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Review of Proper Car Maintenance

Proper car maintenance has several benefits for car owners. Foremost is the safety of you and your passengers. Of course, there is the performance and appearance of your vehicle to consider. Also, proper car maintenance can be monetarily beneficial. A well-maintained vehicle will net a much higher resale or trade-in value. With a safer vehicle, you are less likely to get into an accident which can save you money on repairs as well as auto insurance. Finally, a properly maintained vehicle will be more fuel-efficient, thus saving you money on high-priced gas.


Tire Maintenance

Tire maintenance is most important for the safety of you and your passengers, and can also help with fuel-efficiency. Tires can lose inflation pressure or become worn down, which can lead to longer stopping distances, less gripping power on slippery surfaces and the potential for a blow-out. In addition to keeping an eye on tire pressure and appearance, you also need to have your tires rotated every 10,000 miles. This will promote even wear and tear and prolong the life of your vehicles. It is recommended that you replace all four vehicles tires at the same time, but if that is not possible due to budgetary restrictions, be sure to at least change two at a time, either both front or both back.


Oil/Fluids Check and Change

You’ve probably heard this before: it is critical to change your oil and filter every 3,000 miles or 3 months. You should also check your oil levels once a week. Not only is having correct oil levels and quality oil in your vehicle important to the health of your car, but regular oil changes are important for all fluids in your vehicle. Whether you do it yourself or take it to a shop, make sure the wiper fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and transmission fluid levels are checked and filled.


Braking System Maintenance

It goes without saying how important brakes are to vehicle safety. If your stopping power begins to wane, if the steering wheel shakes while driving, or if you hear a grinding sound when you apply the brakes, it’s probably time for new brake pads. It’s hard to say for certain how often you should have your brake pads changed, as driving conditions, driving habits and the quality of the pads all determine the life of the pads. It’s a good idea to have your braking system checked by a mechanic every 6 months. When you go in for one of your oil changes, you can ask for them to check your brakes as well. In some cases, it may be a part of the oil change package.


Vehicle Tune-ups

It is recommended that you have your vehicle tuned up every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. A lot goes into a tune up, so it is best to take it to a trusted mechanic. Tune ups improve the performance of your vehicle, can spot small issues before they become big ones, and improve the overall safety of your vehicle. Tune ups generally include:

Check Enging Light

  • Battery Service
  • Change Spark Plugs
  • Check/Replace Worn Belts
  • Clutch Adjustment
  • Fluid Check
  • Overall Check of Vehicle Systems
  • Replace Air Filter
  • Replace Distributor (if vehicle has one)
  • Replace Fuel Filter
  • Replace PCV


Wash and Wax to Prevent Larger Issues

Taking the time to wash and wax your vehicle is more than just about appearance, there are some real issues. Regular washing can keep rust at bay and prolong the life of the paint job. Waxing at least once a year will also help to protect the paint and make your car look bright and new. Washing and waxing on a regular basis can also have a psychological impact. It can make you feel better about the vehicle and inspire you to take better care of it in all aspects. The car looks better and does so because of you. It increases your pride of ownership and gets you to thinking about the other ways in which you can take care of your vehicle.



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