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You’re driving along, your windows are down, and you’re listening to your favorite radio station when all of a sudden, the worst happens.
Your brakes fail, and you are forced to pull over to the side of the road. How could you have stopped this from happening? Were there some signs that you missed?
The answer is probably “yes.”
Cars are an essential part of American life. They’re investments that we need to take care of and maintain if we want them to keep getting us from point A to point B.
So what are some of the ways to keep up on your car’s health? Should you check your oil weekly? Monthly?
What about your tire pressure? Is headlight cleaning a good idea?
All of these steps are good ideas if you own a car. And knowing when to take your car in for regular automotive maintenance checkups is a good idea too. Read on for a few tips on how to keep your car on the road.
1. Check Tire Pressure
Keeping an eye on your car’s tire pressure is extremely important.
Low tire pressure contributes to poor handling which can then lead to accidents. Tire pressure also contributes to fuel efficiency. It is recommended to check your car’s tire pressure once a month.
It’s also important to check your tires for quality issues as well.
Uneven wear, cracks, and slow leaks can all lead to major road issues. This can then lead to accidents or costly repairs that will damage your car’s overall quality of life. When cold weather hits, make sure your tire pressure is adjusted accordingly.
2. Check Fluids
Maintaining your car’s fluids is important too.
Make sure you keep an eye on your anti-freeze and coolant levels, topping them off when needed. Brake fluids should be topped off regularly as well. If you notice any sort of unusual leaks, be sure to take your car in.
Windshield washer fluid should be topped off, especially in winter when your windshield will be its dirtiest. A clean visual will keep you safe and keep your car out of accidents. If you ever get a crack in your windshield your insurance will most likely provide a windshield replacement free of charge.
If your car has power-steering be sure to check that as well. If you notice your steering wheel stiffening up unusually, it may be the result of a leak.
Maintaining a regular service schedule will keep your fluids consistent and will keep your car running smoothly.
3. Change the Oil Regularly
The second half of maintaining consistent fluid levels is getting your oil changed regularly.
Checking your oil levels once a month is a smart idea. And when it comes time to get your oil changed, be sure your filters are changed as well.
Getting your oil changed regularly and keeping up with the scheduled checks at your shop will keep your engine running smoothly. Nothing destroys an engine faster than not getting your oil checked and changed.
4. Grease the Gears
Lubrication will keep your car’s mechanicals running for years to come.
Periodically greasing the gears and ball joints will keep your car on the road for a long time to come. When taking it in for a service, be sure to ask for a lube up. Many shops will do this as a standard maintenance check.
Your mechanicals are as important as your engine. As long as the engine is running smoothly, the rest of the car should too.
5. Create a Roadside Emergency Kit
Having a roadside emergency kit doesn’t go so much into keeping your car running. But it is an important safety feature for you as the driver.
Having a basic tool kit and emergency supplies will go great lengths to keeping you safe. You never know when something disastrous may happen. Having jumper cables, spare bulbs, a fluorescent safety vest and a spare jack will be some great things to add to your emergency kits.
Blankets, spare clothes, and sturdy shoes should be added as well.
It might be a good idea to carry spare fluids as well. Especially if your car is older. Extra windshield wiper fluids, oil, and even anti-freeze may do wonders in keeping your car running, even when the worst happens.
Emergency kits can come in handy if you’re in an accident as well.
6. Test Your Brakes
When it comes to maintaining your car’s integrity, nothing is more important than checking your brakes.
Check for fluid leaks regularly. leaking brake fluid can lead to critical failure. It’s also important to check your brake pads for uneven wear. Rotors that are scraped and damaged can severely damage your car’s braking ability.
When your tires are off for basic maintenance, take the extra step by checking your brakes. And when driving keep an ear out for scraping sounds or the tell-tale scream of wearing brake pads on rotors.
Any sort of unusual pulling or sounds, might mean your brakes are going bad. This is a good time to get them checked out by a professional. And if necessary, replace them. If your auto glass is damaged consider Glass Shop Go.
7. Maintain Your Headlights and Brake Lights
Naturally, it’s very important to have functioning headlights.
And keeping your lights clean and clear is a great way to keep your car visible. Make sure to check your lights regularly, replacing the bulbs when necessary.
Another way to keep your headlights functioning is headlight cleaning. Keeping your headlights clean will maintain your car’s longevity.
It’s also a good idea to replace your lights regularly. Have someone help you check them by standing outside of your car and signaling the OK when you turn your lights on.
It is illegal to drive a car without functioning lights. Replacing your lights will save you from getting pulled over by the police. And will save you the cost of a traffic violation.
Keep Your Car Healthy with Automotive Maintenance
Keeping your car functioning is important for your quality of life, and for your wallet. When purchasing a car always remember to do a Revs Check to find previous damage to the vehicle and if there are any liens against your car title.
Make sure you keep an eye on all of your car’s mechanical functions and its physical features like its tires and lights. Taking your car in for regular automotive maintenance and keeping its oil changed will help it last a long time.
If you’d like to learn more about car maintenance and how older cars might compare to newer models, please visit our site.