Taking care of your car’s maintenance is important for a couple of reasons. First, it protects our investments – cars aren’t getting cheaper, you know? The second and far more important reason is that a well-maintained vehicle is a guarantee of safety for us and our families. But we all know that. The true question is what exactly makes good car maintenance and what can we do to make it even better? Well, let’s take a look at a couple of tips that should help us answer these important doubts.
Take care of the fluids
Your car may be based on mechanics, but it is all the fluids inside that enable these complex mechanisms to work properly. So, keep a close eye on these five fluids and replace them as indicated.
- Engine oil – Check every time you fill up the gas, replace after 3.000 miles or six months
- Transmission fluid – Check monthly, replace every 50.000 miles
- Coolants – Check at least twice a year, replace every 2 years
- Brake fluids – Check whenever you change oil, replace every 2 years
- Power steering fluid – Check at least once a month, replace every 50.000 miles
Of course, these are only some general guidelines. Consult your vehicle’s manual for exact numbers.
Pay attention to the tires
After all, tires are the thing that allows your vehicle to roam the roads. As you can imagine, their condition has a great influence and on the car’s overall performance. So, give the tires a detailed inspection every 5.000 miles. Here are a couple of things to do:
- Check the air pressure
- Check the depth of thread
- Check the overall tire condition
In addition, keep in mind that some tires take greater abuse than others. It would be a good idea to rotate them every 3.000 miles.
Don’t underestimate minor issues
The vehicle you are driving is a product of careful engineering. That essentially means that all of its parts – especially the ones that are affecting the vehicle’s safety – are there for a good reason. For instance, if your bumpers end up damaged, this is not only an aesthetical issue – it puts the whole vehicle in jeopardy. So, find a dependable bumper repair service and nip the problem in the bud. The same goes for other overlooked issues like a flawed battery, poor fuel economy and squeaking brakes.
Keep the vehicle clean
Once again, most people think that keeping the car clean is purely a matter of look. But the problem is far more complicated. A clean and well-maintained vehicle lasts longer, is far more pleasant to drive (thus reducing the stress level of the driver) and allows for better visibility than some windshield-stained rubble. So, be kind and wash your car every two weeks, clean the interior every two months and give it a wax treatment at least twice a year.
Inspect the lights
Calling the lights an overlooked issue would be a bit far-fetched – every driver is aware of their importance. However, since they don’t have an immediate effect on the vehicle’s performance and, more often than not, can be spotted only outside the vehicle, light issues end up being noticed very late. Do your best to right this wrong and ask some of your friends to help you with monthly light checks.
Enlist the car for a full inspection
Last but not least, you have to be aware that in spite of all of your experience, you are (probably) not a mechanic so you are not the best person to meddle with more complicated systems like the battery, the engine and so on. The issues we’ve covered above are perfectly fine for a casual driver. But, to be absolutely certain the vehicle works properly, take it to annual full inspection at some reliable mechanic shop.
So, there you have it – six tips that should help you to take better care of your favorite four-wheeler. All you have to do now is take them into serious consideration and do your best to keep your car in the best shape possible. Your family’s safety is not something to be bargained with.