For you drivers out there who absolutely love your cars, here are some quick reminders about how to provide the “tender, love and care” your car needs to live a long life. Properly maintaining your vehicle will save you a lot of money by avoiding having to replace expensive parts and buy a new car altogether.
1. Schedule Regular Oil Changes
Oil is the lifeblood of your car. If it is too low or dirty, your car’s health is going to suffer. How often should you change your oil? It will differ slightly with each vehicle and the type of oil your car uses. A good rule of thumb, however, is to change it every 3,000-5,000 miles. Have your mechanic demonstrate how to properly check your oil, as well as check for any oil leaks.
2. Top-Off Fluids Regularly
In addition to oil, your car needs several other fluids to keep it working the way it should. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and other fluids should be checked at least once a week. If you are unsure about how to check them, your mechanic will be happy to help.
3. Maintain Tire Pressure
Maintaining appropriate tire pressure will not only improve your gas mileage and handling but can greatly improve your safety as well. It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure every month. You can keep a tire pressure gauge in your glove box and use it to make sure your tires are properly inflated.
4. Listen to the Warning Signals
It’s a good idea to check your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with what each dashboard light means. If you see a light on your dashboard illuminate, don’t ignore it! Be quick to take your car to the “doctor,” that is, your mechanic. Your car is trying to tell you that something is wrong. Ignoring a needed repair could cause significant damage to your car and lead to costly repairs.
A Small Investment Brings Big Returns
If you regularly invest a small amount of time into maintaining your car properly, you will save big in the future — both in terms of time and money. Taking preventative measures is always the best way to actively keep your car on the road.