A car is a major financial investment, and it is often the key to keeping your life and all of your responsibilities on track. But without regular maintenance, the machine that keeps your life humming will break down.
To keep your car moving along for years to come, implement the following maintenance tips into your car care regimen.
Investing in any car won’t get you the mileage you need. That’s why ConsumerReports.org stresses the importance of purchasing a vehicle that has a stellar, reliable and safe reputation as well as boasts the features you need to complement your lifestyle.
“While you’re out shopping, keep a sharp eye out for cars that have the latest safety features,” advises to ConsumerReports.org. “Electronic stability control is a must, and consider a vehicle with a rear camera and forward collision, lane departure, and blind-spot warnings. Remember to research how well any vehicle you’re interested in performed in government and insurance-industry safety tests.”
Make it shine inside and out
A dirty car is not only an eyesore; it’s a sign that your car is slowly deteriorating. According to PopularMechanics.com Alex Leanse, a good washing removes corrosion-causing contaminants especially during winter months when road salt saturates every inch of your car. Be sure to pay special cleaning attention to your vehicle’s undercarriage because road salt will decimate metal parts.
Opening the door to a cluttered, filthy cabin will diminish the joy of driving. Plus, who wants to breathe in gross, unidentifiable smells on their daily commute? Be sure to lessen the contents in your trunk as well — extra weight will just make your car work harder than it already does, according to Leanse.
Change oil (regularly)
Oil changes are not optional. If you want your car to run as well as it can for as long as it can, consistent oil changes, as recommended by your owner’s manual, are the equivalent to maintenance gold.
“Check and change the oil. No single step will help an engine last more than regular oil and filter changes will. Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes,” reports KelleyBlueBook.com.
In addition to recommended oil changes, your owner’s manual also boasts a regular maintenance schedule unique to your ride, which ConsumerReports.org highly advises you follow. By keeping up with scheduled maintenance, you can potentially avoid costly repairs by spotting problems early.
Engage your senses
If you only give your car a passing glance, you’ll miss out on important warning signs. Is your tire tread wearing unevenly? Is there a scratch on your exterior that wasn’t there before and seems to be growing before your eyes? Do your tires look low? When was the last time you checked the pressure? Do you notice a weird smell when you hit the gas? What about the grinding sound you hear when you hit the brakes? Has your steering wheel always vibrated that much?
If you see, smell, feel or hear something that doesn’t seem right, it’s best to investigate the problem further and/or get your vehicle to the mechanic as soon as possible, according to ConsumerReports.org.
With regular maintenance, consistent cleaning and knowing when to seek help from an automotive professional, you’ll be able to keep your car running for miles and miles.
This article is presented by Jannell Ford in Hanover, Massachusetts.