One of the most important financial decisions you have to make in life is whether you’ll purchase a car or not. When you decided to go for it, you have to keep in mind the following factors:
First, is the quality of your target purchase, it has to be durable, safe, convenient and comfortable. Second is reliability, you need the assurance that it won’t break down in the middle of the trip, that is why most people today consider a brand-new car over those that are pre-owned. Lastly, but most importantly, cost of ownership, including depreciation, repairs, maintenance and insurance, and we all know that cars depreciate just right after your first drive.
A well-maintained car performs at its best, it increases reliability, it cuts down repair costs and of course ensures safety. Your car is quite the investment, so here’s a maintenance routine you can follow to ensure that your vehicle is on its best condition all the time.
Check your Air filter
The air filter keeps your engine clean from particles that may clog the air needed during combustion.
Steps on cleaning the Air Filter
- The air filter is usually in a black rectangular box situated in the hood of a car, otherwise, refer to your owner’s manual for reference.
- After locating the filter, remove the casing, then inspect for dust or debris
- Use compressed air to remove dust and other particles
- If the filter needs replacement, make sure to insert the filter, the same way you remove it so that it fits perfectly as before
- Close the air filtering casing and place it back the hood
Inspect Fluids and Tire pressure
Get into the habit of checking your tires regularly to ensure safety and comfortability. It would guarantee that you will maximize the lifespan of your tires, and it will help you save on fuel expenses.
Steps on checking your tires
- Make scheduled tires check-up, at least once every month.
- Know the proper inflation pressure of your tires, there is usually a placard indicating the recommended level.
- Check your tires for damage, worn-out tires are more susceptible to punctures. Check for cracks and bulges.
- After physically inspecting the tires, it is always best to follow systematically the recommendations of the tire manufacturers regarding repairs.
Remember to purchase invest quality tires from a reputable manufacturer such as Goodyear Tires. If your tires are worn-out and in need for a replacement, click here.
Check the car battery
This is advisable especially if you are going on a long road trip. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with dried out batteries.
- What you can do initially is simply locate for the battery under the hood and inspect the cable connections going to the terminals, make sure that they are all tight and has no mineral build-up that indicates a leak.
Keep your fluids checked
- Radiator fluids – this keeps your car from overheating. Take note not to remove the cover of the radiator while it’s running since the contents are pressurized. Remove the cap with a rag. If the fluid is not visible, it means you need to add more.
- Transmission fluids- it is usually beside the engine oil, you can check it using the dipstick. an indication that it needs replacement is when the fluid smells burnt and has particles in it.
- Washer fluid – it can be found under the hood. The cap is usually imprinted with the label ” washer” if it’s low in level, it’s better to purchase a formulated washer fluid.
Check oil levels
Oil lubricates all the functioning parts of your engine, it is one of the most important elements that need your attention.
Steps on checking oil levels
- The best time to Check oil levels is in the morning so that the oil is at rest overnight.
- Make sure that your car is on a leveled ground for an accurate reading.
- Locate the oil dipstick, pull it out and clean it with a clean paper towel.
- Put the dipstick back in, and now you can pull it out again and inspect where the oil ends on the stick.
- If it is just between the two holes, the levels are good. If the oil is below the lower hole, then it means you need to add more oil. It is best to keep the levels just right, it is not good for your engine to have excessive oils.
- Make sure to have your oil changed every 5000 miles, it is essential to keep your oil clean, so it won’t damage the functioning parts inside your engine.
Car brakes systems
The moment you notice that there’s something irregular or odd about your brakes, do not ignore it. Brakes are vital for your safety
How to take care of your brake
- Have your brakes and brake pads checked every time you get your oil changed or at least once every year.
- Have your brake fluids checked. Dark-colored fluids are an indicator that it needs flushing. The brake is usually placed at the back of the engine compartment. You need to unscrew the cap of the reservoir to inspect it.
- Whenever there is an unusual noise, late brake response or any abnormal feeling, have it checked to prevent dangerous incidents.
Always invest in good brakes, they might cost more expensive but it will do its job.
Keep your car clean
For a more comfortable car experience, it is best to keep your car clean, inside and out.
- Keeping your car regularly washed saves you time and cost of damaging your car paint due to accumulated dust especially if you are living in the city. Maintaining your windshield and mirrors free from debris, dust and bugs is important for visibility and ensures safety.
- Besides, keeping your car vacuumed and clean inside keeps a good air quality and avoids stains and unwanted tears and discoloration.
You have invested a lot in your car. Keeping it well maintained extends the life of your vehicle. You can save yourself from unexpected repair costs or worse, replacements. Neglecting minor problems will always build up and it will just catch you off-guard. Most importantly, you have the assurance that it is safe.