Vehicle maintenance is an essential part of owning a car that any serious driver should be aware of. It is not just a one-time thing, rather an ongoing process that you will have to do for the entire life of your vehicle. Unfortunately, many car owners don’t have the slightest idea of a basic car maintenance schedule. But don’t worry, we’re going to make this as easy as possible by giving you a list of things you should do and when to do them to maintain the health of your vehicle.
Change the engine oil
Car engines can be sensitive to dirty oil, so you must change the oil as frequently as needed for your specific vehicle type. Car engines are much more efficient these days, but they still need oil to run cleanly. Oil will break down over time, and the resulting particles can clog up an engine block, which ultimately leads to a breakdown of your vehicle. Vehicle maintenance experts recommend that you change your oil every six months or five thousand miles (whichever comes first) to keep your engine in top shape.
Wash your Car
Car washes are a great way to clean all the dirt and grime off of your car’s exterior, but you also need to make sure that you give it some extra attention to the interior wash as well. Wiping down the dashboard and steering wheel removes the dirt and dust on your windshield, which will help you see better while driving. Car interior washes are not all that expensive, so there is no reason why any car owner should be skipping this step in their vehicle maintenance routine. Logically speaking, you should wash your car as soon as you feel that it is too dirty for comfort.
Keep tires inflated
Inflating your wheels to the recommended tire pressure helps reduce wear on the tire treads and prevent blowouts. You should go to the tire pressure gauge at least once every other time to ensure that you are not over or under-inflating them. Experts recommend checking the air pressure in all four of your tires whenever you get to a filling station so that if anyone shows low, you can get it fixed right away and avoid a possible blowout on the road.
Check battery and transmission fluid level
Your car battery needs water; otherwise, it can corrode internally, which can lead to a breakdown of your vehicle. Car batteries won’t last forever, and you should replace them every five years or so for optimum performance of your car’s electrical systems. It is advised that you check the water levels on your battery at least once per month, adding distilled water whenever needed.
Vacuum the interior
Vacuuming out the inside of your car every once in a while gets rid of any dirt and dust buildup. Car interiors can accumulate a lot of debris over time, but it doesn’t take long to clean up. You should also check for other debris such as hair or food particles because if left unattended, these can result in foul odor and attract bugs. Car interior vacuums are inexpensive and readily available at any department store, so there is no reason why you should skip this step in your car maintenance tips.
You also want to replace cabin air filter elements once per year or every 20,000 miles to help maintain your car’s air quality. Car filters help ensure that you are not breathing in dust and debris while driving, so it is crucial to keep them working correctly by changing filter elements when necessary. Try checking your cabin filter once per month for any apparent damage or wear because even a tiny crack can allow pollutants into the car through your air filter system.
Replace wiper blades
Another thing you want to do is check the condition of your windshield washer fluid and wiper blades on an annual basis to make sure that they are still functional and will allow you to see clearly while driving in inclement weather. Wipers should be replaced once per year because they wear out over time from the sun and other elements such as rain, snow, salt spray, etc. Car owners should also check the windshield wiper fluid to ensure it is not running dry.
Check for any water or transmission fluid leakage underneath your car at least once per month, especially after a rainstorm or if you have been washing your car. Car leaks can be caused by anything from small cracks in the rubber hoses (for water and oil) to holes in the vehicle’s exhaust system, so any leakage must be addressed as soon as possible because not only will they put stress on your engine, but they may also cause rusting and corrosion on the underside of your vehicle. Remember also to check your brake fluid levels.
Check the condition of all hoses, belts, and spark plugs
Finally, remember to examine the condition of all hoses, belts, and spark plugs at least once per month. Car owners should look for any signs that indicate problems on these car components, such as dry rot or apparent damage. If left unattended, they can lead to more severe issues down the road, including overheating problems that can cause your engine to overheat and blow up.
Regular maintenance of your vehicle is not only crucial for the sake of your vehicle’s lifespan, but it will also keep you safe on the road. Motorists need to check their cars regularly for any signs of problems and take care of them before they turn into significant issues requiring expensive repairs. For any of the above Car Maintenance Battle Ground activities, be sure to visit Art Morse Auto Repair today!