With the cost of second-hand vehicles having risen sharply in the last couple of years, it’s more important than ever to look after your car. Keeping your car or truck in the best working order ensure it runs smoothly and stays in good condition for many years. Routine maintenance doesn’t take much time or money, but it’s an investment with big returns, as neglecting car care can result in significant repair bills and time off the road. So, factor the following care tips into your maintenance routine for a happy car.
Regularly checking the various liquid levels in the vehicle keeps the car safe and clean. Every few months, check the brake fluid level, as low levels negatively impact the performance of brakes, increasing the risk of brake failure. It’s also vital to ensure sufficient windscreen cleaner fluid as this guarantees the driver’s ability to see the road. Finally, check the coolant levels, as the combustion engine runs hot and will seize without enough coolant.
Looking after the tires is vital as they literally keep the car or truck on the road. Regularly inspect the tread for wear and damage; if there’s an unacceptable level, replace the tire immediately. Also, check the tire pressure, especially after a long trip or dramatic temperature changes. Keeping a tire inflator in the trunk lets you bring wheels up to ideal pressure levels anywhere.
Washing a truck isn’t only to keep it looking shiny and new; it’s for keeping the bodywork healthy. Removing dirt and dust allows you to inspect the bodywork and identify any knicks and scraps that could let water under the paintwork. Water ingress will cause rust to develop and compromise the integrity of the body and safety features. Washing is also vital for keeping windows and mirrors clear to give the driver visibility.
In non-electric vehicles with engines, the moving parts require lubrication to move freely. Checking the oil level lets you know if there’s enough in the engine and top up if necessary. Changing the oil every 5000- 7500 miles is important to avoid dirty oil clogging the engine and causing it to seize. Changing the oil can be done at home or if you don’t have the equipment taken into the garage.
There are several filters in a car, and they all need regular replacement to keep things running correctly. The oil filter is easy to remember if you replace it at every oil change; however, it’s easy to overlook the motor air filter. The rule of thumb is to replace this filter every 30-50 thousand miles, although driving conditions can reduce this. Newer vehicles also have a cabin air filter for the occupant’s comfort, which should be replaced annually, give or take, depending on environmental factors.
When you look after your car correctly, it’ll look after you and stay in excellent condition for a long time. Stay safe and comfortable by regularly checking the tire pressure, cleaning the exterior, and replacing essential components.
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