Your car is an important part of how you get around. You use it to get to school, work, errands, and road trips. And, if you purchased your car, it’s likely one of the biggest investments you’ve made thus far in life – barring a house purchase. However, when you get a car, it’s important to remember that you need to maintain it. One report suggested that college students typically don’t change the oil in their cars more than 2-3 times a year. Poorly maintained cars will end up costing you more and may result in bigger problems down the road – leading to you needing to buy a brand-new car faster than you’d prefer.
With that said, there are steps you can take to help you extend the life of your car. With a little time, effort, money, and planning, you can keep your car in tip-top shape for miles to come. Read our tips below for keeping your car running smoothly.
General guidelines for car maintenance:
Get regular service.
If you want your car around for a long time, regular professional service appointments are a must. Not only can regular service help extend the life of the core components of car, they can also stop minor issues from becoming serious ones.
Although maintaining your car can be a little expensive, don’t put off service for your car to try and save money. This practice might end up costing you in the long run.
If you’ve gotten a new car recently, you may even be eligible for a free service. Whether you need Audi service in Spokane or Hyundai service in Fresno, it’s important to keep up with those regular appointments.
Change your oil every 5,000 miles.
Besides getting your oil changed, you should also start checking it regularly as well. You should check your oil levels every other fill-up at the gas station. To check your oil level, you simply need about three minutes of time, enough light, and a clean paper towel.
Replace air filters every 12,000 miles.
Air filters are a very easy replacement to make. When you regularly replace this vehicle component, you can promote the health of your car’s engine, reduce pollution, and increase fuel efficiency.
Rotate tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles
Front and back tires wear out differently. By rotating your tires regularly, you can equalize the wear patterns of both rear and front tires.
Clean your windshield.
Your visibility is crucial on the road. You need to be able to see properly so you can anticipate changes and dangers. Without adequate vision and a clean windshield, you’re possibly creating a dangerous situation for yourself and others. Any time you stop at a gas station to fill up, take the time to clean your windshield. It’s a little extra effort but you’ll be glad when you can see at night and in very bright sunshine.
Check your tire pressure.
Proper tire pressure is incredibly important. Both over-inflated and under-inflated tires can result in you having worse car handling and may increase the chance of experiencing a dangerous blow out while on the road. Poorly inflated tires are three times as likely to be the reason a serious accident occurs.
On the other hand, when tires are at the right pressure, they can improve your car’s fuel efficiency and extend the overall life of your tires. Your car’s ideal tire pressure should be indicated in your owner’s manual or listed on the door post or doorjamb.
Test the lights.
If a lightbulb or taillight goes out, not only can it be seriously dangerous – you could also be liable for a fix-it ticket. Every few months, test all the lights on your car.
Get an emergency car kit.
An emergency car kit should be stocked with jumper cables, a spare tire, and a first-aid kit. It’ll come in handy should you run into any issues on the road.
A car can be a huge blessing – especially if you are used to not having a car. However, when you get a car, whether it’s your first or your fifth, it’s critical that you spend time taking care of it. If you put a little effort into your vehicle, you’ll experience the benefits tenfold.