Your car is an important investment. A well cared for vehicle will get you where you need to go, where ever that may be. Knowing how to take care of your vehicle can extend its service life and help you maintain its value. Whether you’ve just bought a new car, or a new pre-owned vehicle, these five tips can help keep your car in the best condition possible.
1. Read the Owner’s Manual
Reading the owner’s manual can help you understand more about how to maintain and use your car properly. Many people never think to read the owner’s manual, and thus miss out on important information that can extend the service life of their vehicle.
You don’t have to read your owner’s manual cover to cover, but pay close attention to the portions that discuss regular maintenance and best practices. While you’re doing this, you may also learn some interesting details about your car’s features!
2. Never Miss an Oil Change
Oil keeps your car moving by lubricating moving parts and reducing friction. Without fresh oil and regular oil changes, your vehicle will wear down its parts quickly and may break down.
There are a variety of different oils in your vehicle that need to be maintained, including engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, break fluid and more. While it’s important to ensure that your engine oil stays fresh, it’s also important to keep up with these other fluid changes as well.
When you take your vehicle in for oil changes, get your car checked for other problems like worn brake pads, filter changes and more. Doing all of this work at the same time is efficient for you, and good for your vehicle.
3. Replace Brake Pads When It’s Time
Brakes get worn out periodically, and need to be replaced before they get too worn. How quickly your brake pads get worn out depends on how you drive, where you drive and the quality of your brake pads.
Most cars have an indicator light that reveal when brakes need to be replaced, but usually the first sign that brakes need service is a squealing noise when the brakes are depressed. You may also hear a grinding noise, or feel a vibration when using the brakes. Replace the brake pads when it becomes important.
4. Change Filters As Needed
Change your air filter and oil filter as needed. Your mechanic will likely check your filters on a regular basis, as you bring in your car for oil changes and other service. Avoid the temptation to put off filter replacement to save money, and avoid using cheap filters. Filters capture impurities and keep them out of your car’s fuel, oil and more.
5. Use Your A/C Periodically
Car air conditioner systems tend to leak refrigerant, especially if they’re not used frequently. Use your A/C occasionally throughout the year, even at colder times, to keep your A/C system in good condition.
Keep It Up for the Life of Your Vehicle
One of the things about car maintenance that you can’t forget is that your vehicle needs care throughout its service life. Maintaining a regular maintenance schedule will help you take better care of you care. Mark your calendar with days to get your vehicle’s oil changed, windshield wipers replaced and so on.