For any driver, ensuring that their vehicle is running in the best condition possible is important. This means taking the time to check a number of aspects on a regular basis. Performing maintenance on your vehicle can help you identify any potential problems before they worsen, fix the issues, and keep your vehicle working like new.
Before you take to the road again, here are some basic car maintenance tips you should follow.
1. REFERENCE YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL
Before you do anything, be sure to check your owner’s manual so you know exactly what you’re looking at and what you’re looking for. The owner’s manual can give you all the information you need regarding your vehicle.
2. TAKE A LOOK AT THE FLUIDS
Your engine contains a number of different fluids that help to make your vehicle run efficiently. From motor oil and coolant to power steering fluid, knowing what can impact the performance of your vehicle, how to check for these fluids, and when they need service is important.
3. TIRES ARE VERY IMPORTANT
Aside from your engine, the tires are what keep you moving. They also keep you safe. Before you take to the road again, make sure you’re checking the tires to ensure they are at a proper pressure level, the tread is enough to get traction, and there are no problems with tread separation. If you recognize any of these potential problems, it’s probably best to avoid driving on the tires.
4. WHAT DOES YOUR DASHBOARD TELL YOU?
As you’re driving, you may see a random light with a signal appear on your dashboard. This means that something on your vehicle needs attention. This can range from a service light indicating the need for an oil change, to the tire pressure light warning you of low pressure, or even a check engine light when things go really wrong.
5. LISEN FOR ANY ODD SOUNDS
As the driver of your vehicle, you should know how it sounds each time you operate it. This is the normal operating sound. However, there are times you may pay close attention to the engine and listen for any abnormal sounds. This may be an indicator that it’s time to get it looked at by a professional.
6. ENSURE YOUR LIGHTS ARE WORKING
Be sure to check the interior lights, rear lights, headlights, running lights, brake lights, and blinkers. These are very important for safe operation in various driving conditions and can help keep you safe.
7. CHECKING YOUR BRAKES
Have you ever been driving and tried to come to a stop, only to hear a loud screeching noise coming from your tires? This is because the brakes may be going bad and the pad is low. If your brakes are bad, it could result in you encountering significant problems when you try to stop your vehicle on the road.
8. JUST DRIVE AROUND FOR A WHILE
You’re the owner of the vehicle–you’ve driven it countless times before and you know exactly how it should feel when you’re operating the vehicle. If something feels off to you, it could be a problem. For instance, if you feel your car pulling towards one direction, it could mean you need a service to ensure your alignment is properly set up.
9. KEEP THOSE WINDSHIELD WIPERS FRESH
This is especially true for the fall, winter, and early spring when rain is a commonplace. Your windshield wipers ensure you’re able to see out of your windshield properly when the rain is falling or when there is water covering your window. If your wipers are bad, it could smear the window and make it difficult for you to see.
10. ENSURE YOU’RE INSURED
While this is not a direct action you can take on your vehicle, it’s one of the more important things you can ensure you have before going on the road. You want to ensure that you are covered through proper insurance policies.