Instead of constantly trying to repair your car and fixing it after the fact, you should strive to make sure that your car continues to run smoothly. In other words, you should engage in more preventive maintenance, as this will not only save you more money in the long-run, it will help to ensure that you don't run into any unexpected problems. The problem is that many people don't actually engage in their own maintenance, whether it's due to a lack of knowledge or being intimidated about having to do it themselves. Sometimes it's both, and it usually leads to people putting their car's health off to the side until something happens that draws their attention.
So, to make sure that your car continues to run smoothly, you should do the following:
Inspect It Regularly Yourself
Check your vehicle quite regularly. This doesn't mean every day or every week, but you should check it out once a month. If there are any strange sounds, don't try and ignore them with the hopes that they'll go away. Two things that you can do are to check the air pressure, which can be done with a cheap tire air pressure gauge and to check the tread on your tires.
Check Out the Fluid Levels
Some of the main fluids whose levels you should check are the coolant, transmission fluid, wiper fluid, antifreeze, and power steering fluid. Even if you don't think you can change them, you should at least be able to know how to measure their levels.
Each car is different, but the majority of cars will either allow you to see the tank level visually or have a dipstick that you can take out of the particular compartment that will have a measurement that corresponds to an acceptable level.
Opening the hood of your car and checking them out yourselves is not something to be intimidated by, especially with modern car safety standards.
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Check and Change Your Oil Frequently
How you are able to measure your oil level and the oil's color depends on your car. But, you don't want to have oil that is dirty or to have low levels. Check it once every month or two months, as it'll only take a few minutes. If it needs to be changed, you should make sure this is done immediately, especially since dirty oil affects the health of your engine. Replacing an engine IS costly.
Make Sure to Change the Cabin Air and Engine Air Filters
You should check out your car manual for a recommended time frame of when to replace each one.
For your cabin air filter, it's quite easy to replace, as you can do it yourself in a few minutes. Having clean air in the cabin WILL make the driving experience much more pleasant.
In regards to your engine filter, you probably won't be able to replace it yourself, but there are some signs that you should have it checked out, namely if you:
- Live in a congested road environment
- Frequently are stuck in traffic
- Drive a particularly long commute on a daily basis
Have Your Tires Rotated and Balanced
Your tires will last longer if they're often rotated and balanced. Make sure to pay attention to the alignment of your car too, especially if the steering wheel just doesn't seem like it wants to stay straight.
Remember, at the very least, if you don't have the time to do any of the above, bring it to a local auto repair shop frequently. As mentioned, you will save money in the long-run. You can always look up how to perform some of these online. One thing to note is to not just bring your car for a regular checkup when you're obligated to. Do it more frequently!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.