getting a used car could be very helpful for you. Some used car dealerships, like West Auto Sales, offer special financing options for those who are credit challenged. These dealerships often have vehicles you could pay for outright with cash or by setting up a payment plan. If you pick a vehicle where you’ll need to do a payment plan, this could be an opportunity for you to build your credit as well.

2. Is This Your First Vehicle?

If this is your first vehicle, you may come across issues with getting financing for a brand new car. Many dealerships will require that you have a good credit history as well as proof that you have been able to pay for a vehicle over time. If this isn’t the case for you, then a used car is certainly the best route. If you’re a new driver or aren’t confident in your driving abilities, then you’ll want to get an older vehicle.

3. Will You Be Using This Vehicle for Work?

One of the biggest things you’ll need to consider when picking out a vehicle is your job. Certain jobs may come with the pressure to maintain certain appearances. If this is your situation, a used car that is only one to three years old may be best for you. Now, not all jobs will come with this pressure. Another thing to consider with your job is the commute. Is your job just down the street or do you need to drive a long ways away? If you’re constantly having to drive for work, then you’ll want to get a vehicle that hasn’t used too many miles. After all, you want it to last you a while.

4. Are You Trying to Save Money?

One of the big reasons for buying a used car is to save money. Everyone’s financial situation is different, and so you’ll need to really look at your personal finances to determine what you can afford exactly. Think ahead before you go to the used car lot and ask yourself, “What is the maximum amount that I can afford to pay?” Being honest with yourself about your budget will help you find a vehicle that matches your budget. After asking yourself these four questions, you’ll be better prepared to find the best car for you.

Next, Research Used Car Lots

Now, we can’t really speak for all of the other car lots, but we can give you a hint about what we see from some of our happiest buyers—or, in other words, those who leave absolutely certain that they’ve made the best purchase. Here are some of the things they do before ever stepping foot on our car lot.

Finally, Visit Used Car Lots

While experience can vary from car lot to car lot, we can only tell you what to expect from West Auto Sales in West Valley City. Here, we love showing off our inventory to those who come our way. Our team will sit down and talk with you about the type of vehicle you’re looking for. Then, we’ll show you the best vehicles that fit your needs. You’ll be able to fully inspect the vehicles, ask any questions that you may have, and test drive them. Take your time if you need it. We understand this is a big decision for you, and so we’ll be patient. Our goal is to help you drive away with a vehicle that truly makes you happy.

Ready to Talk Cars?

Once you feel ready, come visit us and check our inventory in person. We’re open from 9am to 7pm Monday through Friday and from 9am to 6pm on Saturday. You can stop by or reach out to us ahead of your visit by calling (801) 904-2809 or texting 801-210-7095. We look forward to serving you!