Maintaining your car correctly is one of the most important things you can do to increase the life of your vehicle. Some of the tasks listed here can be done in the driveway if you want, but it is highly suggested to have a professional shop give your vehicle a good once-over to ensure everything is operating normally.
Let’s look at 10 necessary maintenance tips that will keep your car running for years to come if you have them completed regularly.
- Belts And Hoses – They need to be checked for cracks, leaks, and signs of excessive wear and tear. Even if you are not at the mileage that the owner’s manual suggests, if they look like they need to be replaced, they probably do.
- Air Filter – The air filter in the engine needs to be replaced whenever it is dirty or when the vehicle has reached the recommended mileage. The engine must get the proper amount of air to run properly. When the air filter is clogged with debris, it will not allow that amount of clean air into the engine, reducing the power and fuel efficiency of the car.
- Battery – While under the hood, check to see if the battery looks like it is in good shape. You cannot tell how well the charge is holding (the car will give you signs of a failing battery before it dies), but you can see if it needs to be cleaned.
- Fluids – Check the levels in all your fluids regularly. If you notice something is low, top it off with the correct type of fluid and then watch for leaks to ensure the fluid loss was not due to regular wear and tear.
- Fluid Change – Every car will have its own suggested times to change the fluids in your vehicle, but if unsure, your car care specialist can set you up with the schedule you should be following. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car running as it should for a long time.
- Tires – The tires need to be at the psi levels suggested by the manufacturer. If they are not, add some air to them. Do not forget to check your spare tire as well. Otherwise, you may end up stranded on the side of the road with no way to change a flat.
- Brakes – The safety of every person in your car depends upon the brakes and how well they stop the vehicle in an emergency. Always follow the owner’s manual and have them checked by a professional regularly. If they need to be changed, do it sooner rather than later.
- Windshield Wipers – Finding out that your wipers need to be replaced while driving in a sudden rainstorm is never a good scenario. Change them after every winter season if required. Otherwise, change them as needed. Never wait until it is too late.
- Spark Plugs – Too often, drivers abuse their cars by not keeping up with the tune-up requirements. If the spark plugs get fouled up, they will not run optimally. Plus, it is a great way to see if there is an internal problem within the engine. Have a tune-up completed on your car when it is suggested, and always have your mechanic change the spark plugs for high-quality new ones.
- Check Engine Light – As soon as the check engine light comes on, it is imperative to get it checked out. It may be something simple that will need to be repaired, or it could be something more serious that will need to be addressed before driving it again. The sooner you catch the problem, the less damage will be done.
If you own an EV, some of these things will not pertain to you, but it is still imperative to have the vehicle checked out when it is scheduled. The one thing that can be added to the maintenance routine of an electric-driven car is to ensure that your home charging station is in good working condition. Without it, you will be stuck walking when the power runs out.