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Don’t Pinch Pennies on Car Maintenance

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Pay me now or pay me later.” I’m not sure of the origin of this phrase but in 1972 Fram Oil Filters used this phrase in a series of television commercials talking about their oil filters. The actor starts by holding up a Fram Oil Filter and says, “You can pay me now,” then holds up a piston and says, “or, you can pay me later”.  The lesson being, saving money on the little things can cost you big later on. This can be especially true when it comes to keeping your car running. Pinching pennies on your car maintenance can cost you dearly in the long run. Other than your home, your car is one of your biggest investments. Drivers are paying more than ever for vehicles these days and they expect them to last longer than ever. According to the most recent IHS Markit Survey the average car on the road is now more than 11.5 years old. Most people expect to keep a car six-and-a-half years. That’s up from just a year ago and is likely due to need for longer financing options.

The key to keeping a car of any age running smoothly is to follow some basic, routine car maintenance. Some things you can do yourself. Others require the expertise of the certified technician, like the ones at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary.


Tires naturally lose air, so it’s important to check your tire pressures regularly. You can find the recommended tire pressure on a sticker inside your door jamb. Read it carefully, because front and rear tires may have different requirements. This simple task will not only help your tires last longer, it will also help you get better gas mileage. Both tires and gas are expensive, so that’s a win-win. Another way to help extend the life of your tires is to have a certified technician at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary rotate your car’s tires. This helps promote even wear on the tread so you can get the most out of your tires. To make it easier to remember a lot of people rotate their tires every time they change the oil or if they are a less aggressive driver, maybe every other oil change. Consistency is the key. Rotating tire consistently will keep the wear on your tires even across all four tires because front tires usually wear more quickly than rear tires.


The oil in your car primarily protects and lubricates all the parts. As you drive the oil gets progressively dirtier. If you drive too long without changing the oil, you may exceed the filtering capacity of the oil filter and the filter will go into bypass. This means you are not getting any filtration with your engine lubricant. The dirty oil will begin to clog the engine and, eventually, will cause your engine to wear out and fail. Check you owners’ manual on how long you should wait between Most owners’ manuals suggest changing the oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. But you should talk to your Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary technician about your car and your driving conditions. If your car is older or if you drive in harsh conditions, it could mean you need to have the oil changed on the lower end of that range. In-between the oil changes, you should check your oil level and add more if you are low. If you not sure how to check your engine oil, please come see us at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary and we will show you how.


You may have heard that some newer cars don’t need a tune-up. That just isn’t true. Even the most modern cars benefit from a check up by a qualified technician. A tune-up gives your car better performance and better gas mileage. Today’s tune-ups involve a front to back fuel system service and replacement of the spark plugs. Also a functional check of the fuel, emissions and ignition systems. The Milex technician will also make sure the battery and starter are in proper working order. They’ll go over the engine and check filters and fluid levels, including automatic transmission fluid and coolant. Finally, he will make sure the engine’s hoses and belts are in good working condition.


We all forget about the condition of our windshield wipers until we need them. The Car Care Council recommends making it a habit to check your wiper blades every six months. And you should make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid more often than that. Being able to see is important! If you aren’t sure how to do this, ask us at Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary for help.

No matter what time of year it is, it’s the perfect time to make sure your car is ready for commuting to work, picking up the kids or that weekend getaway to the beach. Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission of Cary can help you enjoy your car for miles to come, no matter what time of the year it is. Make an appointment for your routine car maintenance today!


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