Properly maintaining your car is key not only to keep it in working condition for a long time but also to ensure your safety and that of everyone else on the road. So, be sure to carry out the appropriate upkeep whenever necessary. But here’s the question, how do you maintain a car the right way? To answer that, read these seven pro tips for car maintenance you can follow.
1. Read Owner’s Manual
Now, before you go over your car and do anything with it, make sure to scan the owner’s manual first. It contains all the specifics you need to know about your vehicle as well as manufacturer recommendations. This includes what fuel you should use, how often you have to change your oil, what tire pressure is optimal, and everything else essential. Remember, you can’t handle all cars the same way – what suits one may not be good for the other. If careless, the wrong maintenance procedures may actually damage your ride or void the warranty. This is the absolute last thing you’ll ever want.
2. Wash and Clean Your Car
Washing and cleaning your car is really a no-brainer. But this still needs to be mentioned as there are people out there who overlook and underestimate its importance. Beyond just making your ride more presentable, it also serves another purpose. Just like how you need a bath after a day out, your car does, too. It is exposed to various elements like the sun, salt, grease, snow, and, worst, bird poop on a daily basis. All these may not have an immediate effect. But don’t be fooled. When left unattended, you may find yourself surprised to see some damage to your car’s paint, affecting its appearance and selling value. Always remember to regularly wash your car inside-out and try to deep clean it from time to time. It’s usually dirtier than you’d expect.
3. Check Tire Pressure
Using an accurate tire pressure gauge, inspect the inflation pressure of every tire on your car. Do this at least once a month or before going on long road trips, making sure the tires are cold before checking. If your tires are underinflated, pump some air into them. This will help your tires last longer and reduce gas consumption on your car. However, never overinflate, as it increases the risk of your tires blowing out during a drive. Refer to the owner’s manual to determine the right tire pressure.
4. Change Engine Oil
Without engine oil, your vehicle will never run and function as it should, as oil is what keeps the engine lubricated and going. Following this, monitor your car’s engine oil and refill it using the suggested type as directed in the owner’s manual. Changing the oil isn’t hard at all, and you can do it yourself. However, if you’re unsure or don’t have the time, you can always take it to a service center. They’ll know what to do.
5. Refill the Fluids
More than just engine oil, there are more essential fluids your car requires. This includes brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. Look over everything and see if they’re at the optimum operating level. Moreover, double-check for any leakage in your car. If you see even a tiny trickle, fix it as soon as possible. Don’t wait for it to worsen or until something bad occurs.
6. Make Sure the Brakes are Working
One of the most common reasons for traffic accidents is faulty brakes. In order to avoid that, look after your brakes and perform all the needed maintenance. Replace worn-out linings and pads and shabby rotors and drums. In addition, don’t forget to check on the brake fluid and top it off accordingly. You can do it yourself or have professionals go through it. It’s advisable to repeat this process twice a year or more if you drive plenty of miles. Stay safe on the road.
7. Check on Your Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid
Suppose you’re driving during torrential rains or heavy snow. What do you think would happen if your car’s wipers aren’t working? Your visibility will decrease. Even worse, you may not see anything clearly at all if your windshield is completely covered in rain or snow. You don’t have to be a driver to know this is dangerous. So, if your wipers aren’t functional, it’s best to fix them immediately. No worries here because it’s pretty simple and cheap. Also, be careful not to run out of windshield washer fluid. It’s just as equally important.
The Bottom Line
There’s no need for you to be a car enthusiast to keep your vehicle in good condition. Maintaining your ride is easy enough as long as you know what you’re doing and when you should do it. Just take note: always read your car owner’s manual first before operating your vehicle.