Don’t wait until it’s too late! Perform regular maintenance on your car.
Many drivers wait until they are experiencing problems or preparing for a long road trip to take their car to the service station for a routine checkup. This is an easy practice to get used to, but it could end up being an expensive choice. Taking your car in for frequent tuning can help keep small problems at bay before you’re stuck with expensive repairs.
If you have recently purchased a new car or are looking to take better care of the car you’ve had for years, consider the following:
Consult the owner’s manual for recommendations about how often you should have regular upkeep performed. Your car’s warranty could be at risk if you do not follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for scheduled maintenance. If you no longer have your car’s manual make a phone call to the dealership where your automobile was purchased, or download the manual from the Internet.
Know what to ask for upon arriving at your mechanic. Make a list of areas of your car that you would like to have checked before your appointment to have your car serviced. Cross off the items on your list as your mechanic checks them, and stay put until every item on the list has been taken care of. Some things you may want to have checked every visit include:
- Your car’s oil levels and the condition of the oil itself. Your oil should be changed every 3,000 to 7,000 miles. Your oil filter should be replaced with each oil change.
- The state of your tires and brakes. Tires should be balanced and rotated in order to keep you safe on the road, and brakes and brake pads can lose strength over time.
- The strength of hoses, belts and valves should be checked often. These seemingly small factors could lead to damage to parts of your car that are much more expensive to repair.
- The levels of all liquids including antifreeze, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer solution.
Assess the type of driving you do the most to obtain a deeper understanding of your car’s behavior. If you mostly drive in residential areas that require large amounts of stopping and starting, you may require oil changes more frequently. Driving without stopping leads to better gas mileage and is much gentler on your car, so take routes that require less stopping whenever doing so is possible.
Find a mechanic you can trust and stick with the same person. Having a consistent mechanic can save you money and make it easier for new or developing problems to be recognized. Keeping your car in the best shape possible doesn’t have to be complicated, and with the proper amount of routine maintenance it can be a walk in the park.