Chances are you haven’t been spending enough time under the hood of your car.
You probably spend most of your time on your vehicle between destinations – so why wouldn’t you pay more attention to its maintenance? Don’t underestimate the importance of preventative maintenance.
What is car maintenance?
Ensure your car is regularly checked and serviced. Some maintenance procedures are easy enough to be done on your own.
This will optimize the performance of your car while saving you money over time in repairs. Bankrate suggests a year of oil changes would cost approximately $120, whereas the cost of an engine replacement would be about $4000.
Here are 10 basic car maintenance tips for all car owners:
General Car Maintenance
1.Read Your Owner’s Manual
Let’s be honest, most people are not jumping at the chance to read the instruction manual that comes with any new purchase. For your own good, read your owner’s manual.
Get familiar with your vehicle, and how to properly care for it. Your owner’s manual is your primary resource when it comes to car maintenance tips.
2.Learn How To Do A Basic Inspection On Your Own
Basic knowledge will give you the proper tools to properly inspect your vehicle. You will also be capable of simple maintenance procedures that could easily be done on your own.
This will save you money on unnecessary visits to the garage. You will also mitigate potential damages as a result of not periodically performing these simple procedures.
3.Wash Your Car Regularly
Cleaning the exterior of your car on a routine basis will help protect its finish. An accumulation of dirt and salt could cause rust or corrosion.
4.Check Your Brakes
Make sure you have your brakes checked annually by a mechanic. This will ensure the pads aren’t worn down and you will have an idea of when to replace them.
What happens if you don’t have your brake pads checked regularly? Once the brake pads wear away, there will be contact between the brake rotor and the metal backing from the brake pad. This will damage the rotor, and render your brake unsafe for use.
According to Bankrate, it would cost about $150-375 replacing brake pads or shoes, while it could cost you up to $600 replacing rotors or drums.
5.Check Your Tires
Perform routine checks on your tires for air pressure and tread depth. It is recommended to do this monthly. Figure out the recommended inflation pressure for your vehicle. Use a pressure gauge for each tire to determine its inflation pressure.
Tires will wear down over time. Driving on worn out tires can be incredibly dangerous, making your vehicle prone to a tire-related accident. A tread depth gauge will help you determine if your tires are due for a change.
Rotating your tires will allow for an even distribution of wear across your set. This will facilitate using your set of tires up to its fullest potential.
Car Maintenance Tips Under The Hood?
7.Check Your Battery
Check the battery’s terminals, contacts, and cables regularly. Make sure they are clean and free of any signs of corrosion. Ensure the cables are securely attached. If not, it will hinder the current passing through the electrical system.
8.Check The Engine Oil
Once in a while, your engine oil will need to be flushed out and completely changed. In between oil changes, you will need to look under your hood to see if your engine is running low on oil.
This oil lubricates different parts of the engine that would otherwise wear away. It is important to perform these routine checks to ensure your engine runs smoothly.
9.Check On The Fluids
It is fairly simple to check the fluid levels of your vehicle. Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to see the tank level. If not, there should be a dipstick or gauge for you to pull out that would indicate your fluid level. If your fluid level is low, you could easily add more.
The types of fluids you will encounter:
- Wiper fluid
- Power steering
10.When In Doubt, Visit Your Mechanic.
Try to keep these car maintenance tips in mind. Of course, some preventative maintenance procedures are quite simple and can be easily done on your own. But, don’t skip the routine car inspection by a trusted mechanic.