Aside from a house, your car is often the largest investment you make. You’ll spend a bunch of money either leasing or buying a new car, and then spend over and over again to maintain it as the years pass. Your approach to maintenance is truly the key to keeping your car performing as it should for as long as you wish to own it. If you’re the type of person that leaves everything to the last minute, you might find yourself paying for a major repair far before you ever expected that to be the case. But if you’re organized and appreciative of your things it won’t be difficult to keep your vehicle happily humming along no matter how much you drive it. Here are five of the top basic car maintenance tips to help you with your efforts.
The first tip is pretty obvious, but it’s actually shocking how often people forget to stick to their car’s service schedule. When you purchase your car it comes with a manual written by the manufacturer. This manual will have a detailed maintenance schedule laid out for you, designed to keep your car in perfect shape. Forget whatever the dealer says and listen to the people who actually built your car. As long as you keep to this schedule you should minimize issues with your car moving forward.
You don’t have to know a lot about cars to handle a couple of the maintenance basics that will make a huge difference. For example, make sure you regularly check your tire pressure and all of the fluids. It’s incredibly easy and won’t take you much time at all. When you’re looking over the fluids, check the radiator, the brake cylinder reservoir, the power steering fluid and the oil. Once the car has warmed up you can check the level of transmission fluid as well. Pair these efforts with making sure your tires are filled properly and you’ll avoid a lot of common, pesky vehicle issues. You should also check all of the hoses and belts for tears at least once a month.
Some people start up the car and immediately rev the engine, thinking that they’re warming up the system before hitting the road. In fact, you could be doing damage to your engine this way. When your car has sat parked for several hours, most of the oil has left the moving parts and dripped into the oil pan. When you turn your car on the oil pump gets everything lubricated again. But until this happens you should keep the rpm’s as low as possible. For best results, let the vehicle idle for at least thirty seconds before driving away.
There are few things quite as fun as blasting your favorite tunes with the windows down, the air blowing through your hair. But all of that noise will prevent you from truly listening to your car. Most little issues with your vehicle will start off as a tiny, out of place noise. It could be a squeal, a click, a grind or a scrape. Each one is indicative of a problem somewhere in your vehicle. So listen to the car in total quiet every once in a while to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Finally, take it easy when you’re driving. If you battle with a stressful commute every day you could find yourself pushing the car more than is healthy for the vehicle. You should certainly feel free to slam on the brakes or hit the gas when it’s needed, but not as a general rule. If you picked up your ride from one of those premium cars direct services so you could get the speedster of your dreams, try not to drive it like you’re on a track. Go easy on the pedals and the car will take care of you for well over 100,000 miles.