Proper car maintenance

Proper car maintenance
Proper car maintenance

A car is like a friend – if you care about it, it will repay by caring about you. A car kept in a good condition is safe to drive, responsive, and generally does its job well. Unfortunately, not every driver understands it. They think that all they need to do is to refill the gas tank, maybe change the oil once every decade, and wash the car should the dirt completely cover the color. They only go to a mechanic if a clear and visible problem with a car appears. More often than not, these are costly repairs that could have been prevented should greater care been given to the vehicle. So you, as a responsible driver, don’t want to repeat the same mistake. But how to control the condition of your car?

Two groups of activities

There are two groups of activities you will need to perform from time to time in order to ensure your car is not going to fail any time soon. One group can be done all by yourself without the necessity of having any special resources or sophisticated tools, and the other one demands a decently equipped car garage and some background knowledge (or a mechanic). Both are equally important and neither of them should be neglected in favor of another one. Before I move on let me also add that the more you do by yourself the more cash you save. But you cannot do everything by yourself. You will still need to have “official” checks in order to prove the car’s value by having the maintenance schedule documented.

Clean your car and check fluid level and tires regularly

Let’s start with the first group, the one that does not demand any particular assets on our side. In order to know what can go wrong, you have to know the history of a car. You can use the VIN decoder website to better know your current vehicle. These activities may seem trivial or unimportant but don’t you believe in that. They are important as well. Moving to the actual activities, remember to clean your car regularly. Many drivers do that but they often forget about the interior. To wash the exterior you’ll either need water and soap plus a garden hose or you will simply have to visit a car wash, no big deal here. But the interior is much more prone to the damage done due to a lack of cosmetic procedures. Upholstery, for example, is very susceptible to some stains so make sure you wash them on the go before they can dry out. Also remember to secure your interior from the Sun, as it may cause some of its elements to become bleak. Use proper chemicals to prevent that. OK, we now have a good-looking car but does it run well? Look for spill stains under your car. Is something leaking? If yes, identify the fluid and undertake appropriate measures. While we’re at the topic of fluids you will have to control their level as well. Just raise the hood and check every fluid container, one by one. Refill if necessary. Now get down on your knees and check the tires. You will look for damage later, now you should just estimate its wear by looking at the control rubber band. If you have a proper tool, measure the tires’ pressure. This measurement will tell you if any of them is under/overinflated (don’t forget about the spare). Finally, check the air filter. If it’s a bit dirty, clean it. If it’s a mess, replace it with a new one.

Ask a mechanic to control every vital installation in your car and rotate the tires

So that’s that when it comes to the things you can easily do by yourself. But if you really want to be responsible, you should have your car seen by a mechanic every once in a while, even if everything runs smoothly. Here is what you should have done in terms of car maintenance. Rotate the tires. In a professional garage, it is easy to exchange front and rear tires in order to prevent uneven wear. And while you’re at it, take a closer look at each of the tires and look for punctures (again, don’t forget about the spare). If you find any, repair it or get a new tire. Moreover, while the tires are still taken off, a mechanic should check the brakes and estimate their condition. Moving on, remember to change the engine oil every 5,000 miles or so. While you can do it in your own garage, having a car lift makes this activity much easier. You should also have other fluids, i.e. power steering, brake, or transmission, exchanged as well. Refer to the car manual on how often you should do that. Last but not least, ask a mechanic to control every vital installation in your car. While such a test may cost a bit, it doesn’t have to be run more often than once or twice per year, as well as very often it helps to discover small problems that would turn into big ones should they remain undetected for a longer period of time. Not to mention it may sometimes even save your life.

Obviously, whenever there is something wrong with your car you will have to undertake particular measures in order to solve that specific problem. The article described things you should do regularly in order to ensure your car does not wear out too fast and that it keeps on serving you instead of failing you every 1,000 miles.