The average cost of a new car is quickly approaching the $50,000 mark. For this reason, taking care of a car has never been more important.
It’s obviously always been imperative for vehicle owners to go through the process of caring for a car. It’s a great way to increase the car lifespan of a vehicle.
But with some cars costing almost as much as homes these days, it’s never been as important to care for a car as it is now. There are certain car maintenance tips that you should put to good use as often as you can.
If you just bought a new car, you should make protecting a car a top priority. We’ve put together a list of auto maintenance tips that you should seek to abide by.
Here are 11 essential car maintenance tips that you should remember.
1. Get Into the Habit of Routinely Inspecting Your Car
Of all the different car maintenance tips on this list, this one is going to be the easiest. But you could also make the argument that it’ll be the most important one as well.
About once every week or two, you should walk around the exterior of your car and take a good, long look at it. This should help you to uncover any potential problems before they begin to spiral out of control.
You should try to find any scratches on your car that you might not have seen. You should also inspect the brakes on your car to see what kind of condition they’re in.
Ideally, you won’t find anything wrong with your car while you’re inspecting it. But even still, you’ll be taking the proactive approach to caring for a car when you get yourself into the habit of inspecting it.
2. Kick the Tires on Your Car Every So Often (and Check Their Air Pressure!)
While you’re inspecting your car, you should always sneak a peek at your tires. If they look like they might be a little bit low on air, you should aim to change that immediately.
If you’re riding around on tires that don’t have enough air in them, it could cause them to wear out sooner than expected. It could also take a toll on your car’s various components and reduce your gas mileage. And with gas prices soaring in recent months, that could spell big trouble for you.
You should do your absolute best to monitor the amount of air in your car’s tires and adjust them accordingly. It won’t take you long to do this, but it could work wonders for your vehicle as a whole.
3. Wash the Exterior of Your Car on a Regular Basis
Did you know that most experts recommend washing the exterior of your car about once every two weeks? Otherwise, you might start to see the paint on your car fade in no time.
You can wash your car yourself or you can take it to a car wash to have it cleaned. Either way, washing the outside of your car is going to leave it looking like new for a longer period of time.
You might also want to look into possibly investing in paint protection film for your car. The paint protection film cost will be well worth it once you see how well it works.
4. Clean the Interior of Your Car, Too
You could make the argument that cleaning the exterior of your car is more important than cleaning the interior of it. But that doesn’t mean that you should neglect the inside of it at any point.
Any time you clean the exterior of your car, you should also go ahead and vacuum out the interior of it. This will prevent dirt, dust, and food crumbs from building up in your car and make the upholstery in your car shine.
If you want to make clean-up easier, you can opt for fitted car seat covers. They come in various materials and can protect your interior from spills and stains. Debris will also be less likely to get trapped in between seats. These covers can be easily installed or removed and will fit your specific car model perfectly. Fur parents can even get covers that are intended for pets.
Remove the seat covers and wash them with soap and water to clean them. These also provide long-term protection for your interiors, as they can prevent damage like tears, scratches, and discoloration from regular use. You won’t have to compromise your safety because these covers are made to accommodate airbag systems as well.
5. Change the Oil in Your Car as Often as Your Manufacturer Recommends
For a long time, most experts advised vehicle owners to change the oil in their cars at least once every 3,000 miles. Many experts now say that it isn’t necessary to change the oil in a car that often. But they still suggest that people should change their oil regularly.
You should sneak a peek at what your car’s manufacturer recommends as far as oil changes are concerned in your owner’s manual. It’ll shed some light on how often you’ll need to replace your car’s oil to keep your engine humming along.
6. Keep a Close Eye on Your Car’s Battery
Is there anything more frustrating than going to start your car and realizing that the battery in it is dead? It’s enough to ruin a whole day and make you wish you had paid closer attention to your battery.
Your battery isn’t going to last forever. You’ll be lucky to get about five years out of it in most cases.
But you should be able to keep it around longer by monitoring it. You should also be able to extend its lifespan by not leaving your car’s lights in it when you’re not using it.
7. Replace Your Car’s Spark Plugs as Necessary
Most spark plugs are going to last you for a long, long time. You can get up to 100,000 miles out of them in some cases.
But the problem that some people run into when it comes to their spark plugs is that they’ll forget about the fact that they need to replace them at some point. This often leads to people driving around in cars with spark plugs that are well past their expiration dates.
You should look out for any of the signs that will show that spark plugs might be going bad. It’ll help you avoid driving around in a car that has bad spark plugs in it.
8. Monitor the Levels of the Various Fluids in Your Car
When you think about the fluids that are in your car, you probably think about the oil first and foremost. But this is far from the only fluid that is used under the hood of your car.
Your car also has the following fluids in it:
- Engine coolant
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
You should have these fluids topped off or replaced accordingly. Even putting something as simple as windshield wiper fluid in your car will lead to a much better driving experience each day.
9. Know When to Get Rid of the Belts in Your Car
The good news for car owners is that there aren’t too many belts in their vehicles these days. Serpentine belts and timing belts are the only two types of belts found in modern-day cars.
The bad news is that these two types of belts are very important and cannot be neglected. If a serpentine belt or a timing belt fails, it could cause some major problems and sideline your car until you’re able to replace it.
You should inspect your serpentine belt and timing belt occasionally to see if they’re showing any signs of wear and tear. You should also arrange to have them replaced ASAP.
10. Resist the Urge to Ignore the Check Engine Light in Your Car
If the check engine light ever comes on in your car, your first instinct might be to panic. It could mean that you have a major problem going on with your vehicle.
This could very well be the case. But at the same time, your car’s check engine light could also simply indicate that your gas cap isn’t on tight enough.
With this in mind, you shouldn’t ignore your car’s check engine light at any point. You should try to get to the bottom of whatever problem you might be having so that you can get the light to turn back off.
11. Find a Mechanic You Trust to Make Car Repairs
No matter how hard you work to put all the car maintenance tips listed here into practice, you’re eventually going to have issues with your car. You’ll need to have different parts repaired and/or replaced over time.
You might feel comfortable performing some auto repairs on your own. But you should also have a great mechanic in your corner ready to lend a hand at a moment’s notice.
There are more than 600,000 mechanics scattered throughout the country. Look around to see which ones exist in your area and try to track down one that you trust to work on your car.
Use These Car Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Out on the Road
When you first buy a car, you’re going to pay a pretty penny for it. So you should do everything in your power to make it last for a long time.
You should be able to accomplish this goal by utilizing these car maintenance tips. They’ll ensure that you’re able to keep your car around for the long haul.
Would you like to get your hands on more useful auto maintenance tips? Find them by browsing through the rest of our blog articles.