Cars are not cheap. However, they are extremely handy in our day to day lives. Some of you reading this may have developed such an affinity for your car that you have even named it! You know what they say about naming things…you are in deep with attachment. Our cars do so much for us, so let’s give them a little love in return. Investing time in maintaining your car will save you lots of money in the long run and can add years on to your car’s lifespan. Here are 10 tips for keeping your car in good repair.
1. Get your oil (and other fluids) changed regularly. You may have heard a variety of opinions about how often this should be done. A rule of thumb in the past was to change your oil every 3,000 miles or several months. However, cars are becoming more advanced and usually can go for longer between oil changes, especially if they use full synthetic oil. Check your owner’s manual for instructions regarding your specific car. One benefit taking your car in for a motor oil change is that most places will also check your other fluid levels (such as coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid) free of charge. They also usually check your headlights, tires, and battery. This checks several things off your car maintenance list in a single visit!
2. Fill & rotate your tires. Over time and use, your tires will naturally decrease in pressure. Because of this, you should be checking your tire pressure about every month. It is also a good idea to rotate your tires every 6 months or 7,500 miles. This will ensure that the tires wear evenly and last longer- which means less money spent replacing them. Make sure your spare tire is fully filled too…it would be disappointing to find that your spare tire is flat if you were in a pinch!
3. Fuel your car with quality gas. Make sure you are getting your gas at a gas station that changes their pump filters regularly. Click here to see the Top Tier gasoline brands. High quality gas prevents carbon deposits from forming in the car’s engine.
4. Park in shady areas or use shade covers. The sun can damage your car’s interior, so if parking in a shady area isn’t possible, use shade covers to protect your car.
5. Clean your battery. Your car’s battery can corrode and cause a bluish looking stain, as shown in the picture below. You can usually clean the corrosion off with a mix of hot water and baking soda. While you’re cleaning it, you can also check for cracks. If you’re going in for an oil change, they will check your battery for you!
6. Keep your keychain light. This may seem odd, but it can actually make your ignition switch last longer. Take off the extra, unnecessary things that have built up on your keychain to lighten the load on your ignition.
7. Clean and check your headlights. Make sure your headlights are all in working order and replace bulbs as necessary. If they are looking foggy, dim, or yellow it may be time to thoroughly clean them. You can use dish soap and water to clean the surface, or a mix of vinegar and baking soda. If they are really bad, you may need a headlight restoration kit. Keeping your headlights clean is important for your visibility and safety, too.
8. Replace the windshield wipers. If your windshield wipers are streaking, cracked, or noisy, it’s time to change them out. It is relatively simple and something you can do on your own. If you haven’t done it before, check out this Youtube tutorial.
9. Regularly clean your car. Leaving dirt and grime on your car can eat away at the top coat. Minerals from outside elements can also ruin your car’s paint and leave stains. Regularly washing your car and cleaning the interior can keep your whip looking like a million bucks.
10. Review your car insurance policy. Make sure you have all the coverage you need. You don’t want to find out that your insurance coverage isn’t enough when you really need it. Our licensed agents can discuss with you what coverage is essential and help you find the best car insurance rates.
One Last Note
Remember that these are general maintenance recommendations and you should check your driver’s manual for specific recommendations for your car. You can also set reminders on your phone for maintenance check-ups so you don’t miss any. Stay safe on the road!