Owning a car can be a truly great thing. You have freedom, transportation, and a way to visit destinations that you never dreamed were possible. No matter whether you’re getting your first car or have had the same one for years, there are many maintenance procedures you will want to consider to keep your vehicle running smoothly. I myself have had terrible luck with cars and over the course of eight years have been through about seven of them. Much of this was due to the fact that I didn’t know how to properly care for my vehicle. Here are some things I learned that you should do regularly to keep your car or truck in peak form.
1. Drive With Care
No matter whether you are new or an experienced driver, it’s important to drive as carefully as you can. Acting irresponsible will increase the chance of a driving error that will in turn cause damage to your car. Pay attention to potholes, deep puddles, and fallen debris to avoid further damage.
2. Buy High-Quality Gas
The gas you buy is the energy for your car to run and the more pure it is the less chance you have of something going wrong. Make sure that you buy your gas from a reputable vendor to lessen the chance of getting diluted or watered-down gas that could damage your engine. If your car engine seems to have a light stutter it may be time to find another place to buy your fuel.
3. Choose a Good Insurance Company
This is something that I’ve made mistakes in doing multiple times, each one coming back to bite me in the end. For most people insurance is just a cushion for minor damage they endure and not much more. While most people won’t need it, it’s good to have the best coverage you can afford in case of emergencies or larger accidents.
4. Tune Up Before Trips
If you are planning on a road trip or taking your own personal car on vacation, make sure you get an inspection and tune up before you hit the road. This will identify issues before they become a real problem or hazard and will make sure you don’t break down in the middle of nowhere, hindering your plans or vacation options.
5. Park in the Shade
While using a garage is ideal for a vehicle, park in the shade if inside is not an option. Sunlight has harmful UV rays that will damage both the interior and exterior surfaces of your car. Along with the light damage, heat magnifies in cars and could cause temperatures to get blistering hot, causing plastics to warp and food to melt.
6. Don’t Overload
Make sure you know the maximum capacity and weight that your car can bear. This information can be found in your vehicle’s owners manual. This will save wear and tear on your car and prevent stress from completely breaking individual components and parts. The same holds true for the roof rack to prevent unnecessary breakage.
7. Change Oil Regularly
Make sure that you replace your oil and oil filter regularly to prevent engine damage. Your manual will help you pinpoint the maximum amount of mileage that should be driven before a change, however, in my experience it is smart to change it at least 100 miles before you hit this limit.
8. Grease It Up
Every moving part on your car needs grease to stay lubricated and functioning properly. Poor lubrication can cause many parts to stick, which will overall cause decreased function or in worst cases no function at all.
9. Clean Your Wheels
Your tires and wheels will steadily build a layer of brake dust, dirt, and grime over time and use. Moisture combined with heat from your brakes will cook this layer of material and make it harden, often making brakes less effective.
10. Correct Tire Stats
It’s important to make sure your tires are the right type, the tread is the proper depth, and that your pressure is at an optimum PSI. Failing to do any of these could make your car drive worse than it should and puts you at a higher risk of an unneeded accident.
Choosing to add all of these steps to your car maintenance routine will make sure that the vehicle you drive stays in great condition for years to come. If you own a car you need to take care of it not only for yourself but other drivers’ safety as well. Stay safe and drive happy!
Car Bible- Basic Car Maintenance Tips
For more automotive related reading from this author, check out:
How to Avoid Buying a Bad Used Car or Truck
10 Bad Driving Habits You Should Fix Immediately
Buying Vs. Renting Vs. Leasing: Which is Best?