Every car owner should understand the need to service their car every once in a while. Buying a car and not maintaining it is just futile! Similar to us humans, cars require nutrients(oils and filters) in order to stay on the road for a longer period of time. Caring for your car and keeping it in proper running order takes a little bit of effort, but you certainly do not need to be a mechanical whiz to keep your vehicle running well. One of the biggest problems is to be aware of what needs to be done and how often it should be done. If you know the basics about your car needs, then it will be easy for you to perform routine car maintenance. If you don’t, then to maximize the life and performance of your vehicle, here is a list of items you should check depending on the time and season.
Short Term Check-Ups
- Oil and Coolant Levels – It is a good idea to get under the hood and examine the oil and the coolant levels while the engine is cool, especially before any long road trips or every month. If there are low levels in any either of them, then it can lead to engine problems. If you’re doing that on your own, then refer to your owner’s manual to locate both on your vehicle.
- Air Filter – Be sure that your air filter is flowing properly and your engine’s air filter is what regulates the air that flows into your engine and keeps the debris out. This improves your fuel efficiency, decreases your emissions, and help to ensure the life of your engine. Go through your owner’s manual for instructions on how to do it at home.
- Tire Pressure and Tread Depth – Well-maintained tires are important for a safe, fuel-efficient ride. Do make it a habit to inspect your tires often and also check the pressure in your tires every month or before carrying extra loads or going on a trip. Don’t forget to check that of the spare!
- Headlights, Turn Signals, Brake, and Parking Lights – It is important that the lights in your car function properly even though it can be an item to overlook sometimes. Check both headlights if they are working properly and well-positioned when you are parked somewhere on a flat surface. Walk around your car and visually inspect both turn signals and your parking lights.
- Oil & Filter – The motor oil serves a whole slew of functions as it lubricates the moving parts, helps act as a sealant against debris, cools the engine, reduces wear and tear, and help prevent engine corrosion. It is important to clean your oil filter in order to keep your engine healthy. It totally depends on your car and what kind of oil you are using. Don’t forget to change the oil filter and oil every 3 months or after every 3,000 miles. New vehicles owner’s manual recommend changing the oil less frequently often between 5,000 miles to 10,000 miles. Have a professional check, if you are unsure.
- Rotate Tires – Rotating your tires will help extend the service life of your tires by evenly more balancing the tread wear, and help prevent noise and vibration problems. The tread wear patterns on your tires may vary between the front and back tires, or even from one side of the tread to the other.
- Wax Vehicles – Make sure to wax your vehicle every six months after washing as it won’t just keep shining but it will also help to keep both the paint in good shape and reduce the chance of rust. There are many environmental factors and irritants such as dust, sand, and salt that can build up that can cause microscopic damage. Waxing helps minimize these factors by forming a protective seal to extend your paint’s life.
- Transmission Fluid – Much like your engine oil, transmission fluid is a lubricant that helps to keep all of the moving parts inside of your transmission function properly. If you are driving an automatic or manual transmission vehicle, it is essential that you have your transmission fluid checked and changed.
- Transfer Case Fluid – Have the transfer case fluid checked according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation to make certain that it is properly filled and leak-proof. The transfer case is what shifts power from the transmission to the axles. Get in touch with a professional!
- Inspect Shocks and Struts – If you have been experiencing a lot of shocks and struts over bumps, then do inspect it to know if it is able to control the impact and rebound. These are essential parts of your auto’s steering system. It is better to have it inspected by a professional every 50,000 miles or bring your car to the shop if you notice any decrease in smoothness or loss of control when driving.
- Coolant Fluid Exchange – One of the most vital components in your car is the radiator that helps keep your car engine cool and functioning properly. Check on your coolant system that will help get rid of contaminants that can build up inside as well as ensure that your radiator is filled to a proper level.
There’s more to this post, so stay tuned up!