For most Americans, cars are likely to be some of the biggest purchases they’ll make throughout their lives. When you’re investing so much into something you rely so heavily upon, it’s common sense to continue investing at least some time and money into keeping it in top shape.
Sure you’re busy and maintenance isn’t free, but think of it as additional insurance. Unless you’ve already got a comprehensive warranty, anything that does go wrong with your vehicle is going to come out of your pocket. And large problems do not get fixed cheaply.
But there’s good news too! A lot of the upkeep your car needs to feel loved is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive if you do it yourself. So roll up those sleeves and take a look at some easy maintenance tasks to keep your car running smoothly.
1) Make sure all your fluids are cleaned and topped off regularly
These include your engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, etc. They’re usually easily accessible under the hood and can be checked and topped in under 5 minutes. There’s debate about how often you should change your oil, but between 3,000 and 5,000 miles is pretty standard.
2) Know your car’s maintenance schedule, and follow it
Your car should have a schedule for when certain parts should be changed. Brakes, belts, spark plugs, air filters and more should all be changed from time to time to keep your car running smoothly.
3) Keep your tires at the right pressure
Keep a small pressure gauge in your glove box and use it every couple of times you stop for gas. If they’re low, you can use the air pumps present at most stations.
4) Don’t let your windshield wipers get worn down
The last thing you need is impaired vision at 70 mph. If your wipers aren’t doing the job, change them. Best case when you let them go too long is a dirty windshield. Worst case is causing permanent scratches or abrasions to your windshield.
5) Wash & wax
Every couple of months it can’t hurt to give your car a good wash and wax. Not only will it keep it looking like new, you’ll be preventing against rust and corrosion as well!
6) Be attentive
This can’t be stressed enough! Make sure that you take care of any small problems as they arise. Left unchecked, these can develop into much larger and costlier problems down the road! Something as simple as replacing a fuse, if ignored, could end up being an entire electrical replacement eventually, so fix it now and save yourself the headache!