Your car is like an extended member of your family. It should be reliable each day, requires money to be spent on it, and can create wonderful memories. However, if you fail to take care of your vehicle, it will not take care of you. To avoid being stranded on the side of the road with expensive preventable repairs, be sure to follow some of these basic maintenance tips.
Frequent Tire Checks
Ensuring your tires are in good working order is essential before you step into your vehicle. A blowout on the highway can cause a whole list of issues. First, high-speed blowouts can cause your vehicle to spin out of control or even flip.
In addition to the safety aspect, a tire that malfunctions can cause vehicle body damage and other mechanical issues under your car. To avoid having a preventable tire issue, you should get in the habit of checking your tires each week.
A proper tire check involves visually inspecting each tire for any foreign objects such as nails or screws in them. Also, a quick air pressure check ensures your tires are performing at optimum levels. Underinflated tires can overheat and decreases your gas mileage. In contrast, overinflated tires can wear out quickly and are prone to blowouts.
Look at the sticker on the inside of your driver door frame or on the sidewall of your tire for how much you should inflate your tires. This will be labeled as PSI, meaning the air pressure per square inch.
Properly Insuring Your Vehicle
Being overinsured or underinsured can cost you a bunch of money. Because of this, it is vital to have affordable car insurance that offers enough protection in the unfortunate event you are involved in a collision. Insurance is not a fun expense but it’s necessary to protect you from personal lawsuits and expensive repairs.
In addition to protecting you from expensive collision repairs, vehicle insurance can assist you by providing a rental car or cash if your vehicle is stolen or victimized due to theft or damages.
Also, acts of God such as tornados, hurricanes, and other inclement weather can wreak havoc on your car.
If you get involved in a severe accident and your car becomes irreparably damaged, your insurance will take over to provide you a cash payout to replace your vehicle.
Small, yet extremely important vehicle maintenance tasks, such as checking your oil levels, are simple to do. While simple, they are necessary to keep your vehicle running smoothly and could result in extensive damage if ignored.
When the engine is cold, lift your car hood, and find the dipstick that leads into your engine oil reservoir. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Towards the end of the stick, there should be markers to show the proper engine oil level. These could be labeled as “min” and “max” or may be two small dots to indicate the minimum and maximum.
To check the engine oil level, fully insert the dipstick into the engine and pull it back out. Quickly look at the end of the stick to see where the oil level touched the stick. If it’s below the minimum marker, you should add additional engine oil to bring it to the desired levels.
Refer to your vehicle maintenance manual for the proper engine oil and location to add additional fluid.
While you have the hood up, you can also check your windshield washer fluid levels to see whether the fluid reservoir needs topping up as well. These are simple but essential tasks that you should aim to do frequently. It is a good idea to keep a bottle of windshield washer fluid and engine oil in your car trunk in case they are required when on journeys.
Annual Vehicle Inspections
Taking your car for its yearly maintenance check is important for long-term durability as it ensures that everything remains in good working order. Often, as mechanical parts begin to wear down, repairing or replacing the items can prevent expensive damage caused by a complete failure of the part. Sometimes, it takes spending money to save money in the long run.
Taking your vehicle to the car wash or cleaning it yourself is important to get rid of the build-up of dirt, dust, and rain deposits. This will extend the life of your paint and clear coat which protects the outside of your vehicle. The most crucial cleaning you could do to the exterior of your car is removing bird poop as soon as possible. This is due to the high level of Uric Acid, which is corrosive to the car’s paint, particularly if left for long periods of time.
Take small steps to care for your vehicle. It’s probably one of your largest expenses so it’s worth it to take a small amount of time to ensure it’s reliable when you need it the most.