8 Smart Tips to Keep Your Car in Good Repair
Dan Levenson April 05, 2021
For many professionals, car ownership is a necessity. To commute to work and achieve the freedom of mobility, you have a vehicle that is probably used every single day. When we rely on anyone’s machine regularly, maintenance and repairs are essential. After all, the last thing you need is for your vehicle to malfunction, putting your life, the lives of others, and nearby property at risk.
Every vehicle owner should know how to keep their car in good repair, even if you are not personally inclined to be a home auto mechanic. Today, we’re here to share a few key practical tips to take good care of your vehicle so it will take good care of you.
Know Your Warning Lights and What They Mean
The warning lights on your dash are the single most important thing to understand about your car – other than driving properly. When one of those lights goes off, it should never be ignored. Unfortunately, many people don’t know exactly what each light means which can lead to delayed decision-making about what to do.
So know your warning lights. Look up the dashboard guide for your car’s make-and-model. This will give you a clear chart of what each light means and what you should do when you see one light up.
Learn How to Check Your Oil Dip-Stick & Top-Up Between Oil Changes
Motor oil provides the necessary lubrication so that the very hot moving parts of your engine runs smoothly. Oil is used up over time, which is why we need both oil refills and regular oil changes. You can know the state of your oil with a simple test that anyone can do. Open your hood and find the oil dip-stick. With a tug, the handle will pull out a long metal filament. Near the bottom will be an indented line. If the oil comes up to that line or close, you’re good. If the oil is below that line, add a little top-up in the nearby container.
Change Your Oil At the Right Mileage Intervals
You’ve likely heard that you should have your oil changed every X-thousand miles, but that number varies with retelling. The reason is that different engines and different types of oil need to change at different frequencies. You may have a car that needs an oil change every 3,000 miles or one that can go for 15,000 miles. Know your interval and go in reliably every time you reach that mileage.
Seasonally Change Your Oil and Wiper Fluid
If you live somewhere that freezes in the winter, it’s important to also change out your oil and wiper fluid as the weather gets cold. Winter-weight oil is lighter and less likely to become sludgy in the cold. In other words, a switch to winter oil will make it easier to start your car on a frozen morning. Winter wiper fluid has an alcohol base-liquid so that it is impossible to freeze. Summer fluid can get stuck in the container and also freeze dangerously on a cold windshield. Winter wiper fluid stays liquid and can help to melt windshield ice instead.
Kick Your Tires Before Driving Each Day
Tire care is more important than most people realize. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires both blow out more easily. Properly inflated tires also improve your gas mileage and overall vehicle performance. Over-inflation is a risk at the air machine but over time, tires lose pressure.
Each morning before you drive out, walk around the car and kick your tires. If they look or feel low, take yourself to an air machine carefully before tackling the commute.
Know Your Advised Tire Pressure & Top-Up When Low
When caring for your tires, it’s important to fill your tires to exactly (or very close to) the right pressure. For each vehicle and tire, this number is slightly different. First, look up the ideal tire pressure for your vehicle, then memorize it. This way, you can be accurate every time you top up your tires. Top-up your tires whenever they seem low and check on the air pressure any time your tire-pressure light comes on.
Have Unusual Sounds or Rumblings Investigated
As we wrap up, remember to keep an ear on your car. Any unusual sounds, smells, or feelings in the car vibration can indicate the first signs of a maintenance problem. Instead of waiting until your vehicle malfunctions, take your car in for a check-up and make sure nothing serious is wrong. It might be that your tires are the wrong pressure, that your air conditioner needs a filter change, or it could be the rumbling of a belt about to shred.
Have Your Car Inspected Once a Year
Last but not least, bring your car in for an inspection once a year whether it seems to need it or not. This is your chance to catch potential repair-need before any real problems are caused. Your mechanic can take care of an oil change and let you know if any of the parts inside your car are wearing out before they break while you’re on the road.
Ready to drive free of worries about break-downs and tire blow-outs? With these tips, you can keep your car in good repair every year and catch any maintenance concerns long before they become a real risk to your vehicle or your personal safety. For more safety tips, contact us today!