Maintaining your car is a very important step that every car owner must follow to increase the life of their car and make it look brand new all the time. Always follow your maintenance schedule and never ignore or delay it so that your car is always up to speed with its best performance.
Preventive maintenance is the best thing, which you can do for your car to increase its life and also save money on repairs. Never ignore your preventive maintenance as they may tell you when to change oil, check tire pressure, get inspection's, etc. The best guide you can get is from your owner's manual. However, we have provided some car maintenance tips to help you plan your schedule.
1. Check your Air Filter
Many car problems are due to faulty air filters attached to them and the wear caused by them. You should get your filters changed every 12 months or after 12000 miles, whichever comes fast. Don't ignore this maintenance as it will lead to problems in your AC and you are breathing unhealthy air in your car.
You can get the filter replaced at your mechanic away in the comfort of your garage in just 10 minutes. By doing it yourself, you can save the trip to the mechanic and also money. Here is how you can do it yourself:
- Firstly locate your filter, which is situated in the hood of the car. It is a black rectangular box, which has metal clips inside it. You can see it as soon as you pop the hood. If you don't find it there, then check the owner's manual for assistance.
- After locating it remove the casing and see how the filter is fit inside it. It is important to note the directions of the filter. Make a note of the directions of the filter and remove it.
- After removing it insert the new filter the same way, the old one was fit in the same direction. You will see that it will be perfectly fit touching the edges.
- Now close the metal clips after you are done. This way you have changed the air filter.
You can also clean out the debris from your new filter by using compressed air. This will improve the life of the filter and make it last longer.
2. Inspect Fluids and Tire Pressure Regularly
This is something, which you shouldn't ignore or delay at any cost. They are the main components of your car and also have a habit of wearing and running out too quickly. You should always pay extra attention to your tires and fluids. The task to check it takes about 10 minutes only.
All you need to do is open the engine when it's cooled down and detach the oil dipstick. Clean it thoroughly and put it back again. Now when you pull it, you will notice the oil stuck to it. This way you will know when to change the engine oil.
While doing this also check your power steering fluid level and also the hoses and belts for any signs of wear. After warming up your car check the transmission fluid level too.
Now for your tires, you can check the pressure by using a gauge and ensure that it has the correct pressure for all tires. Conduct this every other week for less wear to your tire.
We all have had our car batteries run out when we need it the most. We all faced the situation where we are left stranded on the road in the middle of the nights with just the lights of our cell phones. It isn't a pretty situation, is it?
To avoid this never ignore your low battery sign and always get it checked regularly. Check for leakage or any mineral build up around it. Clean it with a battery cleaning brush and do this whenever necessary.
4. Change your Spark Plugs
If you notice that your engine is not working efficiently, then the reason probably is the spark plugs. If not checked if they wear out easily and will be covered in a buildup. Check and get them replaced if needed. They usually last for 30,000 miles; see the owner's manual for an accurate idea as it is specifically written for your car and gives better details.
5. Get your Tires Rotated and Balanced
This is the easiest trick in the book to prevent wearing of tires and make them last longer, and the trick is to get them rotated once in a while. All tires do not wear at the same amount. So by rotating the front and rear tires, you balance the wear and make them more durable.
Ensure that the tires of your car are always perfectly aligned as non-aligned tires can make you lose control of your car and cause accidents.
6. Clean your Windshields and Replace the Wipers
The dirty windshield can prove to be a lot of hassle if they are not cleaned regularly and can cause accidents too. It is very important for the driver to get the perfect and clear view of the road for safe driving. If you don't clean them the dirt and the dirt gets accumulated there and can cause the quality of the glass to deteriorate.
If the rainy season is approaching, do check your wipers and get them replaced whenever needed. Using damaged wipers can cause scratches to the glass and obstruct your view, which will lead to replacing your windshield altogether.
7. Inspect and Replace Serpentine Belts
Thoroughly inspect your serpentine belts and check for wears. If these belts fail, they can cause damage to the other accessories to make the bill of your repair too high. It is recommended to get it checked every 60,000 miles but you should the owner's manual to get the best guide for your car.
8. Ensure the Working of the Cooling System
The hoses, which carry the engine coolant can damage very quickly as they transport high-pressure fluids, which can break if the pressure is too high. Also, the heater hoses face the same problem as they carry hot coolant to the passenger compartment.
The best way for efficient working create a perfect balance between them and get it checked regularly. And, why should you do so? The answer is getting this system replaced would cut deep into your pockets. So the smart choice would be to inspect them for any damage and taking action immediately.
9. Check your Brakes
Movies have a scene of brakes failing to cause the car crashing into places. While we might not read much into this scene, don't make this your reality as it is a very tricky and risky situation to be in. If your brake system is efficient, then your car will be very youthful and last longer.
It also ensures a very safe driving for the passengers in the car and also the people around you. Getting your brakes checked and replaced is like changing your car's oil, Simple and easy.
There is a very easy way to check your brake fluid; this will prove that the system is working properly. But if the color is little to the dark side then that's the car signaling you to change it. The dark black color indicates that the fluid is filled with rubber and rest and you should replace the fluid as soon as possible.
To make the brake system more durable, you should replace it completely every two years. Also if your car is more than seven years old then change the rubber brake lines for smooth driving.
10. Keep it Covered
This may seem like a very easy tip, but it has a major impact on maintaining your car. Keeping it out of the reach of the sunlight helps the outer material and the paint to stay stronger.
This will make your car look more stylish and brand new for a longer period. So cover your car when not in use and try to keep it in your garage whenever you can.
11. Drive Better
The way you drive reflects on your car. If you drive rashly, then your car has the chances of wear faster and can also damage your car permanently. By driving smartly and safely, you not only ensure less wear and tear on your car but also can save up on your fuel costs.
If you have a habit of taking off quickly and applying brakes suddenly, then this can do, damage to your car. Always drive below the speed limit and avoid sudden stops, do not use your phone or any other thing, which might distract you and take your eyes off the road.
12. Exterior Engine Cleaning
We have learned the importance of maintaining your engine internally; it is as important to do it for the exterior too. Some minor debris in the wrong place can do a lot of damage if not checked. You don't need to dismantle your entire car to do so, just keep an eye on the engine and get it checked.
There is a special engine cleaner available on the market designed specifically for exterior engine cleaning. Also, remove the grease and the debris. Do not use harsh equipment like a wire brush as it can harm the engine and damage the components.
13. Carry the Automotive Tools at all Times
The best tip to maintain your car properly is to be ready to face any situation and gave the suited tools with you. If you delay repair, it can potentially cause more damage, which was already there and also increase the amount of repair. The best remedy is to inspect the problem yourself whenever you feel while driving that the car is not working efficiently.
Do take the help of the mechanic if the damage is severe. There is a set of tools, which is readily available and you can store it in your trunk. Do carry the best jumper cables to give that jump start to your car so that you are not stuck in a tricky situation.
14. Protect your Headlights
Always keep an eye on your headlights as they are your best friends while driving at night. It can be an extremely dangerous and risky situation if you drive without your headlight on at night. Replace, repair it before they fuse it for your safety and others around you.
We also have the tendency to forget to switch off the lights the next morning. This makes you drain your battery and also leads to extensive damage to your engine. It is better to ensure the headlight working as it doesn't take much of your time and keeps it well-maintained.
15. Protect the Interior of your Car
We spend a lot of time in our cars now and having a worn out interior is just not comfortable anymore. You will always find smudges on the windows and scratches on the dashboard.
The best way to maintain the interior is to do a quick clean whenever you get out of your car. Keep a cleaning spray, and an extra rag of cloth handy and your car will always be clean and brand new.
In today's world, we live in our cars. So it only seems logical to maintain it as we spend most of our day there. Road trips can prove to be a lot more fun if your car is up to speed and gives you good performance.
Maintenance not only involves checking your lights and the oil but whole new aspects as mentioned above. You don't need to always rush to the mechanic as you can do some minor inspection and repair in the comfort of your garage. The above mentioned are some of the tips, which you can follow to improve the efficiency of your car and also make it last longer.