Next to a home, a car can be the second biggest investment anyone can have. And because you don’t want the value of that investment to drop significantly in a short span of time, you do your best to keep your vehicle in tip top shape. Regular maintenance is paramount, not only to keep the car running smoothly but also increase its longevity and save you costly headaches in the future. Take better care of your car by following these essential maintenance tips.
Read through the car’s manual
This step is one of the most important, yet also one of the most overlooked. The manual contains all the relevant information you need to maintain your vehicle. It tells you the recommended maintenance schedule for when things like oil, tires and other components should be changed so that you can avoid costly problems.
Check your air filter
Faulty air filters are behind many car problems. Failing to change it can lead to potential AC problems and may affect the quality of air produced inside your car. Be sure to have the air filter changed after every 12,000 miles or every 12 months. You can either do it yourself or bring your car to your trusted mechanic.
Inspect the fluids
Checking the car’s brake fluid, anti-freeze, transmission fluid, oil, and power steering fluid should be done on a regular basis. Leaks can occur at any time, so it is best to check the fluid levels often. Besides taking a look at the levels, it is also recommended to have the color of these fluids inspected. If they are not placed in a see-through plastic tank, you may want to use a dipstick to see if the fluids are contaminated.
Change your oil regularly
Another important step every car owner should follow is to change the oil regularly. Not only will it help protect your engine, but it will help boost your gas mileage. Oil changes should be done every three to six months or every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Also feel free to refer to your car’s manual for accurate recommendation. Don’t forget to change the air filter, too. Clean oil should go hand in hand with a clean air filter.
Check your battery
You don’t want your battery to run out when you need it most. Avoid getting stuck with a dead battery by making it a habit to check your battery. Never ignore the low battery indicator on the dashboard. Also take a closer look and see if there is any mineral build up around it or if there’s a leak.
Rotate your tires
Your tires go through a lot of rough road conditions and are prone to wear and tear. To make them last longer, the easiest trick is to rotate them every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. This usually works because tires do not wear the same in every location on the vehicle. Rotating them every now and then will help balance the wear and increase the life of your tires. Be sure not to skip this very important step.
Keep the tires inflated
Tires that are not sufficiently inflated are less likely to last. This also negatively impacts your gas mileage and can decrease it by 10 percent. Inflating tires is one of the easiest maintenance tricks so there’s no reason you should skip this step. Check your tire pressure every time you go for a gas refill. Also, monitor your tire treads to determine if they need a replacement.
Check your brakes
Warning signs from your brakes should never be ignored. Faulty brakes are one of the reasons behind crashes. Check your brake fluid and ensure it’s always at the right level. Also, take notice of its color. If it’s a little too dark, it may already require replacement.
With the increasing cost of fuel and repairs, the last thing you want to worry about is a broken car. Keep your car in perfect condition at all times by following these maintenance tips.
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