It’s easy to find articles telling you how important it is to maintain your car. Of course, you don’t want a time to come when it’s already too late to make repairs. You should have regular oil changes, filter replacements, tire rotations, fluid checks, etc. But many people ignore expert advice because they think that they’re doing just fine on their own. They’ll tell themselves, “I’m a good driver,” or “My mechanic always tells me I don’t need any work done.” As time goes on, though, many drivers will start noticing some troubling signs: performance problems, leaks, and more. To avoid this, here are six maintenance tasks to remember to keep your ride in good shape.
1. Oil Change
A car with dirty oil is like a human body with contaminated blood. Problems are bound to occur, and even if the vehicle still manages to run, it won’t perform at its best. An oil change ensures this doesn’t happen. It’s the routine process of changing engine oil. This helps keep the car running longer and efficiently. Why is it important? Because oil acts as a lubricant for all parts of the engine. It makes sure the cogs stay in place. Regular use causes excessive heat buildup, but an oil change helps prevent that from happening. Oil filters out dirt from getting into the engine. That dirt actually causes many problems since it’s a major wear and tear for the gears. This is why regular oil changes are mandatory and should never be postponed even if you don’t use your car often enough.
2. Test the Lights
The lights are the eyes of your car. A big part of driving at night comes from being able to see where you are going, whether it is on a dimly lit road or simply being able to read a street sign. Even just one bulb malfunction can cause accidents. That’s why you want to ensure that both headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are working correctly before heading out.
3. Tire Pressure and Tread Depth Check
These two are something you should perform on your car every so often. Most people just ignore this and only check things when the wheels have been busted flat. Make sure your tire pressure is just right — not too hard nor too soft. A hard tire will not give you good traction, while the other will wear away quickly and lead to a bigger problem. As for tread depth, look for as much tread as possible because it helps increase grip or friction with the ground. If your tires have worn-out treads, maneuvering will be more difficult and might lead to accidents.
4. Inspect Wiper Blades
If you live somewhere where it rains a lot, you know how vital wipers are for driving during rainstorms or even simple mists. When inspecting your wiper blades, check for any tears or cracks in the rubber surface. Also, make sure that they’re clean and don’t have any bits of dirt, mud, or leaves stuck to them. When replacing your wiper blades, it is recommended that you get the same brand and specific model because they are usually made to fit a particular car.
5. Replace Air Filter
This might not be something that a novice owner would worry about but changing the air filter is vital for the wellbeing of the passengers inside. The air filter keeps the engine clean and free from dust particles. Furthermore, it ensures a smoother ride as the airflow is not interrupted. Removing the filter, cleaning it, and installing a new one should take 10-15 minutes. You have an infinite number of resources on the internet on how to do it. Get going!
6. Change Fluids
In addition to the engine oil, the transmission fluid, brake fluid, and anti-freeze are all essential fluids that need to be changed for your car to function properly. If these fluids remain unchanged, they will deteriorate over time which would lead to mechanical issues. Car manuals will give you better guidelines on how frequently you should change them.
Car maintenance might sound like a hassle, but it’ll definitely keep your car for longer. Make sure to do the tasks above and don’t neglect your ride!