As a car owner, it is your responsibility to take care of your car and maintain its good condition. It may be time-consuming or tedious at times, but your car is likely one of the most significant investments you had made, so it would only be right to keep it in good order. Doing this will also allow you to minimize your repair costs and ultimately save more in the long-run, so the extra trouble is worth it.
Every year, many people visit the mechanic for some of the most common car repairs, which range in price depending on the complexity or severity of the issue. Most of these repairs, however, can easily be avoided through proper maintenance and care for your vehicle. Thus, there are huge benefits to taking some time regularly to check all the essential parts of your car to see if everything is functioning correctly.
Clean the Windshield
Keeping your windshield clean and clear will give you a better view of the road, which will prevent you from running into any hazard. If you are just coming back from a long drive, then it is the perfect time to give your windshield a clean since it is most likely filled with dust and other dirt. Using your wipers, in this case, may only cause all the dirt to smudge, making your road view worse. Thus, it would be better to use a sponge and cleaning products to be sure that you can get rid of all the dust that has accumulated.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Your car’s tire pressure can change as you drive long distances and the temperature fluctuates, so make sure to keep an eye on it regularly. Add air to tires that may be improperly inflated to avoid running into issues with stopping and to maximize your fuel efficiency. If your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), it will signal you at times when you need to inflate your tires.
To know the proper tire pressure for your car, you can check your owner’s manual or ask a mechanic for help. Knowing this is important since you will need to fill your tires up to this level and not up to the maximum pressure that the tires can carry.
Check Your Oil
Motor oil will keep your car running, so failing to check on this can lead to a road trip that abruptly stops midway. You can ask your mechanic for some help on how to check your oil and how often you need to change it, but generally, you should only use the same oil for up to 5,000 miles or 8,000 kilometres. Depending on your driving frequency, you can check the oil once a week or more often if you tend to drive long distances in a short time.
Clean the Interior
Most of the time, it is easy to overlook the inside of the car since most of the vehicle’s lifeblood is not there. The cleanliness of your interior, however, can be a significant factor in determining the value of your car if you ever decide to sell or trade it. Clean and vacuum the inside regularly to prevent dust from piling up, and check your CD player to see if it is still working since this may also affect the value of your car.
Look for Mechanics
Do not wait until you run into an issue with your car before finding a reputable mechanic to help you. From the start, look for nearby mechanics maybe on Service My Car who can put you in contact with experienced and reliable professionals. Once connected, you know who to call if you need expert help. Having a contact ready can keep your car in tiptop shape and prevent problems from becoming worse, effectively saving you money.
Maintain the Car Body
Taking care of your car body is equally important, so your vehicle looks neat and tidy. Try to get a car wash from time to time and double-check to see if there are any dents or scratches that can be fixed. Doing all these will also help you preserve the value of your car for a longer time, especially if you intend to exchange or sell it for a replacement in the future. Maintaining your car body may also extend the life of your vehicle, as long as you take care of its other parts as well.
Aside from your engine oil, you also need to check your transmission and differential oil levels, as well as your coolants, from time to time. Generally, you need to change the transmission oil every 30,000 miles, but this may differ from one car to another, so it will be best to check your manual. Although you have a larger interval for every time you change your coolants, it will still help to check on it from time to time. During the hotter season, you may need to change your fluids more often due to the temperature.
Change Your Air Filter
Similar to your oil supply, you also need to change your air filter once you reach about 12,000 miles of driving. Doing this will increase your fuel efficiency and prolong your engine life, so you do not run into problems in the future. If your area tends to be more dusty or polluted, you may need to change your air filter more frequently since the dust will accumulate more often.
Protect From the Weather
Extreme temperatures can be damaging to both the interior and exterior of your car, so you need to be careful during these days. In the hot season, always try to park your car in a shaded area or one that is covered. You can also apply UV protectant or have a window deflector screen ready for times when you cannot find a shaded parking area.
The colder weather can be equally dangerous and is known as one of the most common causes of car damage. Try to have a space in your garage that can protect your car from the cold. Getting a ton of snow on top of your vehicle can cause the inside and outside of your car to freeze, so try to keep it protected as much as you can.
You need to lubricate parts of your car regularly so they can work efficiently and perform at their best level. Start with the chassis of your vehicle since this takes up the bulk of your car. In terms of frequency, you can do this after every other oil change or when you reach about 10,000 miles. You will also need to lubricate other parts like the door hinges and seals, window tracks, and other moving parts to prevent any problems while on the road.
Service My Car Directory
One very useful online tool is Service My Car directory to assist check on the cost of servicing your car including a breakdown of the task. The Blog Chicks team have no hesitation in recommending this Australian car servicing directory: https://www.servicemycar.com.au