Keeping your car on the road means taking good care of it. If you don’t keep up with maintenance, you could soon find that your car develops bigger problems that are more costly and time-consuming to fix. Everyone who drives should learn to take care of the routine maintenance of their car, although you can always take your car to a professional too. However, even if you have a mechanic to take care of some of your maintenance needs, it’s still important to know when to schedule some of the important maintenance tasks to keep your car running well and looking good.
Put these tasks on your car maintenance schedule if you want to make sure your car remains roadworthy.
Wash and Wax
You might think of cleaning your car as purely a matter of aesthetics. Your car should look good, and you don’t want it covered in dirt and grime all the time. But that’s not the only reason to keep your car clean. A dirty car could also be more prone to rust and corrosion. Keeping it clean also protects it and prevents any problems further down the line. How often you need to wash your car may depend on a few factors. If you regularly drive down dusty or muddy roads or go off-roading, you might need to clean your car more often than the average person. Many experts recommend washing your car every couple of weeks although, in reality, a lot of people don’t do it this often.
When it comes to waxing your car, it might not be a necessity but it definitely makes your car look good. It also has some practical applications, including making your car easier to clean and protecting the paintwork. You don’t need to wax your car as often as you wash it, but you should remember to wash it before waxing. About once every three months should be frequent enough for waxing your car.
Oil and Coolant Level Checks
There are several different kinds of fluids in your car, which all play important roles. Two that you should be sure to check regularly are your oil and coolant. Checking that they are at the right level is important. The oil acts as a lubricant, while the coolant prevents your car from overheating. It’s smart to check these about once a month and top them up if necessary. If you’re about to head out on a long trip, it’s also a good idea to check your oil and coolant to make sure you’re prepared.
Tire Pressure and Tread
Your tires need to be well cared for to keep you on the road. Tires that aren’t in good condition could increase your risk of an accident and they also make your vehicle less fuel-efficient. Once a month, take a look at your tire pressure, as well as the tread depth of your tires to ensure they’re safe and functioning efficiently. Do this before you go on a long trip too and make sure your spare tire is in good condition. You can check your manual to find out how much pressure your tires need.
Lights and Signals
All of your lights and signals need to work properly to make your car safe and roadworthy. You could get in trouble if one of them is out, so it’s better not to risk it. Your headlights, turn signals, and your brake and parking lights should be checked regularly to ensure they’re working so you don’t get pulled over because you haven’t noticed. It’s easy to check that all of your lights are working once a month. You can get someone else to help if you want to check the functioning of your brake lights.
A full vehicle service is also something that you should schedule to take care of your car. Many warranties will require you to service your car on a particular schedule, perhaps with an approved provider, to ensure you stay within the warranty. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you should service your car. You can choose to use a service like Beaver County DCJR that specializes in cars from your manufacturer. This ensures you receive your servicing from someone who is experienced with cars like yours. Get your whole car looked over and keep your factory warranty too.
As well as your engine’s oil and coolant, there are other fluids that you need to check on regularly and change when necessary. The transmission fluid should be checked and may need to be changed. Your manual should recommend how often this needs to be done. If you have an all-wheel drive or 4WD, you should also check the transfer case fluid. This is often a job for a professional because it requires checking underneath the car.
With the changing of the seasons, it can be useful to perform a few checks on your car to make sure it’s ready for the expected weather. If you’re expecting rain, snow, or sunshine, you need to know that your car is going to hold up and keep you safe and comfortable on the road. Replacing your windscreen wipers ensures you can keep your vision clear when it’s raining or snowing. If you live somewhere with particularly cold winters, you might want to switch your tires to winter tires or use tire chains when there’s more snow and ice. Check your battery regularly too. Extreme temperatures can affect battery health so it’s important to ensure it’s working properly.
The air and cabin filters for your car should also be inspected regularly. If they get clogged up, it can mean that various contaminants are capable of getting into your car. Replacing filters when they become too dirty ensures they work well and both protect your engine and keep the inside of your car healthy too. Your manual might have a recommended timeframe for replacing filters, although not all of them do.
Get these tasks scheduled to maintain your car and you can keep your vehicle in good condition at all times.