Expensive car repairs don’t just happen. Some of the most common and costly car repairs are a result of owner neglect. By performing or hiring someone else to perform routine maintenance on your car, you can keep your car running for many years, prevent costly repairs, and improve the safety of your car. By performing the steps below you can keep your car running good as new.
1. Read the Owner’s Manual
Yes, this little booklet is boring, but it’s been given to you for a reason. The owner’s manual of your car can tell you the specifics of how the make and model of your car works. An electric car will require different types of maintenance than trucks; your owner’s manual will help make you aware of those differences.
Some important information you can find in your owner’s manual includes how often you should perform certain maintenance tasks, how often you should change the oil, and what fluids and oils are suggested for your car. Even if you decide not to read the owner’s manual, don’t throw it away! This little book can save you a lot of trouble and help you get out of trouble if your car breaks down on the side of the road.
2. Inspect Your Car
This step may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people fail to look at their car on a regular basis. By inspecting your car you can keep dents and scratches from eroding your paint job, chips in glass from spreading, and flat tires. An inspection can also help you find out if your lights are still working and if any funny noises are coming from your engine. By doing this inspection, you can get ahead of the problem, and save yourself a lot of money.
By the way, you should do a quick inspection every time before your ride, and much thorough inspection when you are going to hit the road to do a long-range trip. And leave nothing to chance, also check out rental vehicles, even though they should be inspected and maintained regularly.
3. Check the fluids
Every part of your car works together to keep it running. A very valuable part of your car is the fluids. Your car contains oil, break, power steering, coolant, and wiper fluid. Most of these fluids are so easy and cheap to replace that you have no excuse for not doing this.
Even if you aren’t confident about changing fluids yourself, you can easily check for low levels and leaks and hire someone else to change them from you. Yes, this can cost you money, but thank of how much you will be saving by not having your car overheat or any other problems that these fluids prevent.
4. Change your oil regularly
Generally your car’s oil should be replaced every 5,000 miles; however, this may vary from car to car. The information for how often you need to change the oil in your particular car can be found in … you guessed it, the owner’s manual.
Oil keeps your engine running. If you let your oil get too dirty or run out completely your engine could be damaged. It’s a lot less money to change the oil in your car a few times a year than to replace the engine.
5. Rotate and align your tires
Rotating your tires helps your tires last longer because they will wear more evenly. Many auto shops even have deals where you can combine oil changes with tire rotations. You should also have your wheels aligned regularly. This will keep your car from drifting to one side and improves your fuel emissions, meaning you’ll spend less money on gas.
6. Change your spark plugs
Spark plugs also help keep your fuel emissions low. They are easy to replace and typically need to be replaced every 100,000 miles. A car that is slow to start or accelerate and has an increase in fuel consumption may need a spark plug change.
7. Check your car battery
Many auto stores will check your car battery for free, so what are you waiting for. Your car battery brings your entire car to life without it your car will not run. Make sure to keep your car battery clean and free from damage and leaks. Even with this regular maintenance, your car may experience battery trouble, so be sure to keep jumper cables in your trunk.
8. Check your wiper blades, seat belts, and children’s seats
Checking these three things can ensure car safety. Wiper blades deteriorate over time with use and in hot dry weather. Make sure to change your wiper blades whenever you use them and start seeing streaks. Doing this might just save your life. You can also prevent injuries and even death by making sure your seat belts are free from tears and latch correctly and by making sure children’s car seats are installed properly.
Regular maintenance of your car is a great way to save you time, money, and even lives. All of the things mentioned are easy to do yourself and relatively inexpensive to hire out. Even if you don’t want to spend your time fixing up cars, knowing about the things mentioned above can make your car run longer, improve fuel emissions, and improve car safety.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com