Prevention is the best cure is as good advice for cars as it is for people. If you want to keep your car in good working order for a long time and save yourself from expensive car repair bills, you have to ensure that you have good car maintenance habits. Here are some basic car maintenance tips that can help keep you away from the car repair shop.
- Familiarize yourself with your owner’s manual. By knowing where to find information in the manual, you may discover that what you thought was a problem was actually you doing something wrong with the controls.
- Tune up your car on its specific schedule. The 100,000-mile tune-up recommendation is just a myth. The frequency with which you should have a tune-up is dictated by factors such as the conditions with which you drive your car and your driving style, as well as the recommendation of the manufacturer.
- Maintain your tires. Don’t ignore your tires until you get a flat. Among the maintenance tasks that you should regularly do include ensuring that your tires have the proper pressure and are aligned properly. Tires that are improperly aligned and don’t have the right pressure do not only wear down more quickly, but they can also affect your car’s handling. One sign that the tires may need alignment is if they are displaying patterns of uneven wear.
- Have your car cleaned regularly. Dirt and grime buildup on the exterior of your car can cause corrosion. If possible, you should have your car washed once a week and also have it waxed regularly. In addition, you should vacuum the inside of your car to remove dirt, and wipe down your dashboard lenses with a damp, soft cloth.
- Don’t abuse your car. Sudden accelerations can hurt your engine. When you start your car in the morning, accelerate slowly and when you hit a red light, shift to neutral to allow your engine to rest momentarily.
- Protect your car from harmful UV rays. Overexposure to sunlight can cause your car’s paint job to fade and can even damage the interior. Park in the shade or, if this is not possible, use a sunshade on the windshield.
- Take care of your engine. Change the spark plugs every 50,000 kilometers to protect your fuel mileage and ensure good performance. You should also change your engine oil frequently as well as the oil filters. Changing engine oil flushes dirt and metal particulates out of your engine while old filters can build up dirt and old oil that can mix with new engine oil. In addition, you should wash your engine at least once a year. A clean engine will run cooler and enable you to more easily spot damaged components and leaks.
- There’s no such thing as a “maintenance-free” battery. You need to keep the terminals of the battery clean to ensure that it is working properly. In addition, regularly check the case for signs of damage such as bulges or cracks which may indicate that the battery needs to be replaced.