Basic Auto Maintenance Tips
Whether you’re a new car owner or a seasoned car owner, a few maintenance reminders to help you keep your car running smoothly never hurts…And, whether your auto is new or used, if you want it to keep getting you from Point A to Point B, your car needs to be kept maintained. Ignore the maintenance and you’ll be paying the repair bills.
Most of the the things you need to do for your car are fairly simple and easy to do, it’s just a matter of doing them, so make a schedule, write it down, and either do the maintenance yourself or have someone do it for you.
Preventative Maintenance – Where to Begin…
- One of the first things you should do is read your Owner’s Manual, no one knows your car, what it needs and how to take care of it better than the manufacturer. If your car is new and under warranty, there’s no better way of voiding that warranty than ignoring what your manufacturer tells you needs to be done regularly. If your car is missing its manual, most can be found online. Some of the things your Owner’s Manual will tell you about are:
- How often to change the oil – and what type of oil you should use
- How often to change filters, timing belts or drive belts
- The type of gas you should be using
- How much air pressure to keep in your tires
- How often your car should be serviced
- Although this will be done for you if you have your oil changed professionally, you should keep an eye on your car’s fluids to make sure they are filled and ready to keep your car running smoothly. It’s not as hard as it may sound, most manufacturers try to make it as easy as possible by adding dipsticks or gauges…they want you to keep your car in good condition. Some of the fluids you need to fill or change are:
- Wiper fluids
- Power steering
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluids
- Change or have your oil changed regularly. Various Oil & Lube shops are located conveniently, they are quick and fairly priced. Yes, you can do it yourself, but then you have the mess, and you will need to dispose of the old oil correctly. However you choose to do it is up to you, the key is just make sure it’s done regularly, and top your oil off between changes to keep the levels up whenever necessary.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are replaced as they age, become defective or begin leaving streaks. This doesn’t sound very important, until you find yourself on the freeway in a torrential downpour, and you can’t see out the windshield.
- Keep your battery and it’s contacts clean…if there’s buildup around the contacts, it will not run efficiently, or at all. Keep a battery brush in your trunk along with a set of battery jumper cables.
- Along with your battery, you need to check on your spark plugs to make sure they are not wearing out or have corrosive buildup on them. If it’s necessary to replace them, it’s an easy job, you can find the directions in your owner’s manual.
- Four of the things you depend on every time you get in the car are the tires. You should have your tires regularly checked, balanced and aligned. Again, refer to your manual to see how often. Not only will you prolong the life of your tires, but you will ensure a smoother and safer ride.
- Make sure all the lights on your vehicle are working. Burnt out bulbs, no matter where they are can be serious safety issues.
- Pay special attention to the condition of your brakes! They will actually warn you if they are worn or a problem is starting and they need to be replaced, they will begin making a grinding sound or by squealing or squeaking whenever you try to stop.
Keeping your car in good running condition isn’t difficult, but it does require regularity. Even when you do keep it maintained, “things” happen, and you may find yourself stranded on the side of the road…talk to us about you Auto Insurance and roadside assistance.
For all of your Insurance questions or needs, Contact Whitcomb Insurance