By changing our focus as car owners from dealing with repairs to generally maintaining our cars we can not only extend the life of our vehicles but we can also save money in the long run. In order to keep your car running at its best, you need to have regular “check ups” of key systems to ensure they are functioning properly.
Fluids are an essential part of all of the systems in your vehicle. While there are different months and mileage recommendations for different vehicles based on manufacture specifications, generally we find that 5,000 miles is a good gauge for replacing oil and filter. It is also a great idea for you to pop the hood every now and then and simply check the dipstick to ensure oil is still flowing through the mechanical system. In addition to oil you should regularly check coolant, wiper fluid, transmission, brake, and power steering fluids.
Rotate your tires
All four tires do not carry the same weight of the vehicle while driving. That is why, to insure the proper life of your tires, you should have them rotated every 5,000 miles. This is something you can keep on the same schedule as the oil change and fluid check to make remembering easier. Additionally, it is always a good idea to routinely walk around the car and check the air pressure and tire tread. You can check the tread by using a penny. If the tire tread does not reach Lincoln’s head it may be time to think about new tires
Replace your brake pads
How much you use your brakes will determine how long they last. If you drive in heavy traffic, or you tend to ride your brakes then you could need to replace your brakes faster than others. Brake pads should be no less than a quarter inch thick. Noisy or unresponsive brakes indicate a need for replacement.
Check and clean your battery
Battery terminals can become corroded causing the current to not flow and therefore not charging the electrical system of the car. This does not mean that the battery is dead. inspect the terminals if they seem dirty you can clean them with baking soda or cola. If you still do not seem to have power, it is best to get the battery tested to determine if the problem is the battery or something else in the electrical charging system. Batteries typically last 5 years–the caveat to this is that this timeline is for vehicles that are driven daily for a good distance. Leaving your car sitting for too long, or only driving a few miles a week may cause a battery to die faster.
Cars have multiple filters including oil filters, air filters, cabin air filters, and fuel filters. The filters job is to remove contaminants from the vehicle and it’s systems. Oil filters should be changed when the oil is changed. The other filters have vary lengths of life, but it is good practice to at least examine them with every oil change to determine their life left.
Wiper Blades and Lights
Not generally an expensive area of vehicle, but defiantly an important one. Both wipers and lights ensure that you can see and be seen. Wiper blades should be checked as part of your regular maintenance. The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. You should replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots. Periodically walk around the vehicle during the night to inspect all of your lights. Headlights are always easier to determine if they are out, but you want to remember to check parking lights, tag lights and try to have someone help you check the brake lights.