When the emblem in the upper-left corner of your windshield grabs your attention while you’re stuck in traffic with nothing else to do, it’s time to take your car for routine maintenance.
Your car was inspected three months ago, but you’ve only driven it about 3,000 miles since the last oil change, according to your records. Suddenly, the prospect of a breakdown on the side of the road or a blown engine looms large in your head. Therefore, just to be sure, you call the dealership and make an appointment for maintenance. If this explains how you take care of your car’s upkeep, you’re probably wasting money. Dealership service departments and quick-change oil shops use those little stickers as helpful sales tools, but they’re just misleading reminders to service your vehicle.
You have a busy schedule, and finding time to take your car to the technician can be difficult. Depending on the situation, you can be without your vehicle for a few hours or even longer before you eventually get it in. Regardless of the hassle, it is important to schedule auto maintenance. Seek advice from your owner’s manual and make a list of important maintenance milestones to keep track of your car’s wellbeing. Keep in mind that not all routine maintenance necessitates the assistance of a professional—there are certain activities you may perform yourself to keep your automobile running smoothly. Finally, be sure to avoid some of the popular car maintenance blunders discussed in this post, which can shorten your vehicle’s lifespan.
Maintaining your car properly is key to keeping it in good working order. It can also guarantee your safety, the safety of your riders, and the safety of other drivers on the road. Here are some tips to keep your car in good working condition.
Be careful during the break-in period
You’ve just purchased your dream car, and now you want to keep it in top shape for as long as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you drive it off the dealer’s lot:
- Hold your speed below 55 mph (88 kpm) or the speed specified by your car’s manufacturer during the break-in stage, which is usually the first 1,000 miles or 1,600 km.
- For the first several hours of driving, use only mild to medium acceleration and hold the engine RPM below 3,000.
- Allowing your new car to be idle for extended periods is bad for its lifespan, but it’s particularly bad during the break-in period. It’s possible that the oil current exerted by doing so isn’t bringing oil to each and every part of your engine.
- Towing trailers and filling the roof rack or trunk with heavy building materials are two examples of heavy loads to avoid.
Give your car a paint protection
Dealers also sell new car paint protection treatment as an optional extra to customers purchasing a new vehicle. It’s actually an invisible protective mask that’s spread over the surface of the car’s paintwork. Stone chips, bird droppings, tree sap, and fading, all of which are natural and harmful to untreated vehicles, are covered by it. However, it does not guard against more serious harm such as parking scuffs and dents.
Tire Inspection And Maintenance
Knowing how to control your car’s tire pressure will help you save money on gas by reducing tire wear and ensuring you get good mileage.
Tires on today’s automobiles are extremely durable. They will last for 50,000 miles on average until they need to be substituted. However, if they aren’t rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, they can only last half as long. Tires wear in a subtly different pattern, depending on where they are mounted on the vehicle, so rotating them regularly will ensure that they wear uniformly and last longer.
Having Wheels That Aren’t Aligned
As a mechanic replaces tires, he aligns the wheels to make sure they all point straight ahead and adjusts them to the manufacturer’s specifications. A wheel can be knocked out of balance if you strike a pothole or a curb. You should get your alignment tested if you find the car pulling to one side or if the steering wheel is skewed when driving straight. If you drive a car with misaligned wheels, the tires will wear out quicker, and the vehicle will be more difficult to steer.
Schedule an arrangement to get your oil and oil filter changed
What is the significance of oil changes? Changing oil regularly aids in the maintenance of a healthy engine. Motor oil takes up impurities as it lubricates and cools the engine. This is great! What’s not so great is that oil loses its effectiveness as it ages. That’s why it’s essential to change your oil and filters on a regular basis. Your motor oil can’t perform its role and safeguard your engine if it’s too old. Schedule an oil change for the beginning of spring to keep your engine running smoothly all season.
Use high-quality lubricants at all times
This may seem obvious to some of us, but some first-time car owners have no idea. First and foremost, check your owner’s manual. If synthetic oil is recommended, that is what you should use. Also, for novice owners, major brands like Esso/Mobil and Shell are safe picks.
Whatever brand you choose, keep in mind that different engine oils, even though they have the same viscosity, should never be mixed! While you’re at it, don’t mix synthetic and natural oils together!
Purchase gas from a reliable service station
Inquire about whether the gas you purchase is filtered at the pump and whether the station has a procedure for changing the pump filters on a regular basis. If you don’t get satisfactory answers, try another gas station. Some stations lack pump filters, leaving you exposed to contaminated fuel. Other stations cannot properly combine alcohol and gasoline, or worse, dilute their product. Choose a station that you can trust and stick with it.
Have your car battery checked and, if necessary, get it replaced
Your car battery could be on its last legs after the winter. Low temperatures slowed the battery’s chemical reactions, making it work harder. High temperatures are on their way, ready to evaporate important battery fluids and accelerate corrosion. There’s a risk your battery could die on a very hot day. Get your car battery checked and, if possible, replaced before it’s too late.
Don’t Ignore Brake Issues
The owner’s manual will tell you how often you can change your car’s brake pads, which is usually every 50,000 miles. Even so, if you hear a whirring sound or feel a thud when you step on the brakes, get them checked out as soon as possible because the brake pads can be worn out. If you ignore the problem, you risk damaging the brake rotors, which are costly to repair.
Examine the exhaust system
Check the tailpipe regularly as part of your engine maintenance routine. It’s common for the car to emit white-colored smoke after it’s been parked overnight. It’s all vaporized water. The smoke that is dark or blue in color, on the other hand, can indicate an issue. The above, in particular, typically denotes the burning of oil. A dense cloud of whitish-blue smoke followed by a loss of power may indicate anything from a broken turbocharger to a choked PCV valve.
Don’t keep your motor redlining!
Our ears rejoice in the electric and exhaust sounds. After all, redlining your engine should support “clear carbon,” right? Both statements are correct, but the latter is only partially correct. Carbon deposits can be removed by revving the engine hard every now and then. However, revving the engine to the max just to get from one intersection to the next is not a great idea. It’s a formula for engine damage and premature wear. Save the rough acceleration for the border crossings. Even then, before revving the engine, make sure it’s at its optimum temperature.
Using the Wrong Components
If you perform your own car maintenance, you’ll find that there are hundreds of brands of filters, spark plugs, rims, and other off-brand accessories that claim to match your car’s make and model. Although these knockoffs are less expensive than branded parts, they do not always work as well and can shorten the life of your vehicle. Always buy the parts that your car’s manufacturer recommends.
Select a reputable auto insurance provider
No matter how diligent you are, tragedy can hit at some point—usually in the form of an accident. You need to have an insurer that will pay for parts from the original manufacturer and guarantee the repairs it mandates to ensure that the vehicle is fixed to the highest possible quality.