Whether you bought a new car or have been driving the same model for years, there’s nothing like having a car that works well and is reliable. But owning a vehicle isn’t easy; keeping your car in top shape takes time, money, and effort.
Only by taking care of your vehicle can you expect optimal usage. Per general consensus, today’s new cars must last at least 200,000 miles. If you don’t take care of your vehicle, there is a good chance that it might not be able to perform well for this long.
Hence, here are some essential tips for caring for your car so that it lasts for years.
Regular Maintenance Tasks
Regular maintenance tasks are essential for maintaining your vehicle’s optimal performance and safety. These include:
- Oil change: Check the owner’s manual for the recommended oil change interval, which may vary based on driving conditions, vehicle use, and other factors. Most vehicles can go 5,000-7,500 miles between changes. Some newer cars will last up to 10,000 miles before needing an oil change. If you’re unsure how often to get your car serviced or what type of fluid to use, consult a professional mechanic to help you determine what’s best for your vehicle based on its make/model/age.
- Tire rotation: Rotating tires keep them balanced and extend their life by ensuring even wear across all four tires over time. Most manufacturers recommend rotating them every 6-8 thousand miles.
- Brake pad inspection: Inspecting brake pads regularly will help ensure they’re in good condition before replacing them. This should occur every 12 months at most, but maybe sooner, depending upon driving habits.
- Transmission fluid flush: Flushing transmission fluid helps remove contaminants from inside transmission systems so they don’t build up over time which could lead to damage later down the road when those particles eventually reach critical mass within these small spaces.
- Engine coolant flush: This service includes draining old coolant out of engines and replacing it with a new mixture of distilled water and an antifreeze solution such that each gallon contains 50% antifreeze. This helps prevent engine corrosion while keeping temperatures stable during cold weather conditions where ice crystals might form inside cylinders if not adequately maintained through proper mixture ratios.
- Air filter replacement: Changing air filters every 30k miles ensures optimal airflow into combustion chambers while preventing dirt buildup around pistons. This could require many pieces of equipment, which are worth the investment. According to Best Buy Automotive Equipment, you may require the following:
- Recovery, recycling, and recharge machines
- Refrigerant leak detectors
- Valve core tools
- Vacuum pumps
- Temperature guns and gauges
Essential DIY Maintenance
While all the below are a part of the general maintenance tasks, you can DIY them without professional help. Here are some easy DIY maintenance tasks you should take care of.
- Check the air pressure. This is simple and requires a pressure gauge, which can be purchased at any auto parts store. The tire gauge should be able to measure both PSI and BAR. The average tire pressure is 32 -35 psi. However, note that different cars have different recommended pressures for their tires. Consult your owner’s manual or look up the information online if you’re unsure what these should be for your vehicle.
- Check your oil level regularly, at least once every three months or 3 thousand miles driven, whichever comes first, and add more as needed if necessary. You can also check coolant levels with an infrared thermometer or color-changing dipstick.
- Brake fluid should be checked annually. It needs to stay full enough so there’s enough friction between the brake pads and rotors when braking hard.
- Wiper fluid should also be topped off regularly. Most people do this during winter because they tend not to use their windshield wipers much while driving then but still want them working properly when spring arrives again.
You must also park your car appropriately to ensure there’s no physical damage to it. You can use auto lifters for multi-level parking if you have multiple vehicles and not enough space to park them in your garage.
When looking for an auto lifter or any other maintenance equipment, try to find the best information you can get about these pieces. This will ensure that you have the right knowledge about each piece of equipment before buying it.
In addition to the regular maintenance schedule, you can do a few other things throughout the year to help keep your car running smoothly. Whether it’s winter or summer, here’s what you’ll want to check:
- Winter: Check for antifreeze levels and make sure all hoses are in good condition. Also, be sure there aren’t any leaks in the radiator or heater core. These can cause overheating during cold weather.
- Spring: Change any old coolant with fresh stuff since it tends to break down during winter. And while we’re talking fluids, check transmission and oil levels. Both should be filled up when they’re low enough that they could start causing problems later on down the road if not addressed immediately.
- Summer: Check air conditioning refrigerant levels as well as tire pressure. Air coolants have been a vital part of any maintenance routine. Hence, the global coolant market is on the rise. Data shows that the global automotive coolant market was worth $4.6 billion in 2021. As for the tire pressure, monitoring it frequently during the summer is vital. This is because heat can make the air inside the tires expand, causing the tire pressure to rise. Overinflated tires can lead to uneven tire wear, reduced traction, and a harsher ride.
A professional mechanic is the best person to handle your car’s maintenance. They know what to look for and can fix problems you might not know about.
- They have extensive training and experience in diagnosing, repairing, and servicing vehicles.
- Professionals have access to the latest diagnostic equipment that non-professionals don’t have access to. This means they can find issues quicker than those who don’t have access to these devices.
- A professional knows how long something should last before needing a replacement part.
Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your car running smoothly, but it can be time-consuming and expensive. It’s important to remember that there are many things you can do yourself at home or on your own time. And if you don’t have access to these tools or know-how? Seek out professionals who will help guide you through the process.
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