As a driver and car owner, you know how important it is to maintain your vehicle. But with a hectic schedule at work and other things you need to do, car maintenance usually drops down your priority list.
Did you know that caring for your car will not just help it perform better, but can also mean money in the bank for you?
From better fuel efficiency to sustaining the value of your car, here are car maintenance tips to consider this 2018.
1. Follow your service schedule
Look into your owner’s guide and figure out when your scheduled car maintenance services are. A scheduled maintenance usually involves checking or replacing parts like wires, spark plugs, and timing belts.
Other major parts may also need replacement to keep your car running safely and efficiently. Although this will cost you a significant amount of money, scheduling a maintenance service through your dealer will guarantee genuine parts and expertise as well as keep your service history in line and updated. This can be beneficial if you choose to sell your car in the future.
2. Check your fluids
Even if you do not know how to change your wiper fluid, antifreeze, power steering or coolant, you must know how to properly check those fluid levels. You may look at the tank level directly or perhaps use dipsticks or gauges to check the current levels against a notch indicating optimal levels.
Even if the manual does not have much to say about how to check your antifreeze or transmission fluid, do not be afraid to open the hood and see if you can find it. When you are running low, add more or have it changed. And if you notice a leak, never ignore it — have an expert mechanic check your vehicle right away.
3. Replace the air filter
The air filter is the equivalent of your car’s lungs. Replacing clogged air filters can improve your car’s acceleration and fuel economy.
Getting to the air filter can be trickier depending on the car you have, but replacing it routinely is crucial. The manual can give you a mileage estimate for how often you must replace your engine air filter. But if you can easily get to it, you must check it. When it is dirty, replace it immediately.
If you hit the road often, your engine air filter will become dirtier faster than those who drive only on the weekends. If the manual does not indicate how to replace the air filter, let an expert do the job for you. Do not attempt to replace it if you are not capable to prevent further damage.
4. Check the battery
These days, most car batteries do not require much when it comes to maintenance. However, you must know where they are located. Routinely check them to ensure that it they are not leaking and there is no buildup on the contacts.
If you notice some buildup, clean it off using a battery cleaning brush. So make sure to have one in the trunk. It is also important for you to have a reliable battery tester or jump starter. This way, you do not have to call or wait for someone to give you a jump.
5. Get an oil change
This must be included in your car maintenance checklist because this is among the maintenance services that help keep your car running smoothly. Moreover, if you fail to maintain it, your warranty can become void and can even cause your engine to fail, costing you thousands. So make sure to check your owner’s manual to know when you are due for service.
Keeping your car’s cooling system properly functioning is crucial as well. This is a great time to have a system flush. Getting the hoses, pump, belts, and fluids checked is also a part of proper cooling system maintenance.
6. Replace the windshield wipers when necessary
When the view gets streaky and blurry, you must consider replacing your windshield wipers instantly. Wipers are affordable and easy to replace so you should not wait until you can’t see anything through your windshield.
Your visibility is vital each time you hit the road. Apart from replacing the wipers, give your windshield a cleaning inside and out as well.
7. Rotate your tires
Your manual will inform you how often you should get your tires rotated and balanced. Rotating your tires will guarantee even wear and a smooth drive. This will also make your tires last longer.
Apart from tire rotation, alignment is also crucial. If you often fight your car to keep it straight, have your alignment checked and fixed immediately.
Moreover, keep your tires properly inflated. Remember that properly inflated tires last longer and are safer. Gas mileage can also be improved by up to 3% if you keep your tires inflated to the right pressure.
8. Change your Spark Plugs
When your spark plug is covered in buildup or has worn out already, your engine is not working efficiently. This will not just cost you money in fuel but also lead to a breakdown. Always follow your manual’s recommendation for changing spark plugs.
Remembering which schedule maintenance is approaching and when it should be done can be an overwhelming task. But having a car maintenance checklist can make it a lot easier. Bear in mind that regular preventative maintenance is the single thing you can do to keep your ride safe as well as save money on costly repairs later on.