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Pep Boys has compiled the top 21 helpful tips to maximize the life of your car or truck. Read through the list below and see which maintenance steps you need to add to your routine.

Oil and Transmission Fluid

  • Oil is our car's lifeblood, and winter is especially hard on your engine oil. Make sure you change your oil and use the correct weight for you car and climate. This will aid in starting.
  • Check your automatic transmission fluid. It protects against transmission breakdown and contains additives that prevent corrosion system wear and oxidation.
  • Engine oil should always be changed according to manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Understand what 'Severe Service' means, as it can shorten your oil change intervals.
  • Oil additives work to protect your car's engine. A quality oil treatment helps protect against engine wear and reduce oil consumption.
  • Check and top off fluid levels in your transmission, master cylinder, clutch cylinder, and washer solvent reservoir. Give the oil a quick check, change it, and install a filter according to the manufacturer's recommended interval
  • Oil that does not have a 'W' in its thickness rating might make the engine crank too slow to start. Check your owner's manual for the recommended thickness for the coldest temperature expected in your region.

Drop in Gas Mileage

  • If there is an external cooling system leak, tighten, repair or replace leaking parts. A pressure test can determine if and where a leak exists.
  • Replace the coolant in your cooling system every 30,000 miles or according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation. Replace the coolant with the proper proportion of water and coolant when low (50/50 mix).
  • Engine coolant protects a vehicle’s cooling system from temperature extremes and helps prevent the radiator form overheating during hot weather, or from freezing during cold weather.

Fuel System

  • Gas treatment may boost the cleaning performance of your gasoline. A complete fuel system cleaning can help restore peak engine performance.
  • A complete fuel system cleaning can help remove deposits throughout the entire fuel system, including fuel injectors, intake valves, and combustion chambers.
  • Quick starts use more fuel than smooth, steady acceleration. Adjust your style and you'll save gas.


  • Brakes should be inspected at least twice a year. The best times are just before summer and winter to prevent problems in extreme temperatures. Pep Boys provides free brake inspections.

Windshield Wipers

  • Windshield wiper blades should be capable of completely clearing the windshield in three passes. Replace the blades if cleaning the edge of the blade does not help.
  • Top off your windshield fluid regularly. You’d be surprised how much you use in the winter and early spring.

Tune-Ups and Check Ups

  • Have a Pep Boys technician perform a diagnostic check on your on-board computers, complicated ignition, and fuel injection systems to ensure all systems are 'go' Tune up an engine that is not running perfectly and it will help start your car. Have any problems diagnosed and repaired.
  • Check your car's heating system. Carefully check the radiator for leaks and debris. Also, check the radiator and heater hoses, and replace any that are worn, cracked, brittle, or mushy.
  • Take time to locate your fuse box, and have a slit handy of the circuits each fuse protects. Make sure you have spare fuses for all amperage ratings.
  • May is a good month to take a close look at your tires in preparation for upcoming summer travel. Check your owner's manual for your vehicle's proper interval and rotation sequence.
  • Tune up an engine that is not running perfectly and it will help start your car during the winter. Have any problems diagnosed and repaired before the onset of colder weather.
  • Dirty air filters can cause your engine to run at less than peak efficiency. It's easy to spot a dirty air filter and the replacement cost is minimal.