Having a strong car maintenance schedule is very beneficial to your vehicles health. Maintaining your car regularly is part of a healthy regimen on keeping yourself safe on the road, apart from it being a crucial aspect in protecting what could be among your major investments. It doesn’t matter whether your car is already bordering on being a dowdy runabout or one that remains its showroom quality – subjecting it to regular maintenance can help avert liabilities.
For that, you must keep in mind to have an arsenal of know-how that makes for a complete regular car maintenance schedule. Do know that it’s important that you understand the fundamentals of what it takes for your car to continue running flawlessly every time you inspect it for its scheduled maintenance. Written here are some of the key essentials for your regular car maintenance schedule.
Read The Manual
First things first, reading the manual for your car is a great way to jump-start your car’s maintenance. Simply put, the manual basically has everything you need to know about your car – from the best ways to have its electronics running smoothly with the proper fluids it needs per given functionality. In getting to know your car better, taking the time to read the manual is an ideal approach.
Of course, there are times when you might not fully understand some of the things your manual tells you. That, for sure, provides you with an opportunity to research more about your car using resources such as the Internet or your friendly professional in your neighborhood repair shop (which will be discussed later in this article).
Understand The Basic Areas Of Preventative Maintenance
Keeping a regular car maintenance schedule essentially requires your knowledge of what areas of your car need preventive maintenance. This portion, as it unravels into a relatively lengthy one, provides you with all your car’s basic components you need to check as part of your scheduled maintenance:
- Initial inspection – Performing an initial inspection on your car allows you to check whether there are problems that can be spotted at the surface level. This includes the following: lights, tire pressure, or anything that’s unusual for an otherwise-normal car (i.e. strange sounds, unnecessary vibrations, etc.).
- Fluids and oil change – Your car operates on different kinds of fluids, many of which must be replaced properly and regularly once consumed. For that, keep track of your car’s basic fluid maintenance such as your coolant, power steering, or wiper fluid. Oil changes are also important, and any unusual behavior involving it is a cause for concern.
- Engine belts – Your engine belts, otherwise known as serpentine belts, wear out after periods of continuous use. To prevent any risks related to engine failure, you must keep in mind the need to have those replaced. However, doing so might require the expertise of your mechanic, given that it may cause further damage when done wrongfully.
- Battery – Although batteries for cars these days don’t require heavy attention for maintenance, it’s best to always inspect if it’s in good condition. Leaks, burns, or any other significant damage are potential red flags. Also, equip and acquaint yourself with relevant equipment such as a jump starter, battery tester, and cleaning brush.
- Spark plugs – Spark plugs are effective indicators that your car requires maintenance. If it contains some sort of residue buildup or is already showing significant amounts of wear and tear, it can lead your car to consume fuel inefficiently. For that, consider replacing it – it can last for a varied amount of distances, depending on the kind of material.
- Air filters – Both your cabin and engine areas have air passages equipped with filters, which requires an inspection to ensure optimum air quality for great performance. Refer to your manual to understand when do you need to clean or replace air filters. Comprehensive guides – or your mechanic perhaps, can also teach you how to clean or replace them.
- Windshield – It’s always important to keep your windshield clean inside and out so that you won’t compromise your safety through limited visibility. At the same time, make sure that your wipers are in good shape for clearing your windshield of dirt – they aren’t too difficult to replace and replacements are quite inexpensive.
- Tires – Periodic checks on your tires can save you from potential liabilities that can be costlier. Instead of replacing all your tires at the same time in the event of visible wear – an expensive mode, you can subject them to rotation and balancing. At the same time, you must keep your car’s alignment in check – your mechanic can help you out on that.
Don’t Undermine Technology’s Assisting Power
Technology can aid you in terms of keeping your regular car maintenance schedule – it provides tools that can give you an easier head-start into ensuring that your car is in its best condition. For instance, apps can help you keep track of your car’s performance, as you get more information on the issues you need to address it.
Other examples showing how technology can assist you in ensuring your car’s regular maintenance are currently widespread and continuously developing. Keeping your maintenance receipts through a computerized vehicle maintenance log is one such convenient method. Using cloud software for storing relevant information is becoming a recognized practice these days.
When In Doubt, Head Over To A Professional
Lastly, but certainly not the least in importance, is the need to secure the help of a certified professional if you’re unsure of what to do with your car’s maintenance needs. Often, getting a skilled mechanic from the repair shop down the street or any knowledgeable repairman whose expertise in automobiles is undeniable can help you steer clear of unwanted breakdowns.
Some may worry about the service costs professionals in vehicle maintenance and repair offer, in that it’s possible for rip-offs to take place from time to time. For that, it’s best to keep things simple – search for feedback on mechanics near you from the Internet, or take the time to ask past customers about their service. That way, you can easily filter the good ones from the cons.