What's the big deal about car maintenance? Having your car serviced and taken care of regularly helps to improve safety, prevents any damage from worsening, minimizes breakdowns, and results in a higher resale value. People don't often think about it, but hundreds of people die every day from accidents caused by break failure, worn out belts in their car, or worn down tire tread. Performing regular maintenance on your car not only keeps you and your family safe, but also saves you money. If your car doesn't get regular TLC, there may be issues under the hood that you aren't aware of. The longer the issues are left alone, the more likely it is to raise the cost of repair due to the problem growing worse and worse. Car maintenance doesn't need to be hard or something you dread. Here are five simple car care tips that will help your car tremendously:
1. Regular Self Inspections
The vehicle's owner manual will be key for this if you're not familiar with car inspections. The manual will get you familiar with the parts and the way things should look. If something looks or seems off, it will most likely require some extra professional help.
2. Know what the warning lights mean
It's important to know what the warning lights on your dashboard mean. Most modern cars have sensors that can indicate when something is wrong. The most common lights are the check engine, brake warning, coolant warning, and oil warning light. We touch on this topic a little more here.
3. Check tire tread depth
You can check your car's tread depth by performing the "penny test". Grab a penny and insert it into the tire tread with Lincoln's head facing down. If you're able to see the top of his head, it's time for new tires... Immediately! If you perform the penny test and still aren't sure, just have a professional check it out. It's better to be safe than sorry and end up blowing out a tire.
4. Get your alignment checked and tires rotated
Both the alignment and tires influence your car's fuel economy. Most people say that the basic principle is to have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles driven. However, you can always check your car's owner manual to be sure.
5. Check oil
Oil is crucial for smooth execution for a car since it involves so much friction in all of the different part that make it go. Checking your oil is fairly simple. Make sure your car is not parked on any elevation; the ground should be level. Remove the dipstick, wipe it off with a clean towel, and then put the oil dipstick back in. Pull the stick out once more and you will be able to see exactly where the oil level is. Typically, there are two notches at the end of the dipstick. Make sure the oil is in between these two notches or marks. If not, your oil level is low and it's time to get your vehicle serviced. It's also important to not the consistency and color of the oil. If it is dark in color, this might indicate overheating or contaminants.
For more helpful hints and tips, be sure to check out our other blog posts here.