People often say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” but this is the last thing you want to do when it comes to your car. Vehicles need regular preventative maintenance to run smoothly and stay functional for as long as possible. Doing some maintenance on your own will save you time, money and a few headaches. The following are some important maintenance steps you can take to keep your car running in great condition.
Back to School
The first step of car preventative maintenance is fixing yourself. That is, drivers need to educate themselves about their car. This goes beyond just reading the manual or asking the neighbor their opinion. Car owners need to understand the different car components, how they interact and why they break or fail.
- Youtube has a nearly unlimited amount of amateur car enthusiasts who can teach you everything from oil changing to paint jobs. The eHow Auto Channel has an excellent tutorial collection available for reference.
- Online car maintenance forums offer good advice but also plenty of debate. Check out NPR’s popular Car Talk community forum for some practical advice.
- Learn more cars through NAPA AutoCare Center’s interactive car diagram
- Consider taking a basic car maintenance course from your local community college.
Remember, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to car trouble. Be proactive and perform regular checks of your car to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Perform Some Basic Preventative Maintenance Yourself
Performing basic maintenance for your car will increase your knowledge and save you money at the same time. Change your own oil every 3 to 4 thousand miles. Regularly check and fill up brake, transmission, power steering, windshield washer and antifreeze fluids. Check the battery’s color indicators to ensure proper functioning—blue means OK, red means add distilled water and white means charging is necessary. Check the air pressure of your tires once a month. Windshield wiper blades, engine belts and air filters can all be easily replaced.
You can prevent potential car problems by controlling how you drive. Racing over bumps or potholes, taking corners fast and slamming on the brakes all strains the car’s components. The faster you speed, the harder your engine works, and the more quickly it wears down. In addition to this, it is safer and more fuel-efficient. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy’s website.
Get Regular Check-Ups
All vehicle manufactures have set preventative maintenance schedules that you can use as guidelines to know when you need to take action to maintain your car. Even if your car isn’t showing signs of any problems, a specialist from Anchorage Auto Electric & Classic Muffler says it’s often a good idea to follow these schedules.Take advantage of professional mechanics’ experience and expertise to make sure your car is in excellent shape.
Vehicles are complex machines with different parts, systems and functions. You can extend your car’s life through educating yourself, performing some preventative maintenance on your own, driving carefully and getting regular check-ups.