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maintaining your vehicle

The car you get into each day to head off to go to work or run errands needs your attention. How long has it been since the oil has been changed? Have you ever replaced the air filter? These are just two of the things that your car needs to continue running you around each day. This blog will provide you with several tips for maintaining a car that runs when you need it and extend the life of the car that you rely on. Use the tips and you will have less problems with your car, truck, SUV or van.

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3 Best Car And Truck Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

From an amazing aftermarket exhaust system to a top-of-the-line forced induction kit, when it comes to upgrading your car or truck, like a Chevrolet Silverado, there are many options that will break the bank. If your budget is more modest, you might be wondering what improvements you can afford for $100 – or less. You don't need to spend a small fortune to help your car run more smoothly or improve its safety. Here are three upgrades that you can typically get for under $100:

Synthetic Oil

The last time you visited your mechanic, did they recommend skipping the conventional oil and instead splurging on synthetic oil? Although both products may look the same, on a molecular level, they are very different.

Unlike conventional motor oils, which are composed of molecules of varying shapes and sizes, the molecules of synthetic oils are the exact same shape and size. Basically, what this means is that when synthetic oils become heated and the molecules rub and bump against one another, they cause less friction because they are all the same size.

Less friction and heat in turn leads to less wear and tear on your vehicle's engine.

Additionally, according to Mike LaDew, a contributor to Angie's List, switching to synthetic oil means fewer trips to the mechanic to have your oil changed. If you use conventional oil, most mechanics and vehicle manufacturers will recommend having your oil changed every 3,000 miles. If you opt for synthetic oil, you can often wait for 7,000 miles, instead.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $70 to have your oil changed with synthetic oil. 

New Headlight Bulbs

If you've purchased a new vehicle in the past several years, according to Angie's List, chances are it was equipped with halogen headlight bulbs. Halogen bulbs are very popular because they are inexpensive to produce and will last for several thousand hours.

There are several varieties of headlight bulbs available on the market, and if you have a limited budget and want an upgrade from your stock halogen bulbs, xenon and LED bulbs are your best options.

Before you invest in either product, here are a few pros and cons associated with both xenon and LED headlight bulbs:

  • Xenon bulbs – Otherwise known as high-intensity discharge headlamps, or HIDs, xenon headlight bulbs are more costly than halogen bulbs. They also provide better visibility and will last longer than halogen. However, xenon bulbs take a few seconds to reach their full brightness and are more complicated to install.

  • LED bulbs – Like xenon bulbs, LED, or light emitting diode, bulbs will provide a brighter, whiter light than halogen, which allows you to see greater distances and more clearly during inclement weather. The biggest disadvantage of LED bulbs is their cost, which is typically greater than both xenon and halogen bulbs.

Whether you choose HID or LED bulbs, you will enjoy greater visibility, which ultimately also makes both of these options the safer choice.

The cost of HID or LED bulbs will vary greatly by your car's make and model, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $82 to $100 for your new upgraded bulbs.

Windshield Wiper Blades

Finally, there is one simple and inexpensive upgrade that will provide you with the most bang for your buck: a new set of windshield wiper blades.

Typically, when you visit your local automotive parts store you will come across three different types of blades: frame-style wipers, winter wipers and beam-style wipers.

In most cases, a set of quality beam-style wipers is your best option. These blades are more durable, longer lasting and because they are curved, they will work more efficiently than traditional frame-style wipers. According to Cost Helpers, the average cost of a set of beam-style wiper blades is around $20 to $50.

From a pair of quality wiper blades to switching from conventional to synthetic motor oil, it doesn't cost a small fortune to upgrade your car or truck. Before shopping around for a new set of wiper blades, headlight bulbs or a synthetic oil, consult your vehicle's owner's manual or speak to a mechanic to ensure your choice is recommended for your vehicle's make and model.