If you want to get the most out of your vehicle, you need to take care of regular upkeep. Learn 5 car preventative maintenance tips you can’t ignore.
Regular maintenance is a basic part of car ownership. Every car should be subjected to periodic tune-ups, but car preventative maintenance in-between visits to the garage can reduce the need for serious repairs in the future, saving you money and extending the life of your car. You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to give your car a good once-over, either. All you need are a few tips on where to start.
5 Car Preventative Maintenance Tips You Need to Know
Even the most mechanically inept among us can handle a lot of preventative care on their own. A weekly check-up should be the basic maintenance regimen for cars old and new. Your check-up should include these 5 points:
1.Change Your Oil and Filters
Your car’s oil lubricates the engine, keeping it from tearing itself apart as you drive. But as you drive, contaminants start to accumulate, causing friction and possibly severe damage with time. Learning to change your own oil is an easy way to get used to handling vehicle maintenance on your own, and will save you a small fortune at the garage. Most modern cars can go about 5,000 miles on an oil change, but if you’re driving an older model or just want to be safe, change your oil every three months or 3,000 miles.
2.Check All Other Fluids
Motor oil isn’t the only fluid you need to keep track of. A good check-up will require that you check your brake fluid, transmission fluids, coolant, and window washer. Most of these are easy to check and refill, but be careful adding coolant to the radiator. It can get extremely hot when the engine is running, so your engine should be off and as cool as possible.
3.Check Your Tires Monthly
While tires inevitably wear out with time, making sure that they keep proper air pressure can prevent a blowout. Not only will that extend the life of your tires, but it can potentially prevent a catastrophic blowout on a busy road. Your car’s recommended tire pressure will be listed in either the owner’s manual or on a placard in the driver’s door jamb. If the pressure is low, inflate your tires to 4 psi above the recommended level. Try and do this after having driven only a mile or less to get the most accurate pressure reading.
4.Inspect All Belts and Hoses
The hoses in your engine bay direct coolant flow to keep the engine from overheating. If a hose has separated or shows cracks or bulges, it’s time for a replacement. Check the timing belt as well. Look for cracking, glazing, or whole chunks missing from the belt. If any of these signs are present, it’s time for a replacement.
Lastly, give your car’s exterior a good once-over. Cleaning your exterior on a regular basis can prevent the build-up of rust, which is both unsightly and can cause a host of problems if allowed to accumulate. Pickup drivers should also consider investing in truck bed covers. They’ll help prevent damage to the bed, and also reduce wind drag. The more aerodynamic your truck is, the less your engine has to work, potentially saving you gas mileage and wear on the engine.
Nothing lasts forever, especially car parts. It’s inevitable that sooner or later, your car will need to make a visit to a professional mechanic. But by using these car preventative maintenance tips, you can keep your car running more smoothly for longer, making those garage visits fewer and farther between, and saving you money over the life of your vehicle. Don’t forget to bookmark our site to never miss any of our latest posts!