6 Car Maintenance Tips to Extend Your Vehicle Lifespan
Dan Levenson May 05, 2020
There are two ways to treat a vehicle you have just purchased. You can treat it gingerly, preserving every floormat and surface to trade in shortly or you can ride your vehicle hard, getting every good service year out of its performance lifespan. For most family vehicles and working commute vehicles, we go for the second option.
There is, however, an important difference between getting the most from a vehicle and treating the vehicle carelessly. A well-maintained car will give you additional years of comfortable, reliable service if you know the right maintenance steps. Today, we’re here to share six basics of good car maintenance.
Keep an Eye On Your Treads
Car tires are sturdy but they don’t last forever. The most important factor is your treads, those ridged patterns on the outer surface of the wheel. Place a penny upside-down on your wheel, between the treads. The treads should come out far enough to obscure the top of Lincoln’s head. If you can see the top of that old-school coif, then it’s time for new tires. Don’t let yourself or a family member drive on shallow tread. Prevent blown tires and dangerous slipping.
Schedule Regular Oil Changes and Inspections
Every year, your car should come into the shop for an oil change and a general inspection. Just like going to the doctor’s, this is the best way to ensure that you’re not driving around with parts that are about to blow. That inspection will help you detect problems early and take the right steps to keep your vehicle in good condition. If a part was grinding, you can even prevent future damage by stopping a problem before it becomes something you can perceive while driving. Don’t skip your annual check-in, and take time to talk to the mechanic after each service.
Change Your Wiper Blades When Streaks Appear
Windshield wiper blades are among the most frequently changed elements of a car. They get worn out wiping away leaves, ice, insects, and other windshield debris and they deteriorate naturally over time. Don’t be surprised if you have to change your wiper blades a few times over the lifetime of your vehicle. Get skilled at the usually-quick snap and replace methods for changing out your wiper blades and don’t hesitate to change them when it’s time. You’ll know it’s time to change your wiper blades when they start leaving streaks on the windshield.
Refill Your Wiper Fluid with a Weather-Appropriate Formula
When you run out of the wiper blade fluid that came with the car, refill. This is an inexpensive but important decision in vehicle maintenance. There are several formulas of windshield wiper fluid available. You’ll need to choose a formula that works best for your region and seasonal weather patterns. You may need a special winter formula to help melt and deal with ice on the windshield or you may need a summer formula that is safer at high ambient temperatures.
Test and Reinflate Your Tires Periodically
Tires slowly deflate over time. A good grip on the road and fuel efficiency require your tires to be within their optimum required range of pressure. However, they will eventually become too flat for safety or fuel efficiency. Keep an eye on your tires and pay attention to how they feel on the road. If your tires look slightly flattened on the ground or if they feel mushy or sticky on the road, it’s time to air them up.
Use a pressure tester or the tester attached to a gas station air pump to determine the current pressure of each tire. Then look up the ideal pressure for your type of tire on your model of vehicle. Fill each tire until they are within that optimal range.
Change Your AC Air Filter
Finally, don’t forget to change the filter in your vehicle AC. Yes, car ACs need their filters changed, too. Often, this is something your mechanic will eventually offer, but you can make the request as well. You can sometimes tell it’s time to change the filter if air from your AC doesn’t smell right. Sometimes mold or other contaminants can build up in a full AC filter. Those smells or musty feeling can be removed simply by installing a fresh filter, which will also improve the performance of your vehicle AC.
Taking good care of your vehicle is essential to getting the best performance over many years of reliable use. For more vehicle care and maintenance tips, contact us today!