In an age of perpetual consumerism, the prevailing societal belief is that newer is better. With unemployment numbers rising and credit becoming more expensive, we need to find ways to save. With so much emphasis on car buying, it would be wise to take the time to properly learn how to maintain your car. Maintaining your vehicle will allow you to drive it longer, keep it safer and possibly sell it for a higher price than you would have without maintenance.
There are six areas of your car that need constant attention. They are tires, windows, fluids, brakes, oil and your car interior. By referring to the owner’s manual, you can understand how to properly maintain these areas of your vehicle.
It is important to keep your tires inflated to the indicated pressure from the manufacturer. Using a tire gauge is the best strategy. They are cheap and easy to use. Also, on your tires there should be tread wear indicators that will appear when your tires have worn down to the point of requiring replacement. Keeping your tires properly inflated with limited tread wear will allow you to burn less gas and keep proper traction on the road.
Ensure that all of your windows, lights and mirrors are kept clean and are not cracked or broken. Make sure to repair any broken mirrors or lights as soon as possible. If your windshield is cracked, bring your car to a windshield repair shop to see if they can repair it or if it needs to be replaced. In order to minimize the risk of a cracked windshield, it is wise to keep a safe distance when following other vehicles. Most cracked windshields are caused by flying stones from other vehicles. In order to cause a crack, the stone does not have to be very big.
The maintenance of fluid levels within your car should be done once per week. Ask a mechanic or a colleague to demonstrate how this is done. The fluid levels that you should pay attention to are; coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield wash, and brake fluid. This will decrease the wear and tear on all parts of your vehicle if it is always running with proper fluid levels.
Most modern cars are equipped with braking systems that need to be replaced periodically in order to keep a high performance standard. You should make sure that your brakes are inspected every time that your car is due for service, or if you can notice a loss in braking power. It is important that you deal with brake problems as soon as they arise. Driving with faulty brakes is akin to skydiving with a faulty parachute. If the brakes fail, the consequences could be fatal.
Make sure to check your belts often, loose belts will cause a squeaking sound. If you hear this sound, bring your car into a mechanic.
Check the car battery once a month for corrosion and clean it if necessary. Try to avoid running your battery down because even a jumpstarting your car is hard on the battery. It is inevitable that your battery will eventually wear out. When this happens and it is time to replace your battery, take advantage of the opportunity to check the alternator and the distributor to ensure that they are working properly.
Oil is the blood of your car, without it your car will not travel very far. Have a licensed professional teach you how to check and change the oil properly. Your oil should be changed approximately every 4000 miles. Some oil manufacturers will claim that there oil is good for up to 10,000 miles. Still, it is recommended that you change the oil once per 4000 miles. This will make your engine more efficient and give it a longer life.
Although keeping the interior of your vehicle clean will not affect the efficiency of the engine or how well the car drives, it will affect the selling power of your car when you are looking to sell it. Keeping your car interior free of clutter can also translate into added safety. Driving in a clutter free environment will allow you to focus on the task at hand, driving.
Car Maintenance Tips
Checking to make sure all the lights of your car are properly working takes less than a few minutes and can save you from getting into an accident. If one of your brake lights, headlights, or signal lights are not working, have them replaced immediately. Also, make sure that your headlights are properly aligned giving you the best possible line of sight in night time conditions.
Have your windshield wipers changed as needed. It is easy to see if they are not working properly. If you are a person that lives in an area with a lot of wet weather conditions, you can apply a water repellant treatment to your windshield.
It is up to you to keep your vehicle safe and properly maintained. In the long run, it will save you money and reduce your risk of having an accident.