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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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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