As a vehicle owner, the most important thing you can do to keep your car running smoothly is preventative maintenance. These simple upkeeping tasks can save you a ton of money on costly repairs in the future. Think of the usual oil changes and inspections as a regular checkup from your doctor. They help to find small problems before they turn into major ones.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
To figure out when your vehicle needs different maintenance tasks performed you should look in your owner’s manual. Don’t rely on basic online knowledge to figure out how often your oil should be changed. Each car varies greatly depending on the motor and the type of oil the car runs.
Your owner’s manual will tell you how often your oil needs to be changed, what oil you need, filter sizes, belt sizes, and so much more. This should be your go-to place for everything about your vehicle’s needs. Remember that it is always there to answer your questions, you just have to take the time to look in it.
Preventative Maintenance Tasks
You should be prepared to perform regular maintenance tasks on your vehicle. These will ensure your vehicle is running properly, efficiently, and save you money in the long run. Let’s take a closer look at each maintenance task you should be performing on your own vehicle.
Check Your Fluids
This is so simple to do, but many people ignore it. Pop your hood and check your fluids. These include wiper, coolant, brake, transmission, oil, and power steering fluids. If you’re not sure where they’re located, you can refer to your owner’s manual or just search under the hood. The caps of these different fluid retainers are typically labeled for your convenience.
If your fluids are low be sure to top them off. If you’re not comfortable with filling up your own fluids, take your car into your local shop to get topped off. When you are under the hood you should also be checking for any visible leaks.
Check Your Belts
This is a very important one. You should examine the belts under your hold for any cracks or chipping. Any noticeable wear will stick out and the belt should be replaced. If a worn belt snaps it can damage other parts of your motor, which can be extremely costly to replace. Your owner’s manual will give you a recommended number of miles that you should be replacing your belt when you reach that number.
Clean Your Battery Terminals
You should pop the hood and take a look at your battery. Make sure there are no noticeable leaks. Taking a wire brush and removing any built-up corrosion can help to ensure that you always get the best connection possible. Taking your battery to a local mechanic or even testing the battery yourself every so often is a good idea to ensure you don’t get stuck with a dead vehicle in the near future.
Replace Worn Windshield Wipers
As soon as your wipers start to leave streaks behind, it’s time to change them. These are fairly cheap to buy and easy to install. Don’t let your wipers go as the streaking can drastically hinder your view while driving.
While preventative maintenance for vehicles has always fallen into the man’s realm, times are changing. Ladies, there is an abundance of information in your owner’s manual and online about how to perform all of these maintenance tips above. Guys, preventative car maintenance is easy, especially if you are near one of the auto repair shops Spokane, WA. Just give it a try.