Preventative Maintenance Every Vehicle Needs
Regular preventive maintenance is one of the best things you can do as a car owner to keep your ride on the road. You can save money on repairs in the future with basic upkeep since it gives you the chance to catch any minor issues before they become serious problems. Use this handy guide to ensure your car gets the preventative maintenance every vehicle needs.
Do a Visual Inspection
Start with giving your car a visual inspection. Usually, once a month will do. Keep your eyes peeled for anything that looks out of the ordinary. Check to ensure all the lights are working — from the headlights to your turn signals.
Inspect each tire for changes in the tread. If the treads look a bit low, use a gauge to check your tire pressure against your car’s factory-recommended settings. Peek under the hood and under the car for loose hoses or anything dangling where it shouldn’t be. If anything looks out of the ordinary, don’t ignore it. Bring it to the shop for a professional opinion.
Check Your Fluids
Learn to check your fluids. Even if you don’t know how to change your car’s fluids, it’s essential to understand how to check its levels. Modern vehicles have a variety of different fluids for different purposes, including antifreeze or coolant, which is vital to engine performance.
Some components have a tank, such as your windshield washer fluid, where you can see levels directly. If not, the fluid will most likely have a dipstick, including power steering fluid, that you can pull out and compare current levels against optimal ones. If you’re running low, add more or get it changed. Never ignore signs of a leak.
Check Your Oil
While oil is technically a “fluid,” it’s so crucial to the preventative maintenance that we’ve put it in its own section. Check not just your car’s oil levels but its color as well. The color of your engine oil is an excellent indicator that it’s time for an oil change. Muddy or murky oil means that it has broken down and can no longer protect the engine components.
One of the most common questions car owner’s ask is, “How often should I change the oil?” Today’s vehicles are engineered to run up to 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. Check your owner’s manual for your factory recommended routine.
Clean Your Battery Contacts
Most car batteries made today don’t require much maintenance. However, you should know how to find it. Make sure that your car battery isn’t leaking, and check for mineral and corrosive buildup on the metal contacts. Keep these metal posts clean by using a solvent and brush designed for the job. You can find an inexpensive cleaning kit at any auto parts shop.
When you invest a bit of time and money into your car’s preventative maintenance, it will run well and last for years. Get out to the garage today and give your vehicle the TLC it deserves.
Image via Flickr by Robert Couse-Baker | CC BY 2.0 | Cropped from original