When you own a car, it is important that you take the time to maintain it in order to reduce vehicle maintenance costs. You do not need to be an expert in cars to look after your own vehicle properly. In fact, you just need to understand the vehicle manufacturer's maintenance schedule and establish a routine car maintenance checklist.
Having a set checklist that you can use to thoroughly inspect your vehicle will help instill confidence that your vehicle is in perfect running condition. Not only does this benefit you while owning and using the vehicle, but when it comes to selling the car, you will be in a position to ask for top prices. Always remember that the costs to maintain a car, even though a hindrance, is a lot cheaper than fixing and replacing car parts later on.
Car maintenance checklists can be broken into two key areas. Short-term checkups and long-term checkups.
Short-term checkups are areas that car owners should look at more frequently than others. This is because there is a higher chance of something changing in these parts of the car in a shorter period of time while using the vehicle.
Check coolant and oil levels almost as frequently as every time you need to fill up your car’s fuel. Make sure the oil does not go lower than the recommended levels to ensure the car is running smoothly.
Coolant will have different effects at different temperatures which is why it is important to check frequently. If you are in an area that experiences high temperatures, coolant may be used regularly, and the levels will drop quicker compared to those driving in a cooler environment.
The air filter is the part of the engine that sucks air into the running engine. The filter is there to prevent any unwanted materials such as dust and bugs from being sucked into the engine. Due to the filter being close to where the air is drawn in, car experts recommend checking the air filter on a short-term basis to ensure there is no build-up. If unwanted material builds up, it will be hard for the engine to draw in air, which can cause damage to the engine.
Depending on the types of roads and how far you travel in your vehicle, you should always check the tread depth on your tires. Having tires with little to no tread can be extremely dangerous in different weather conditions. Minimal tire tread also results in less control of the vehicle. If the tread depth is starting to disappear, you should replace the tires as soon as possible to avoid hazardous driving conditions.
Long-term checkups are for the parts and areas of a vehicle that do not require frequent checkups.
Spark plugs are engine components whose function is to ignite the air and gas mixture. This reaction creates power for the vehicle. When the spark plugs are not working correctly, the vehicle will begin to lose power and you will not be able to drive the car to its full ability.
Windshield wipers are typically assessed on a long-term basis, or seasonal basis. When checking your windshield wipers, make sure the rubber on the windshield arms has not decayed. It is best if the wipers operate smoothly and go across the windshield with ease. If windshield wipers are not checked, driving in hazardous conditions such as rain or snow can be extremely dangerous. It is a good idea to make sure your wiper blades are functioning properly before you find yourself in a situation where it is storming, and you need to be able to see through the windshield.
Your vehicle’s battery is also a seasonal checkup component. The car battery is one of the most vital parts of your car as it supplies large amounts of electrical current to start the engine. The car battery also powers other electrical accessories that are in the vehicle. Next time you have your car in the auto shop, ask them to check your battery levels.
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