Cars, both old and new, require routine maintenance. Keeping up with routine maintenance can extend the life of your car, maintain the resale value, and prevent costly mechanical problems. It is important to create a maintenance schedule to ensure you are staying on top of the most important routine maintenance tasks.
Your car requires the use of fluids to operate effectively. Oil is needed to lubricate the mechanical parts of the engine. Radiator fluids prevent the engine from overheating. Power steering fluid keeps the steering wheel functional. The brake fluid gives you the power to brake when needed.
Car fluids are also important when it comes to comfort. Air conditioning fluid keeps you cool during the hot summer months. Windshield fluid allows you to clear your windshield from debris. It is important to monitor all of these fluids. Learn where they are and how to tell if they need to be refilled. In most cases, you can easily add the fluid yourself. Some tasks, however, like oil changes, should be left to the professionals.
Your car’s tires are one of the most important things to monitor. Not only do they affect your fuel efficiency, but they can also be a safety concern when they are not filled properly. You can easily check your tires’ air levels with an air gauge. Additionally, you can fill them up yourself at a local air pump.
In addition to appropriate air fill, your tires should also be rotated on a regular schedule. Over time, their treads wear down and this can lead to underinflated tires. Your car’s owner’s manual may provide you with a recommended timeline. Otherwise, they should be rotated every six months or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
Timing belts are important to the overall health of your engine. Problems with a timing belt can lead to expensive mechanical repair needs. Many professionals recommend getting your timing belts replaced every 40,000-60,000 miles. As always though, it is important to check your owner’s manual to get an exact replacement timeline. Different types of cars have different needs when it comes to routine maintenance tasks.
The air filter can help to prolong the life of the engine by keeping it clean. It acts as a barrier to dust and other debris that would otherwise pollute the engine. The exact timeline for replacing an air filter often depends on the car, the condition of the engine, and the external conditions.
Many professionals would recommend having the air filter replaced between 12,000 and 15,000 miles. You can also sometimes determine that a new air filter is needed by looking for common symptoms such as a misfiring engine or reduced fuel efficiency.
Most drivers understand the importance of routine car maintenance. However, it is not always easy to remember what maintenance is needed and when. Whether you evaluate your maintenance needs based on mileage, months, or service reminders, finding a method that works for you can ensure a reliable and long-lasting car.
Photo by Rich Moffitt via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0 | Cropped from original