This year (and hopefully years following!), make sure you are routinely taking steps to
keep your car happy and healthy so it continues to be safe and reliable for your family and you can avoid possible breakdowns or costly repairs down the road. Follow these 12 simple steps to make your car last a lifetime and be less likely to run across emergency repairs.
1. Check tire pressure often
Tire pressure will fluctuate when temperature fluctuates, so it’s good to check it throughout the year. Plus, if you have a leak you will be the first to know about it.
2. Have your brakes checked when you get your tires rotated
Warn brakes can be hazardous to your health and the health of other drivers, plus they make your car very unsafe to drive. Have your brakes checked any time you notice unusual behavior as well.
3. Visibility is important
For the safety of you and other drivers around you, it is important that you be able to see out your windows and mirrors. So, fix those worn wiper blades, damaged or pitted windshields, and bubbling window tints. Also make sure your headlights are working properly and adjust their angle if needed.
4. Check all fluids regularly
Have them changed if they are dirty, low, or contaminated. The idea is to change these fluid before any of these things occurs, as rusting fluids can rust your car and cause costly damage that is otherwise easily prevented.
5. Check all rubber components, especially during hotter months or after long trips.
Rubber cracks and breaks in the heat, both from the engine and heat from the sun. Be sure to examine these often for any damage.
6. Have electrical systems examined at least once a year
A dead battery is never fun to run across, and oftentimes can be an indicator of a larger problem. Have your battery checked professionally when you take your car in for its routine maintenance and have it replaced if necessary.
7. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule
Know what mileage points require what maintenance on your vehicle. Even if you don’t think its time for a new timing belt, its better to be safe than sorry and avoiding manufacturers maintenance is asking for trouble in the future.
8. Organize your paperwork
It’s just plain nerve wracking when you can’t find your title or registration, so take a half hour to find all of your vehicle’s paperwork and get it organized in one place where you always know where it is.
9. Clean out your vehicle
Have you been carrying around something in your car just because you don’t have anywhere else for it or you just forget its there? Carrying unnecessary items in your car throughout the year burns a little bit more fuel than necessary. Clean it out for better efficiency and peace of mind.
10. Clean out debris areas
Over time, your car gathers debris – dirt, small rocks, and leaves at the top of your hood, air grates, trunk, and around the doors. Clean these out to make sure your car is clean and sealed, and avoid rusting.
11. Change oil and filters
This hardly needs explanation, but make sure you are following your manufacturers instructions on oil and filters. It is easy to put this task off year after year, but it can make a big difference in how long your car will continue to run.
12. Drive smarter
We all know it’s the right thing to do, but it sometimes takes reminding to not punch the gas, to slow down, and to be nicer to your car and gas tank overall. It could save you gas, costly maintenance, and possibly yourself.