As the famous adage goes, prevention is better than cure. This applies to cars, too. A car is comprised of different parts that work together to keep it running. And like every machine, it’s prone to breaking down from time to time. When it does, it can cost you a ton of money and leave you with no means of convenient transportation. Regular maintenance prevents this from happening.
Whether you’re a new or a long-time car owner, there are a few things you need to do regularly to keep your car in mint condition.
Basic Maintenance Checklist
Read Your Car’s Manual
While it may not be the most thrilling read, your owner’s manual will contain all the important information you will need for your vehicle’s maintenance. This includes how often you should change your oil, what kind of gas to use, details about your warranty, your service schedule, and a lot more.
Check Your Fluids
Engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and other fluids are the fluids that keep your car running. Check the level of these fluids frequently. A dipstick will help you if it’s getting low. Your owner’s manual will tell how often you should change your fluids, but you should also see if there are still in good condition.
Inspect You Tires Regularly
Extend the life of your tires by ensuring that they’re inflated to the right pressure. Follow the pressure level prescribed by your owner’s manual.
Another way to maximize their life span is to get them rotated and balanced regularly. Don’t wait until you feel like your car is pulling to one direction or until you’re struggling to make it run straight. Having loose tires make you more susceptible to vehicular accidents.
Replace Your Windshield Wipers
While it may seem like a small thing, having perfectly functioning wipers are lifesavers, especially when you’re driving in bad weather. It doesn’t cost you much to change your wipers, and you can even do it yourself. Depending on the weather in your area and how you use your wipers, it’s safe to change them yearly. But don’t wait a year if you notice that they are no longer working properly.
Clean Your Car Regularly
Keep your car looking shiny and brand new by regular cleaning. Don’t expose it to the elements or you’ll risk damaging the paint job. Try to park it under cover if you’re planning to leave it for a long time. Keep your car interior clean as well. If you eat inside your car, make sure to clean out crumbs, throw out food containers, and air out your car. You don’t want to attract ants and other bugs inside.
Don’t be afraid to clean your car engine, but be cautious. One big mistake when cleaning an engine is using a pressure washer. Your car engine includes delicate parts that can be affected or dislodged by strong force, so a degreaser and a microfiber towel for cleaning your car will do just well.
Check Your Battery
Your car’s battery doesn’t need that much in terms of maintenance, but they do have a habit of failing in the most inconvenient times. To prevent this, frequently check your battery’s condition, keep track of when you last changed it, and ensure that its clean and not leaking. Just to be prepared, always keep a backup in your car.
Don’t Disregard Strange Noises Coming From Your Car
Your car may not speak human language, but it can communicate when there is something wrong with it. If you’re hearing weird, clunky noises coming from your car, get it checked immediately. You don’t want to pay exorbitant fees when you could have prevented more damage from happening.
A car is an important investment. It has also quickly turned into a tool that make life significantly easier. If you don’t want your car breaking down on you, you have to be a responsible car owner and work on the checklist above regularly. Read your owner’s manual, don’t miss your scheduled services, and drive carefully.