4 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car

by Tom Musbach on April 3, 2013

in Cars

Simple car-care basics can keep your vehicle running in good shape for years and save you money.

Yet many car owners don’t even get the oil changes right.

Man fixing a white car, hood open.

(Photo: Flickr/Bob Villalobos)

To help you stay on track, two car repair specialists on JustAnswer shared tips that can help boost your car’s performance and make it last longer.

Mind the fluids

“There are other fluids beside engine oil that need to be replaced at specific intervals,” said Ahmed Ibraheem, a certified master auto technican on JustAnswer. He gave two examples:

  • Transmission fluid: Should be replaced every 30,000 miles (although some models specify 60,000 miles)
  • Engine coolant: Should be replaced every 30,000 miles, although a special long-life version can last in some cars for up to 100,000 miles.

Slow down and take it easy

“Always getting to Grandma’s house first is not only unsafe but bad for your car if you?re the last to start out,” said Chris P., a car engine technician on JustAnswer.

“Pushing a vehicle hard not only makes it run hotter, it uses more fuel,” he said. “It also causes accelerated wear to everything including the engine, transmission, tires, brakes and much more.”

Know your vehicle’s strengths

Make sure you buy the right car that meets your most important transportation needs, said Chris.

“A minivan can pull a boat, but it is not designed to do this often. A truck is designed to always tow or haul, not commute 85 miles per hour down the interstate for an hour,” he said.

Avoid the most common error

Both auto experts said the most common error they see in customers is not changing the oil at required intervals, leading to costly repairs.

“A quick $29 lube visit can save more than $2,000 on an engine replacement,” said Chris.

Going 1,000 miles over the recommended oil change interval on your car often results in “engine oil sludge.” The condition comes from oil being cooked into a gel-like compound in the engine.

“Engines in newer cars carry very tight tolerances and have very small oil passages which are easily blocked by oil gel,” said Ahmed Ibraheem. “It’s the top reason for engine failure that’s most easily preventable.”

“Typically your owner’s manual will specify all the needed maintenance and the intervals,” he concluded. “If you’re not sure, you are always welcome to ask me (screen name “AMD”) or another of the trained car technicians on JustAnswer for help with your vehicle’s specific maintenance needs.”

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How to Keep Stress from Ruining Your Health

by Tom Musbach on March 15, 2013

in Health

“Stress could easily become our next public health crisis.”

Female student who is stressed.

(Photo: Flickr/CollegeDegrees360)

So says the CEO of the American Psychological Association (APA), Norman Anderson. In fact, stress is a constant factor in everyday life, and 77% of American adults regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, according to an APA survey.

Common signs of chronic stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month, and Dr. Jennifer Hanes, a physician on JustAnswer, offered a few specific warning signs that you might have chronic stress:

  • You wake up without feel refreshed
  • You feel sluggish during much of the day
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Frequent moodiness, notable sadness, or quickness to anger
  • Skin irritations or lackluster hair

Quick steps that help lower stress

The physical health effects of stress can be especially dangerous for your heart. The American Heart Association (AHA) has posted these “emergency stress stoppers” that can help you in the moment you encounter a stressful situation:

  • Count to 10 before you speak.
  • Take three to five deep breaths.
  • Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you’ll handle it later.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake.
  • Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
  • Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once.
  • Drive in the slow lane or avoid busy roads to help you stay calm while driving.
  • Smell a rose, hug a loved one or smile at your neighbor.

For more helpful tips, visit this article at the AHA website.

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Easy and Effective Relief for Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

March 5, 2013

Itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and sneezing aren’t the glad tidings most people expect from spring. But if you often suffer from these and other allergy symptoms, read on for relief tips provided by several doctors on JustAnswer. The starting point: antihistamines “I recommend that you continue an antihistamine as first line,” said Dr. Anthony Bray. [...]

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JustAnswer Supports Ongoing Recovery from 2011 Tsunami

February 28, 2013

As the world marks the second anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, JustAnswer is partnering with many experts on the site to raise money for survivors and help with the country’s ongoing recovery efforts. JustAnswer experts who participate in the program will donate a portion of their question fee ($2.00) to the [...]

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10 Money-Saving Tips to Know Before Starting Your Taxes

February 15, 2013

Before you can file your 2012 income taxes, you usually have to gather important documents, review relevant tax rules, and make a few decisions. The process is complicated, but the tips below can help make it easier, not to mention save you time and money. Deductions that help you save this year The recent American [...]

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