Proper car maintenance will ensure that your car is running smoothly, and will also help to retain its value. It is important to have at least a general idea of what it takes to maintain the health and safety of your car. In this post, we’ll list 7 easy ways you can maintain your car, with a few resources on how to do these tasks yourself.
It is always best to understand the specific needs of your car. Your owner’s manual will contain information on routine maintenance, with instructions specific to your car’s particular make, model, and year. You can also Google maintenance instructions for your car type and should be able to find lots of online instructions and advice.
1) Check the fluid
Check the fluid reservoirs in the engine bay and add more fluid when needed. The reservoirs that most cars have are brake fluid, engine coolant, windshield washer fluid, and power steering fluid. To check each one, find it using your car's manual and see where the line is sitting. Most cars have a “fill” line on each reservoir, so if your fluid is sitting below that line, it is time to add more fluid. All you must do to fill each reservoir is unscrew the cap and pour in the fluid until it reaches the “full” line.
2) Change your oil
Your oil typically needs to be changed every 3,000 miles. You’ll definitely want to refer to your owner’s manual or make a quick Google search regarding the specific oil type and amount needed for your car. You can get this done at your local automotive oil change specialty shop, or you can learn to do it yourself. Check out this link for a full tutorial on how to safely change the oil in your car yourself. .
3) Drain and flush your coolant system
This is another task that you can get done at an auto shop, or you can learn to do it yourself by checking out this link. You’ll want to drain and flush your coolant once per year. Most vehicles require a 50/50 water and coolant mix, which you can purchase at your local auto parts store. Again, always check your manual to see how much coolant to add and what type your car takes.
4) Replace windshield wipers
Once your windshield wipers start to streak, it’s time to replace them. Check your manual to see what type of windshield wiper your car uses. To change them, you can go to your local auto parts shop, purchase the wipers, and have someone come out to your car to replace them, or, you can do it yourself in just a few minutes. Here’s how: On most cars, you can grab the wiper and pull it out away from the windshield. Then, turn the wiper so it is perpendicular to the wiper arm and slide it down off the arm’s hook to remove it. Simply slide the new wiper onto the hook and rotate it back.
5) Replace the air filter
Your car’s air filter prevents sand and debris from getting into your engine from outside. Most filters need to be replaced annually. Check out this link for a full tutorial on how to replace the air filter in your car. It should take you less than 10 minutes to do it yourself.
6) Check your tires
There are a few tasks when it comes to maintaining the tires of your car. The three main tire maintenance tasks that you’ll want to be aware of are checking tire pressure, rotating your tires, and deciding when it is time for new tires. If you take your car into auto shops for oil changes, they will likely check the tire pressure and tire rotation needs of your car. To care for your tires yourself, refer to this link for tips on how to do so.
7) Check your insurance coverage
Having good auto insurance coverage is the single most important way to maintain car safety. Even if you yourself are a great driver, other drives and the world around us are very unpredictable. Your car insurance policy should help you cover things like hospital visits, doctor bills, lost wages due to injury, stolen or damaged property, and will also cover your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or harm, should the unpredictable occur. Not all coverage is equal, so it is best to check with a local insurance agent to ensure your coverage is where it needs to be. Reach out to us today for more information.
Whether you are paying someone to do these jobs for you, or want to learn how to do them yourself, it is good to have an understanding of what it takes to uphold good car maintenance.