Do you want your car to run smoothly and stay new for long? That is possible, even without necessarily depending on your mechanic. Car maintenance is not intuitive for most of us. The tasks may sound complicated, but I discovered they are very simple after learning a few auto maintenance tips and tricks.
Your car comes with the owner’s manual, and by following it, you may prolong its life beyond the 150,000miles. Or, what else can someone want on an investment like a car that costs so much? For sure, there is nothing more. That is what we can expect with the below tips.
Always Keep an Emergency Safety Kit
A safety kit helps you during uncertainties especially when you find yourself far away from your mechanic. Keep it inside a duffel bag, or inside a box in your car’s trunk. Like mine, pack your kit with items like:
- A Battery jump starter or jumper cables
- A tire inflation product
- A flashlight with new batteries
- First aid kit
- Extra washer fluid
- Road service card
- Flare and a safety triangle
With these and other modern car accessories, you will not hustle much when an emergency situation presents itself.
Check the Oil Levels
Propagate a habit of examining the oil levels fast thing in the morning before starting the engine. You mean daily? Yes, I prefer doing it every morning because my vehicle is always on the road, as in, it is what I use to travel to and from work. Motor oil lubricates the engine parts, thereby keeping them from the wear and tear that could ultimately lead to expensive issues.
How do you know the oil level is below par? Simple, locate the oil stick on your car’s engine, pluck it out, wipe and dip it back again inside the oil chambers. After three seconds, remove the oil stick to read the level. In most cars, the oil stick is calibrated and labeled to indicate the low, medium, and high oil level. Primarily, always keep your motor’s oil levels in the brackets of high because the low level can cause the engine to cease.
Changing the Oil
Has your automotive covered a distance of 3,000-5,000 miles according to the mile gauge? Then, a complete replacement of the motor oil is highly recommendable. After my mechanic advised me of the importance of replacing the oil and showed me how to do it, I have been handling the task all by myself! After some time, motor oil will catch byproducts of the combustion that takes place inside the engine. Without clean oil, vehicles suffer the adverse effects of these nasty byproducts, hence the need for regular oil change.
Doing motor oil replacement yourself is not hard. Master the correct oil type for your car and the required amount. Then, first drain the oil in a basin by opening the sump of the engine, wait for sometimes to ensure the chamber is completely emptied.
Place the cork of the sump back and tighten it to prevent possible leakage. Now, add the new oil and confirm that the dipstick reading settles within the required brackets.
Minor Gas Station Tasks Before Filling Up Your Tank
Besides refueling your car, gas stations have a lot to offer when it comes to free vehicle maintenance. A quick assessment of the vehicle before filling up will point out that the windshields need a little cleaning to make them clearer.
Personality, I don’t like a dirty windshield as it obscures my vision of the road. Luckily most gas stations will remind you that and provide a cleaning liquid together with a squeegee to remedy this issue.
Switch to heated wiper blades and beat the winter season
Your windshield wipers ought to be effective enough always to ensure clear visibility when driving, but that may not be the case when it is snowing. The traditional wiper blades allow ice build up when the temperatures drop to very low, but with the heated windshield wipers, believe me, you will rest that issue once and for all.
Only that these new heated wiper blades will cost a bit expensive compared to the ordinary ones, but one thing is sure: fixing them is very easy because they come with a manual.
While still at the gas station, another thing that should come to mind is tire pressure maintenance. The right pressure keeps tires in good shape. It is also an economical way of preventing tire issues like bursting or wear and tear.
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Improperly inflated tires will also hike your bills at the pump as they make the car heavy to move, and on the other side, excessive pressure can cause a blowout. The bottom line is maintaining balance, bearing in mind that too little air easily wears the wheels and too much of it may lead to a blown tire.
Change the Air Filter
When last did you replace the air filter? Well, the exercise is recommended after every six months. Reason being, it improves your fuel economy. Personally, anything that will keep me from spending an extra dime is good!
Luckily, you do not need to be an engineer to be able to change the air filter. It’s a question of unscrewing a lid, removing the old filter and placing the new one and the cover back, which will take you less than three minutes to accomplish.
Check Your Lights
Are the headlights bright as they used to be? If your answer is no, or not really, check out whether the issue is as result of moisture build up and solve it. Nonetheless, headlight bulbs need replacement every year. As they dim over time, they make you lose the vision when driving at night.
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The bulbs are inexpensive and easy to replace, however, in a complicated scenario that is beyond my knowledge, I prefer giving the task to a professional car electrician that will solve it first time right. Remember to check the taillights to ensure you are seen by the vehicles behind.
Use a Coolant or Anti-Freeze
There is a need to keep your car cool during summer and warm in the winter season. Coolant and antifreeze products will not only help in that, but they also contain rust inhibitors that protect the car’s engine. You will be required to check the coolant levels after every three months because this liquid will gradually get used up. Are you wondering where the coolant or antifreeze is placed? Well, the answer is, in the radiator where you normally put water.
The radiator is the cooling system for most cars, and it also needs some maintenance. Always ensure whatever goes in there is clean water and not salty water. Salt is your engine’s worst enemy as a trace of it can cease the whole system.