Basic Car Maintenance Tips
Your car will get you through a lot in life, so it’s important that you take proper care of it. One way to keep it in good running condition is by implementing a regular maintenance schedule. This is easy when you have the right information — that’s why we’re breaking down all the important car maintenance tips.
Read Your Owner’s Manual.
Take time to get to know your car by reading your owner’s manual, as it’s full of important information regarding your vehicle. By learning the meaning behind the different warning light indicators, major maintenance issues, such as low tire pressure or required vehicle inspections, are avoided. The owner’s manual is there to help you understand your car and (hopefully!) answer any questions you might have.
Do your own inspection.
Even if you’re not car savvy, it’s smart to do a self-inspection on your car every couple of months. During this inspection, check that your tire pressure is around the suggested PSI for your car model (found in your owner’s manual). Additionally, check that your windshield wipers and engine fluid levels are around the suggested amount for your vehicle. If you notice low levels of antifreeze, power steering fluid or coolant, it might be time to schedule an appointment with a local professional to get these fluids replenished. Finally, while doing your own inspection the most important thing to take note of is any leaking fluids.
Check/change oil regularly.
Taking proper care of your car’s oil is the easiest ways to keep it in good running condition through years of use. Most car manufacturers suggest getting your oil changed every 3,000-5,000 miles. Depending on how much you drive, this may not always be the case. Most cars will alert you when it’s time for your car to go in for an oil change – never ignore this warning. Not getting regular oil changes can cause engine failure which can cost you thousands of dollars down the road. Finally, when it comes time to change your oil, make sure to get it replaced by a professional rather than attempting to do it yourself.
Check your battery and clean if necessary.
The battery plays an important part in any vehicle. Batteries usually don’t need much maintenance besides replacing them when they get old, but it’s still good idea to keep an eye on it. Over time, mineral buildup and corrosion can occur. If you begin to notice this build up, purchase a brush from your local automotive retailer to clean it.
Replace your windshield wipers when the view gets streaky.
Your current windshield wipers won’t last the lifetime of your car. Over time, they become damaged or streaky and this is a good indicator that they need replacement. Not being able to see out of your windshield can pose a danger to yourself and others on the road.
Get your tires rotated and balanced, and your alignment checked.
Most newer model cars have indicators that tell you when it’s time to get your tires rotated or your alignment checked. Regular tire rotations and balance checks make your tires last longer and lead to better control on the road. Adjustments to your alignment will also ensure that your car will drive straight when out on the roads. Most alignment checks and tire rotations are included in your regularly scheduled service for your car. And on that note…
Don’t skip a scheduled service.
Servicing your car can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you should put it off. Always take the time to service your car. Ignoring your scheduled maintenance will just cost you more money in the long run.
Keeping up with your car maintenance helps maintain reliability and performance over time. The costs of maintenance may be tough financially, but it will help to reduce future expenses as your vehicle gets older.