Vehicles are not designed to operate forever without periodic maintenance. They are, after all, machines. Even the best built and most expensive cars on the road require upkeep to maintain their performance. If you wait for problems to develop, you will more than likely pay a lot more for repairs, and in some cases, the repairs may not be able to provide a lasting fix.
The good news is that there are some essential, but simple, ways to maintain your car so you can enjoy years of service from it.
Change the Oil
It’s important to schedule regular oil changes for your car. This schedule can be based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, or based on a previous owner’s schedule if you have purchased a used car. The majority of cars on the road should have their oil changed once every 90 days or every 3,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
Oil changes will ensure that the engine is running on clean oil and the oil levels in the car are correct. These two factors will help the engine run smoothly.
Check the Radiator
Your car’s radiator helps to keep the engine from overheating by allowing antifreeze to run through the engine in the winter and coolant during the summer. You can complete your own DIY antifreeze maintenance in the winter to ensure fluid levels are correct.
You can also have a professional mechanic check the fluid levels in the cooling system. If your car does begin to overheat, considerable damage can occur. This is not what you want to happen, especially when it could have been prevented by completing this simple maintenance tip.
Inspect the Car
Take the time to regularly inspect your car. Learn to spot when something is abnormal with the gauges in the dashboard. Abnormal readings can indicate an issue that your mechanic should diagnose.
Also, take the time to spot any cosmetic issues with your car that could cause a safety hazard or an expensive repair later. For example, it is a lot cheaper to repair a small chip that is in the windshield than to replace the entire windshield later.
Go to the Same Mechanic
It is always ideal to take your car to only one mechanic, even if the car needs a simple repair. By taking your car to the same mechanic for all its repairs, the mechanic will begin to notice potential problems or irregularities that another mechanic may miss.
Keep Your Car Clean
The interior and exterior of your car should be free of dirt and grime. By allowing the interior of your car to stay dirty, the upholstery could wear out more quickly. Dirt accumulation on the outside of the car could cause the paint to fade and chip away.
If possible, keep your car parked in a garage or carport when it is not in use. Another alternative is to use a car cover to protect it from the elements.
Although car maintenance is not free, these minor costs are a lot easier on your wallet than waiting for more extensive repairs. Replacing major components of the car can be expensive, but almost all issues are preventable if you perform regular maintenance.