Repair in Pairs

The bad news is many of us don't take care of our cars the way we should and that lack of maintenance will eventually catch up to us.

I wanted to focus in on one habit I would like to recommend you develop; that is to replace things in pairs. Whether it be a light bulb or a suspension part like a ball joint or a brake caliper, it is a good practice to replace both sides.

If you think about it, both sides of the car have the same amount of wear, so if one side wears out or breaks, you can be pretty sure the other side will not be far behind. Even if the part looks good, do yourself a favor and change it anyway. You won't know it, but, trust me, you will save yourself a fair amount of aggravation.

Here are some of the parts you should change in pairs that come to mind, though not everything.

• Brakes and brake components like calipers and wheel cylinders, drums and rotors.

• Suspension parts like ball joints, tie rod ends, struts and springs.

• Light bulbs, belts and hoses, wiper blades and tires.

• Universal joints and axle joints.

Gas savings tip of the week: If you are driving with a "check engine" light, on you may be wasting fuel. It depends on what system on the car has failed, but there is a good chance your car is not running in an optimal state.

There are three benefits to getting the car fixed and the light reset. Your engine will be running optimally, you can run to the emissions lane without fear of failure, and, lastly, you won't have to see that light staring you in your face.

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