You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to know that taking care of your vehicle is important. Still, many people don’t understand the essentials to pay attention to in order to maintain a car. This post will go into detail regarding tips you should be aware of and how they can help you take better care of your car moving forward.
Check and Replace Brake Pads
You need your car to get around, but if you can’t stop safely, you’ll be driving constantly at risk. Your car’s brake system will likely have ceramic brake pads that wear down over time. It’s a good idea to have these checked anytime you get an alignment or anything else done to your tires.
Rotate Tires and Maintain Tire Pressure
Tires aren’t the flashiest part of your vehicle, but they are one of the most important. Rotating your tires is the practice of moving your tires to a different location on the vehicle in order to maintain even wear between them. This extends the life of a set of tires. It is also important to maintain tire pressure at appropriate levels to lower the risk of flat tires and improve your fuel economy.
Check Tire Tread Depth
Staying with tires, tread depth is a basic measurement for the life of your tires. They can be inflated just fine but if the tires are bald, a little bit of rain can feel like driving on ice. Your tires connect you to the road and the quality of that connection is dependent on the tread depth. Be sure you’re ready to get new tires when the time is right.
Check the Charge of Your Battery
Don’t risk finding yourself stranded with a dead battery in your car. While most batteries come with a warranty of five or six years, that doesn’t mean they won’t give out sooner. If your battery dies in its third year while you’re in a rush to get somewhere, you won’t care about the warranty as much as missing your appointment.
Replace Wiper Blades
This is a part of the car that can easily go overlooked, but may cause huge problems when you really need them. If your wiper blades are not prepared to give you a safe view of the road during a serious storm, you won’t be able to see what’s in front of you. In the event this does happen, it is best you pull over and wait out the rain or call for help. An even better option is to check if your wiper blades are in good condition and replace them if they’re not.
Change Your Oil and Oil Filter
Changing the engine oil is one of the more well-known car maintenance necessities. The oil is essential to ensure that your engine is running without excess friction. Check your vehicle’s manual to see what kind of oil you should be using and how often they recommend you get it changed. Many engines should have the oil changed between 3,000 to 5,000 miles but some now can travel up to 7,000 miles between oil changes.
Replace Spark Plugs
The spark plugs emit electricity that allow your vehicle to get going. If you have poor acceleration, lower than normal fuel economy, or trouble starting your car, you may have a problem with you spark plugs. Don’t wait that long to check them and address the problem. These need to be replaced every 60,000 – 75,000 miles but it is best you get them check every 30,000.
Check Hoses and Belts
The hoses and belts are essential to the function of the engine and should absolutely be checked if you are purchasing a used car. If these are not checked and maintained it could cause the engine to quit working completely or overheat. Hoses should be replaced every four years and the belts should be changed at 36,000(V-belt) and 50,000(serpentine belt) miles. Regular checks should be done regardless of mileage.
Replace the Air Filter
More debris gets into your air filter as you put more miles on your car. This can disrupt the effectiveness of the filter and may result in debris getting into the engine. You should think about replacing the air filter at least every 20,000 miles, but should have it checked anytime you get the oil changed anyway. If you drive in places with low air quality, you will need to have this changed more often.
Replace Broken Headlights and Indicator Bulbs
This is an important part of your vehicle that too many drivers leave unchecked and unattended. If a headlight is out or if blinkers and brake-lights aren’t working appropriately, you are putting yourself and other drivers at risk. The moment you notice you have an issue with one of these lights you should get it fixed.
Do not take this list as an order of importance. Each one of these maintenance checks are essential to the function of your car and your safety while you’re driving. One of these tips doesn’t make up for the neglect of another. Take care of your car so it can last and take care of you.