Your car is an important resource for the entire family. It takes you to work, school and completes those weekly errands. Every car requires some level of maintenance, however. Keep these essential car maintenance tips in mind as you enjoy the wind in your hair. They’ll help the car last for a decade or longer.
1. Checking the Fluid Levels
Your car has several fluids that lubricate parts. They must be kept at their proper levels in order to maximize their efficacy.
These fluids are associated with certain systems, such as:
Pull out each dipstick from the engine so that you can see the fluid’s level. There should be markers indicating maximum and minimum values. Add fluid as necessary. It’s natural to lose some fluid over time. Extreme loss, however, should be looked into with the assistance of a professional mechanic.
2. Changing the Oil
Every vehicle has a different recommendation on oil-change frequencies. Most cars call for changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Be sure to keep up with this schedule. Engine oil lubricates every moving part in this chamber. If metal rubs against itself without the proper lubrication, engine breakdowns will soon follow.
You can either change the oil and filter yourself or take it into a lube center. Both choices are low cost when compared to the alternative in a broken-down vehicle.
3. Rotating the Tires
Most cars have front-wheel drive, which means that the two front tires take on the brunt of the braking forces. Rotate your tires every six months. Essentially, the front tires end up on the back and vice versa. As a result, the tread has a chance to wear down in a uniform manner. They’ll last longer on the road with this task completed on a regular basis.
4. Swapping the Filters
There are two air filters in your car, including these types:
- Air conditioning
Both of these filters will fill up with debris over time. They protect your internal systems from contaminants. Swap out these filters as they become too dirty to be efficient. A mechanic can show you when a filter is considered to be ready for replacement.
Keep in mind that there are reusable filters for purchase. They can be rinsed and used again instead of being thrown out. These products are a bit expensive, but they save you money over time.
5. Verifying Tire Pressures
Your tires may look full from a cursory glance, but that’s no substitute for a tire gauge. Check the tires’ pressures on a regular basis. Follow the pressure recommendation on the tire. Driving on low-pressure tires will negatively impact the vehicle’s mileage and performance.
Discovering tire problems can occur with regular verification too. If one tire seems to mysteriously drop in pressure every few days, there may be a hole or crack in the tread.
6. Visiting the Mechanic or Dealership
You might be diligent about caring for your car, but there are many services a mechanic provides that are exclusive to his or her trade. Ideally, visit a trusted mechanic or dealership at least once a year. They can connect their computers to the vehicle for diagnostic purposes.
Mechanics can often find issues before they become major problems. If your engine is in serious decline, used engines might be available as a repair alternative. Their talents can supplement your efforts on a well-maintained vehicle.
7. Testing the Small Yet Critical Details
Walk around your car, and focus on the smaller details that make it safe on the road. Inspect the windshield wipers for any declining rubber. Verify that the turn signals, backup and brake lights activate without any dimming issues. Look at the tire tread’s level and check if any nails or sharp objects are stuck in the rubber too. By taking five or 10 minutes to concentrate on the small details, your car’s maintenance will always be up to date.
With all of these maintenance items taken care of, focus on washing and waxing the car on a regular basis too. Although this task is mostly for aesthetic purposes, it also prolongs the car’s lifespan. The paint protects the metal underneath. Your entire car will run smoothly with these items checked off your to-do list.