August is Mike’s Month for WOW (words of wisdom) car care tips and he’s back this week for round two of his favorite topic and specialty – car maintenance. Mike has been the Manager of Ken Scales Automotive for a lot of his 20+ years here, and he’s trained a lot of our customers in how to keep their car running like a top. His motto? “If you can’t drive it for over 200,000 miles – you’re doing something wrong!” Here are Mike’s words of wisdom for the second week of August!
“Hi, again, folks! This week I’m going to get a little more personal here with advice for you and your car. See, cars are like people and relationships; if you’re in a relationship – you have to pay attention to the person you’re in a relationship with. I’ve been told this is important. Repeatedly. But never mind about that. I’m just using that as an example to illustrate what I’m talking about, because if you think about it – you’re in a pretty important relationship with your car! And that means that – yes, you have to pay attention to your car the same way. Well, not exactly the same way, but you see where I’m going with this. Last week I talked about the importance of listening to – or reading – what your car’s manufacturer suggests about maintaining your car – but I don’t think many mechanics are going to tell you to pay attention to your car sort of the same way you pay attention to a person. The point I’m going to make here is that if you’re the person who drives your car the most – pay attention! Use your common sense – and your senses, and by that I mean – sight, sound, and smell. Take – your sight. Don’t just plop into the seat and drive, get where you’re going, get out, and then slam the door. At least once a week do a kind of “preflight” check, walk around the car, look at the tires, the lights, ask the gas station attendant or your kid if your brake lights are going on when you step on the brake. When you back out of your driveway – look at where you were parked, are there any spots of liquid on the cement where you parked? If there are, next time park your car on some cardboard so you’ll know – or can show – where it’s coming from so you can tell us. Next is sound; hearing may actually be one of the most important tools you use to keep your car running. Trust me, if a car sounds like it’s falling apart – it’s going to! What you want to listen for is anything out of the ordinary. Any kind of bumping, thumping, grinding, knocking, squeaking, ticking – listen for it. Turn off the radio, and then try and determine what your speed is when the noise starts, because that’s a really helpful and important piece of information for me to know so I can fix it for you. Just that little piece of info can literally save me hours of trying to pin down what’s going on. Finally, the sense of smell when it comes to cars is pretty obvious. If something smells sort of burned or nasty, well, that’s just a clear clue something’s wrong and something needs to be checked, so don’t just ignore it, hoping it will go away. Sight, sound and smell can help you spot a problem when it’s small, before it turns into a big-ticket repair item. Some people call me crazy to tell people this kind of stuff, but if I don’t – who will?”