Vehicle maintenance is essential to a car’s performance, making it a top priority for car owners. Maintenance ensures you and your passengers’ safety as well as the safety of other drivers. According to 2018 data from IIHS, 33,654 vehicles were involved in fatal car crashes, which could have resulted from inadequate maintenance. So, if you want to know more about keeping your car in top condition, then consider the following points.
- Inspect and Maintain Your Tires
Tire maintenance is an essential aspect of car ownership that you must be on top of to maintain your vehicle. Weak tires can cause fires and blowouts, compromise your road grip, and make it harder for you to decelerate. Therefore, you need to care for and check your tires regularly to ensure that they are roadworthy. To do this, several auto maintenance experts suggest regular inspections to determine if your tires need servicing. Check your tire pressure with a pressure gauge at least monthly if you live in average temperatures. Residents in extreme climates should perform these checks more often. Also, keep your tires inflated because flat tires are a hazard for drivers. It would be best if you also changed your wheels and tyres every 5,000 to 10,000 miles to prevent driving around with worn-out tires that can cause accidents.
- Wash Your Car
Car washing is perhaps the most popular and frequent vehicle maintenance routine for several owners. Your vehicle is at the mercy of elements such as bird droppings and dust, which deprive it of looking perfect as you go about your daily routine. Therefore, please make time to personally wash your vehicle or send it to a professional car wash to receive a thorough cleaning. Car washing can prevent vehicle damage by flushing away impurities like mud and dirt that damage your car’s paint job. Also, it can improve your safety by removing debris from your windshield, side mirrors, rear window, and tires. Regular car washing also preserves your vehicle’s value by preventing dull paint job, rust, etc., and can contribute to you getting a great deal on your car should you decide to sell in the future. Prioritize washing your vehicle at least weekly to maintain its aesthetic appeal and value for optimum results.
- Change Your Oil
It would help to prioritize regular oil changing because it is crucial to your car’s proper functioning. Consider checking your oil monthly and replacing it based on your car owner’s manual recommendations, typically after 3,000 to 5,000 miles. You can check your oil personally or take your car to a service center. Should you opt for a personal check, learn all the necessary and proper fluid draining steps, set oil at the correct level, and dispose of old oil. Inconsistent and improper oil changes can cause you to fill up on gas more often, so prioritize consistent oil changes to better gas mileage. Also, oil change reduces engine wear and buildup. Excess dirt and sludge buildup in engines are standard with car usage, so change your oil to make your engine cleaner and more smooth-running. Oil changes also lubricate your engine and extend its life. So prioritize regular oil changes on your car maintenance checklist.
- Change Your Air Filter
Your vehicle’s air filter prevents debris and sand from entering your engine from outside. Therefore, regularly changing your air filter can increase fuel efficiency. Some studies indicate that changing a dirty air filter can boost the mileage on older cars by up to 14%. New air filters can also increase acceleration in most modern vehicles by 6-11%. You also benefit from reduced emissions by changing your air filter. New filters improve airflow to your engine, reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and efficiency. Several mechanics suggest swapping out your air filter every 15,000 miles, although this varies based on your location and how often you drive. As such, replace your air filters regularly to maintain your car by prolonging its engine life and efficiency.
- Check and Replace Other Fluids
Aside from your engine oil, it would help if you kept several other fluids at appropriate levels to keep your car functioning properly. These fluids are your coolant, power steering, brake, and transmission fluids. Your vehicle’s coolant works to keep everything cool in your engine by absorbing heat from combustion and friction and dissipating it through the radiator. Experts recommend checking this fluid every 50,000 miles for leaks to maintain the correct coolant level that prevents overheating. Brake fluids also need checks because several modern car brakes are hydraulic, so fluid connects the pedals to the brakes. This brake fluid gets contaminated with water, which makes brake lines rust. So change this fluid every two years to prevent abnormalities when bringing your car to a halt. Your power steering fluid, which allows you to steer easily, also needs replacement every two years to get rid of dust and debris. Finally, your transmission fluid lubricates and cools components inside your transmission. This fluid’s corruption causes strange noises and rough shifting in your gears, valves, and clutches. As such, check your transmission level with a dipstick to inspect the fluid level and change it if it is dark, cloudy, or gritty for optimum vehicle maintenance.
- Regular Professional Servicing
Automobiles come in varying brands and types with several tricky parts, designs, and structures. Therefore, although you can handle some minor car issues at home, several others require an experienced and professional eye to address. Your mechanic visits are a preventive maintenance measure. That’s because you are being proactive about keeping your car in top shape instead of reacting to problems that need solving before they arise. Many automobile experts agree that this proactivity can save you from extensive and costly repairs in the future. Also, having the mechanics service your vehicle is a more convenient option than personal servicing if you don’t have the time. It would help to schedule mechanic visits at least once every six months to keep your vehicle in optimum condition.