Maintaining the condition of your car isn’t solely about appearance; it’s also essential for maintaining its value and longevity. It’s no surprise that your automobile is beginning to show signs of wear and tear after driving through a mixture of slushy snow, salty rain puddles, and dry, dusty roads. Performing routine maintenance on your vehicle will help prevent more severe problems from developing down the road.
Here are some maintenance recommendations to keep your automobile in tip-top shape:
Use OBD2 Scanner
Your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system (OBD) is designed to alert you when problems with your car—using an OBD2 scanner, you can check for error codes to get the most accurate information possible. This will help you troubleshoot any issues and make necessary repairs. A good scanner will also provide you with live data to monitor your car’s performance in real-time. Various scanners and a bluetooth scanner tool are available on the market, so choose one compatible with your vehicle and fits your budget. The good thing is that most of these scanners are very affordable.
Check Your Tires Regularly
Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month, and it should be inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your car’s owner’s manual. In addition, inspect your tires for any signs of damage, such as cracks, bulges, or excessive wear. It’s also essential to ensure that your tires are properly aligned. This can help improve your gas mileage and prevent uneven tire wear. To check if your tires are properly aligned, place a level on the ground before each tire. If the bubble is not centred in the level, your tires need to be aligned.
Have Your Car Serviced Regularly
It’s important to take your car to a professional mechanic for regular servicing. This will help ensure all your car systems are operating correctly and that any potential problems are caught early on. During a service appointment, the mechanic will generally check the condition of your car’s engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and tires. They may also perform an oil change and other routine maintenance tasks. This way, you can ensure that your car is in good condition and that any potential problems are dealt with before they become serious.
Tip: Getting to know your car, and the way it works, down to whether it has a straight pipe exhaust is the best way to make sure you know the signs of when your car is telling you it needs servicing.
Change Your Oil Regularly
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your car is to change the oil regularly. Over time, oil breaks down and becomes less effective at lubricating and cooling your engine. This can lead to serious engine damage. Consult your car’s owner’s manual to determine how often the oil should be changed. In general, it’s recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 miles. However, this may vary depending on the make and model of your car. For instance, synthetic oil can last up to 10,000 miles before it needs to be changed.
Keep Your Car Clean
Washing and waxing your car makes it look good, but it also helps protect the paint from dirt, debris, and other environmental contaminants. To avoid damaging your car’s paint, use a mild soap and avoid scrubbing too hard. Also, be sure to clean your vehicle’s undercarriage to remove any salt or other corrosive materials that may have accumulated. This will help prevent rust and corrosion from developing. Remember also to clean the interior of your car, including the upholstery, dashboard, and floors.
Check Your Fluids Regularly
Fluids play an important role in keeping your car running smoothly. Make sure to regularly check your engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid levels. These fluids should be at the correct level and replaced as needed. To check your fluid levels, consult your car’s owner’s manual. It’s also good to keep extra fluids on hand in emergencies.
Fluids can deteriorate over time, so it’s important to check them regularly and replace them.
Check Your Battery
Your car’s battery is one of the most critical components, as it provides power to start the engine. Over time, batteries can lose their charge and become less effective. To prolong the life of your battery, make sure to keep it clean and free of corrosion. You can also use a battery maintainer to keep your battery charged. In addition, it’s important to have the battery regularly tested to ensure that it’s still in good condition. If your battery is more than three years old, it’s good to replace it.
Your car is a significant investment, so it’s essential to take care of it. Maintaining it regularly can help extend its life and keep it running smoothly. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your car in tip-top shape and prevent expensive repairs down the road.