Just like with any machine, your car needs regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. By taking care of your car and catching problems early, you can avoid larger and more expensive repairs down the road. Here are some preventative maintenance tips to keep your car healthy and save you money.
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
One of the simplest and most important things you can do to maintain your car is to check your tire pressure regularly. This is something you can do yourself in just a few minutes. All you need is a tire pressure gauge (which you can find at any auto parts store). Simply remove the cap from each tire and press the gauge against the valve stem. The gauge will give you a reading of the pressure in each tire. You can find the recommended tire pressure for your car in the owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door frame.
It’s important to check your tires regularly because underinflated tires can lead to premature wear and tear. They can also cause your car to consume more fuel because it has to work harder to move the tires. Overinflated tires are also a safety hazard because they are more susceptible to blowouts. Checking your tire pressure regularly is a simple way to extend the life of your tires and keep your car running safely.
Change Your Oil Every 5,000 Miles…or Sooner
Another important piece of preventative maintenance is changing your oil regularly. For most cars, this means every 5,000 miles. However, it’s always best to refer to your owner’s manual because different cars have different oil change requirements. Some cars with synthetic oil only need their oil changed every 10,000 miles or so.
Oil changes are important because dirty oil can cause engine damage. When you get an oil change, the technician will also usually check other fluids in your car such as coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. They will also inspect various parts of your car for wear and tear such as hoses, belts, and filters. Getting an oil change is a great way to catch small problems before they turn into big (and expensive) ones.
Rotate Your Tires Every 6 Months…or Sooner
In addition to keeping an eye on your tire pressure, it’s also important to rotate them regularly. For most cars, this means every 6 months or 6,000 miles—but again, it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual for specific recommendations. Rotating your tires helps them wear evenly so that they last longer overall. It also helps ensure that all four tires have good traction on the road, which is important for safety reasons.
If you don’t feel confident rotating your own tires, you can take them to an auto repair shop who will do it for you relatively cheaply—usually around $20-$40 per tire rotation depending on where you go. Many places that offer tire rotations will also check other aspects of your car such as fluid levels and brakes at no extra cost so it’s a great deal all around!
By following these simple preventative maintenance tips, you can extend the life of your car and avoid costly repairs down the road! Keep an eye on your tire pressure, change your oil regularly, and rotate your tires every few months or thousand miles and your car will stay healthy for years to come!
About the author:
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.