auto

5 car maintenance moves consumers put off

You're exposing your car to extreme temperatures
You're exposing your car to extreme temperatures © photka/Shutterstock.com

Whether the temperature is in the 90s, 100s or below freezing, it can take a toll on your car. By Hafer's account, exposure in these extreme temperatures can be a car killer, making regular car maintenance even more important.

Intense sun and heat bakes a car's finish, cracks interior vinyl and plastic surfaces, and generally makes its cooling system work harder, increasing wear. Less time between waxing can reduce exterior damage. Window tinting or putting a sunshade across the windshield can minimize interior damage.

In extreme cold, an engine block heater can help minimize the cold's effects on the engine. But in any event, it is critical to allow an engine to warm up before driving. This allows the oil to thin out enough to flow freely through the engine. Engine block heaters vary in type and cost. The cost of parts and installation for a frost plug heater start at about $175.

But, all the mechanicals are threatened when operated in extreme cold. "Just trying to put the window down in extremely cold weather before warming up the car can cause the mechanism to break," Hafer says.

Your engine coolant should be replaced every 24 to 36 months. Flushing and refilling the system by a shop will cost roughly $90.

Putting your car in a garage is the best solution to extreme heat and cold.

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