Like most people, you most likely don’t like the idea of shelling out some serious cash to fix your car. You want to avoid unnecessary trips to the mechanic, and in order to do that, it’s important to maintain your automobile on a regular basis.
According to AAA’s 2011 Driving Costs report, the average car maintenance cost is 4.44 cents per mile. In lieu of that figure, follow these six simple car maintenance must-dos to properly care for and extend the life of your car.
1. Oil Change
Oil changes are typically recommended every 3,000 miles or every four to six months, but certainly shouldn’t exceed 5,000 miles in most cases. But to be certain of your oil change needs, consult your car manual or talk to your mechanic or oil change provider to work out a schedule.
2. Good Tires
It’s a popular belief that you’ll know the tread on your tires is wearing too low when you can stick a penny in between the treads and see the top of Lincoln’s head. Low tread means less friction with the road, which can make slippery driving conditions like rain or snow even slicker. So be sure to check the tread of your tires every few months to ensure you’re not driving on dangerously worn tires. It’s a good idea to invest in snow tires if you live in a region where winter offers a lot of precarious driving conditions. Also, regularly check your tire pressure to make sure you’re not driving on underinflated tires, which may cause negative impact on your tires and rims.<
3. Solid Brakes
Squeaky or grinding brakes are a sure sign that your brakes or brake pads are in need of repair or replacement. However, don’t wait until you squeak to a stop before you have your brakes examined and your brake fluid levels checked. This small examination and adjustment will cost significantly less than waiting until your brakes are shot and in need of a total replacement.
4. Windshield Wipers
You always know when you run out of windshield wiper fluid, when the steady stream stops spraying (usually when you need it most). However, did you know that your windshield wipers can become worn out as well? Both low wiper fluid and worn out or broken wipers can leave you without adequate visibility when driving in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Always carry a spare bottle of wiper fluid in your trunk and check your wipers regularly for tears in the rubber or broken plastic – proof that it’s time for a new set.
5. Fresh Coolant
Maintaining the proper levels of antifreeze and coolant is necessary whether you’re trying to keep your car from freezing in the winter or overheating in the summer. This is a very easy car maintenance task that can be done yourself or by taking your car to your local car service station.
6. Accurate Steering
Have you noticed a pull in one direction or the other while driving straight, or after you hit a bump in the road? If so, you may want to get your steering and suspension looked at before it negatively impacts your tires and steering components.
7. Accidents, Thefts
Keeping your car in tip-top shape is one thing but being a cautious car owner is another. The last thing anyone wants is to damage their car by getting into a not-at-fault or preventable accident such as being blindsided by a negligent driver or hitting a fire hydrant while backing up. That makes dash cams and a reversing camera like the ones from online shops like TadiBrothers wise investments.
Do you have any suggestions that you think will make our list complete? Let us know in the comments below.