When it comes to cars (and every other machine), it’s never a good idea to leave minor issues unattended. Car repair bills can burn a hole in your pocket. And if you’re not careful, you’re bound to have a bigger hole in yours.
Seemingly small problems can snowball and cause your car to break down. When it does, you have to cough up more money to get everything fixed. But car repairs can be avoidable. Basic maintenance and monitoring will go a long way to extending the life of your car.
Read the tips below for a quick guide to maintaining your car.
Replace Your Fluids
Your fluids keep your engine running smoothly. These include engine oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, radiator coolant, among others. Always keep them in sufficient levels.
For example, measure the level of your engine oil with a clean dipstick. If the oil level in between the two marks on your dipstick, you’re good to go. But if it’s below the bottom mark, you need to add some.
Your owner’s manual will tell you how many times you need to change your fluids. But it’s always best to check if it is still clean.
Clean Your Windshield and Windows
Every time you drive (and even when you don’t), your windshield and windows will collect all kinds of dirt and mess, including bugs, animal waste, dust, and water stains. Some mess you can clean with your wipers; others need a more thorough cleaning.
Clean the mess accumulates and obstructs your vision. Lessen your risk of getting into an accident.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Simply ensuring that your tires are properly inflated can make them last longer, saving you hundreds of dollars of tire change expenses. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper tire pressure of your car.
While you’re at it, inspect your tires for any damage or wear. You should also check if they’re aligned correctly. Loose tires can negatively affect your driving experience and possibly cause an accident.
Inspect the Three B’s
Your brakes, belts, and batteries should be inspected regularly. While your batteries demand less maintenance, they’re prone to breaking down in the most inopportune times. Keep a record of when you last changed it and regularly check for buildups and leaks. To be safe, always keep an extra battery in your trunk.
Disregarding odd noises coming from your car can be a fatal mistake. Chances are, there are underlying conditions why you’re hearing them. This applies to your brakes and belts. Both can wear overtime, especially if you constantly overuse them. Squealing brakes and belts may indicate wear, so get them checked and replaced immediately.
Keep Your Interior Tidy
A comfortable drive isn’t complete if your car interior is filthy. Just like the exterior, you have to regularly tidy up the insides of your car. Leaving trash and empty food containers can attract insects that may get into small, sensitive places in your car and cause problems.
Don’t let the gunk accumulate under the hood. Clean your engine, but don’t make the mistake of using a pressure washer. Your engine is composed of many gears; some of which are delicate, easily damaged. A simple degreaser spray and a durable microfiber towel to clean your car will be enough.
Don’t Wait until It’s Too Late
Prevention is better than cure. Don’t wait until your car decides to give up on you. Remember to keep everything clean, well-oiled, well-functioning, and properly inflated and aligned. Regular maintenance will save you the trouble of public transportation and the bank-breaking cost of car repairs.