Make It Last

What you can do to help your vehicle last longer

Mike Herzing has some great tips on saving money by extending the life of your vehicle. Courtesy photo

Purchasing a vehicle is a huge investment, usually our second largest, and the best way to protect that investment is to follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Of course, maintenance isn’t what it used to be.

Even though you don’t replace spark plugs until 100k miles or more, vehicles are far from maintenance free.

The main point to remember is to pay attention to your fluids and filters.

Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant should be flushed out every 30,000-50,000 miles.  Always use synthetic fluid if you can afford it.

Air filters and cabin filters need to be checked and replaced as needed. Once again, use good filters. By the way, the aftermarket oiled cotton filters aren’t as good as they say. Stick with a good quality paper filter. It’s hard to go wrong with the OEM filter.

Always use quality parts and have your oil changed every 4,000-6,000 miles. I would go ahead and rotate the tires at the same time. While the tires are off, have the shop check the brakes. Most shops do a quick check of your vehicle at every oil change anyway. And most do it for free. Some charge for the tire rotation, and some don’t.  

Auto maintenance isn’t an exact science; each person’s driving habits are different. You need to go with what works for you. Be conservative, but cutting corners will only cost you in the long run. Remember that the average vehicle on the road is almost 12 years old.  

The new generation vehicles are well engineered, but they have to be maintained. If you do your maintenance, you will have a vehicle you can depend on for years of reliable service.  

 

Mike Herzing is an ASE Master Technician, Former Automotive Instructor, and Current Host of Let’s Talk Wheels with Mike Herzing heard on ESPN 97.5 Houston and The Lets Talk Wheels Radio Network. Saturday Mornings.

Email Mike: Mike@letstalkwheels.com

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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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