The life of your typical women has gotten increasingly hectic through the years. A lot of women today are still responsible for child care and household duties, while maintaining full-time positions in our nation’s workforce. Many women even take on the role of “car care manager” in their families. Typically thought of as a “man’s work”, research by the Car Care Council suggests that women actually account for more than 60 percent of the auto service customers today. In fact, according to American Women Road and Travel (AWRT), women spend over $300 billion annually on maintenance, repairs and purchase of used vehicles.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2002 almost four out of five mothers of children attending school were also in the paid workforce. In 2003, nearly 3.7 million of these women were working multiple jobs. More astonishingly, the number of employed women in the workforce has risen from 18.4 million to over 65 million from 1950 to 2011. In addition, 63 percent of women work 40 or more hours per week according to the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
The truth is that women are busier than ever and need all the help they can get to stay on the go. Below are some useful car care tips when it comes to maintaining your vehicle, your busy schedule, and your family’s safety.
Car Care Tips:
Oil Change – Consult your owner’s manual for the proper mileage to have your engine oil serviced. Generally this service is performed at 7500 miles but many will argue that changing between 3-5000 miles is best for your car. Procrastinating on your oil change can lead to oil sludge build up and internal engine wear.
Fluids – During your oil change service, your fluids should be properly topped off. It’s always a good idea to double-check their work and to continuously check your transmission, brake, power steering, windshield washer and cooling system fluids monthly. Improper fluid levels may cause premature wear and failure of important parts on your car as well as overheating.
Battery – Have your battery checked at every oil change. Most shops will check it for free upon request. Replace it as necessary. A weak battery may leave you stranded at the worst possible time during your busy schedule.
Brakes – Having your brakes checked at every service may save you valuable time and money in the future. Typically a free brake inspection is included with an oil change service at most auto repair and service centers. Ask your mechanic for your brake specifications to ensure you and your family’s safety.
Wipers – Old and worn out wipers can affect your visibility during adverse weather conditions. Your wiper blades should be replaced at least once a year, more often in heavy weather areas. Don’t get caught blind in a storm because of a $5 wiper.
Headlights – Check your headlights every so often to ensure that they operate properly. Have your local automotive service provider make certain that they are also aimed properly. The key to effective headlights is to see and be seen.
Belts and Hoses – A broken belt or hose can leave you stranded, or worse, cause severe engine damage. Have your belts inspected for cracking or fraying and your hoses for cracking or leaking. Have your timing belt replaced at the manufacturers recommended mileage interval.
Improper maintenance of your vehicle can interrupt your busy schedule in a big way. Don’t just bring your car in for a quick oil change; bring it in for a full check-up. Besides, most of these extra checks are free and will save you time and money in the long run. Following these simple tips will keep you safely on the road, and on the go.
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