4 Car Maintenance Tips Experts Recommend
Conducting routine car maintenance can extend the life of your car by several years. Since owning a car is a big investment, it is important to perform regular checks to keep your vehicle in prime condition.
This includes oil changes and tire pressure checks.
All parts in a vehicle are connected. When one part breaks, it affects the entire car’s function.
With this in mind, it is important that you are just as knowledgeable about checking your tires as you are about changing your oil. For expert tips on performing auto maintenance, review the sections below.
For additional lesser-known tips, skip the list and download our free guide.
Perform Regular Oil Changes
Vehicles run on oil to lubricate the mechanical parts, which helps prevent friction, as well as overheating. Every few months or thousand miles, this engine oil breaks down and is no longer able to provide lubrication.
This is why regular oil changes are key to maintaining a healthy engine, which is the heart of your vehicle.
There are several types of oil change services you can perform:
- A conventional oil change involves an organic oil that works well in vehicles with a low mileage count.
- A full-synthetic oil change requires manufactured oil and, for that reason, lubricates better than conventional oil. However, depending on the vehicle model, it’s not always a necessary investment.
- A synthetic-blend oil change involves a blend of conventional oil and synthetic oil. Therefore, it combines the affordability of conventional oil with the improved performance of the synthetic oil.
- A high-mileage oil change is made for vehicles with over 75,000 miles, which tend to have more leaks and fuel consumption.
Before you decide between a cheap oil change and a more expensive one, make sure to check your vehicle’s manual. Vehicle owners often overlook their owner manual after purchasing a vehicle.
However, it contains vital information on how to maintain the vehicle’s condition. In this case, it will list what oil is necessary for the vehicle at different stages.
Inspect Your Tires
Tires are an essential part of the auto maintenance routine. When neglected, it can affect your handling of the vehicle and the fuel economy. Safety can also become a big issue when tires are not maintained properly.
For example, driving with overinflated tires causes uneven tire wear and can make for a dangerous drive. Underinflated tires lead to tire friction and overheating which can cause a tire blowout.
The first step to take involves keeping track of the tire pressure using a tire pressure monitoring system. This can be as simple as using a tire pressure gauge once a month to see if the levels falls within the recommended range for your vehicle.
Some vehicles also have a pressure-reading system that drivers can see on their console. However, for certain vehicles – in older models especially – motorists must monitor this manually.
To check your tire pressure, consult your owner manual to verify the recommended pressure range. Once you know, you must unscrew the valve stem cap to get a reading with your gauge. If the pressure is too high or low, be sure to adjust accordingly.
Depending on the damage that has already occurred, you may need to change the tire altogether.
Check Your Air Filter
The air filter is responsible for facilitating airflow and preventing debris from getting to the engine. It’s often forgotten during the car maintenance process, even though there are telltale signs of a dirty air filter, including:
- Declining gas mileage.
- The engine misfiring.
- Black smoke from the exhaust pipe.
- A strong smell of gasoline.
You should check your air filter’s condition at least once a year during your routine car repair and maintenance process.
Check All Your Fluids
One of the most important parts of car maintenance is also one of the easiest to overlook. Remembering to keep your car fueled up and to change your oil every few thousand miles is important, but those are not the only fluids you should worry about.
Coolant helps keep your engine cool by absorbing some of its heat. Sometimes called antifreeze, this liquid also keeps your engine from freezing during cold weather.
To check your coolant, simply open your car’s hood and find your radiator tank. Without unscrewing the cap on the tank, try to see if you can see liquid inside.
If you cannot, you may need to top off the fluid. Additionally, you will need to flush your radiator of old coolant every few years.
Windshield Wiper Fluid
This fluid only has one job: to clean your windshield. However, do not underestimate its importance. Windshield wiper fluid helps you maintain forward visibility, which is essential to staying safe on the road.
To check your car’s windshield wiper fluid, simply open your car’s hood and look for the reservoir. Unscrew the cap and pour some fluid in until it almost reaches the top.