This post is sponsored by Cars.Com. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Best Tips to Maintain a Car
Owning a vehicle comes with responsibilities beyond making sure that it has enough gas to get you to your destination. We spend so much time when we purchase an automobile comparing prices, discovering what we can afford with the help of an online Auto Loan Calculator, purchasing auto insurance, and navigating the whole car buying process that we forget the work does not end there.
If you want your vehicle to last, it is important to insure that you are doing everything you can to maintain your car inside and out. Many times we don’t think about the maintenance of our cars until it breaks down and we realize we forgot some important things. However, with these simple tips you can keep up on your car’s maintenance and make sure you get the maximum amount of miles behind the wheel.
- Oil Changes – The first thing you want to do is make sure that you are getting regular oil changes. It is important to check your car’s user manual to see how often they suggest these should be done. Years ago, it was suggested that you should change the oil on your car every 3 months or 3,000 miles but with newer cars you can often go a lot longer. See what your car manufacturer recommends and then make sure to stick to that schedule. Schedule a calendar reminder in your phone so you don’t forget.
- Filter Changes – When you get your oil changed, make sure they are changing your oil filter. You will also want to make sure that your air filter and fuel filters are changed at regular intervals. These are dependent on how far you drive, the weather where you live, and the age of your car. Most oil changes include checking these filters so be sure to ask if they need to be replaced.
- Tire Maintenance – Having enough air in your tires is important for the alignment of your vehicle and also helps you maximum your gas mileage. It is also important to make sure you rotate your tires to extend their life.
- Check Fluid Levels – Besides insuring your car does not run out of gas, you want to make sure that the other seven fluids are kept full. These fluids are oil, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, air conditioning coolant, and washer fluid. Many newer cars are equipped with sensors to alert you when these get low but you can also have them checked when you take your car in for its routine maintenance.
- Brake System Check – Brake systems are a part of the car that wear down over time depending on driving conditions and frequency of use. Make sure to have them checked at least once a year and if you are noticing any change when braking. Insure that your brakes are functioning properly by replacing rotors and pads as they wear down.
- Keep Battery Connections Clean – Newer cars don’t require as much upkeep on batteries as older cars but it is important to make sure where your battery is located. At least twice a year, make sure that there are not any leaks and that the contacts are free of buildup. You can purchase a cheap battery brush cleaner at your local auto parts store.
- Car Washes – One of the easiest maintenance things you can do for your car is to get a weekly car wash. This helps to remove dirt, dust,and debris that can damage the exterior. Depending on where you live you may have to do car washes more frequently based on the environment. Northern states use a lot of road salt so during the winter and the salt can cause rust on the outside of your car and on the under carriage.
- Clean the Inside – Make sure to keep up the inside as much as the outside as excessive wear and tear can bring down the value of your vehicle. Make it a habit to go through your car weekly and remove anything that doesn’t belong. Tackle the messes that are lurking inside your vehicle with these simple tips to manage a messy car.
Maintaining your car is very important if you want to make sure that your car will be with you for many miles. Many of these checks can be performed when you take your car in for regular scheduled maintenance exams. Make sure to ask for a print out of all services that they did on your car so that you have them for your records. If you are worried that you will forget importance maintenance on your car, set a reminder in your calendar and have it on repeat so it shows up automatically.
For more information on what is required to keep your car properly maintained make sure to read the owner’s manual and make sure to find a reliable/trustworthy mechanic.