Taking care of your car through routine Car Maintenance can help you extend the life of your vehicle and keep you safe. Many of the things that you should routinely check can be completed quite quickly. In just a matter of five or ten minutes, you can ensure that your car is ready to drive.
If you do find something wrong with the vehicle, this will be the perfect time to correct the problem or seek professional assistance in making a repair by catching these potential problems early. You can also save a lot of money on repair bills.
Every Time You Get Gas
Take a moment when you are at the gas station to see how the tire pressure is on your vehicle. Tires that do not have enough air can lead to blow-outs and make a car harder to handle while driving. Check your operator’s manual to see what the tire pressure should be for your car. Most gas stations have air machines where you can fill your tires if necessary.
About every 3 months or 3,000 miles, you are encouraged to check the following on your vehicle:
– Oil level
– Transmission fluid level
– Brake fluid level
– Washer fluid level
– Coolant level
– Exterior lights/bulbs
– Tire tread
– Battery cables
You want to make sure that all of your fluid levels are up to the recommended level. This helps your car operate at its best. If you notice that the oil looks dark or was exceptionally low, it is time to have it changed. If the transmission fluid smells burnt or looks really dark, speak with a mechanic.
Check the tire tread on your vehicle to make sure that the tires are good enough to drive. Look for bubbles and damage to the sidewalls. These can cause blowout on your tires.
Make sure that all of your bulbs and lights are working properly on your vehicle. This can also help prevent you from being ticketed for non-working lights.
Check to ensure that the battery cables are tight and free of corrosion and that hoses are secured and free from soft spots or bubbles.
In addition to the regular 3,000-mile checkups, you will also want to check the following:
– Have the oil changed
– Change the air filter and other filters in your vehicle
– Check your wiper blades – especially if a change of season is coming
– Rotate your tires for more even wear
– Have your chassis lubed while you are having your oil changed
At least once per year, you should check the following items on your vehicle:
– Have the brake system checked
– Replace brake pads
– Have wheels aligned
– Have the AC system tuned up
– Have the steering and suspension checked
– Search to see if there have been any recalls on your vehicle and have these repairs completed.
Your car manufacturer may have different guidelines for your vehicle. It is always wise to look at the recommendations by the manufacturer to keep your car in prime shape.
It is also important to check the mileage that is on your tires. Tires are rated for different mileage amounts before they should be replaced. Some are as low as 25,000 miles, and some can be as high as 45,000 miles. Make sure that you are familiar with the amount of mileage on your tires so that they can be replaced before they become too dangerous to use.
It is also important to check the tires for replacement, regardless of miles on them, if the car has been parked for a long time. Dry rot can occur on tires, and this can make it very unsafe to operate.
The Benefits Of Car Maintenance
When you actively maintain your vehicle, you can get the best performance and longest life from your car. Even older vehicles with high mileage can still perform well when they have been properly maintained.
Maintaining good tires can help your vehicle drive better, get better mileage, and avoid accidents. Proper brake maintenance is also crucial to safety. When you check things like your lights and signals to make sure they are working, you actively prevent accidents.
Many of these things can be done in your driveway or at the gas station. If you do not feel comfortable doing the checks or maintenance on your vehicle, stop by and have it checked by your local mechanic.
Taking care of your vehicle is also a great way to get the most from it when you sell it at a later date. A used vehicle that has been well cared for and a good history report behind it will sell for much more than a used vehicle that needs a lot of work as soon as it is purchased.
Always remember to have a VINsmart report run on the vehicle before making any vehicle purchase. A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, has been involved in a major accident, or has been listed as a totaled vehicle.
VINsmart reports will also give you a history of every time the vehicle has been registered as well as a history of the mileage. It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.
When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.