Just like you, your car needs a check-up once in a while. We all take the time to inspect and ensure that we are healthy, acting at the first sign of trouble. So why should it be any different for your car? Regular maintenance keeps your vehicle running smoothly and safely on the roads. It will ensure a longer lifespan if looked after. Some aspects of car maintenance should indeed be left to trained professionals, but there are many ways that you can keep your car up to snuff. And all the while saving some money from maintenance fees! With that in mind, here are five things you should frequently check on your car.
1. Wash your car
The first one on our list is simple and seems like a prominent aspect of car maintenance. However, keeping a clean car is far more critical than you may realize. When driving, especially in a country that experiences all four seasons to the fullest, your car is subject to the elements. From road salt and ice melt in the colder months to bird droppings, pollen and tree sap in the warmer ones; your car experiences the whole gambit of what the four seasons have to offer. Keeping your car clean makes it look presentable and may help to prevent long-term damage.
2. Check and inspect your tires
Checking your car’s tire pressure and keeping it at a reasonable level is not only a necessity for safety, but also convenience. A flat tire is a hazard to the drivers around you and those in your car, and can be very dangerous. Maintaining your car’s tire pressure can help reduce the wear on the tires, as well as ensure that you are getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure means finding the recommended pressure for your specific vehicle, checking the PSI (pounds per square inch), and inflating or deflating your tires, as needed. Knowing how to add air to your tires is one thing, but knowing and adding the correct pressure is another. This is a vital step to car maintenance! To find the desired tire pressure, make sure to take a look at the driver’s door jam or in the owner’s manual of the car.
3. Be familiar with the owner’s manual
Every vehicle comes with its own owner’s manual. It is a thick book that is usually found in the glove compartment on the passenger’s side of the car. If you cannot find it, you can look up your car model online, and you should be able to find a digital copy of the manual. Make sure, especially when getting behind the wheel of a car that is not familiar, that you acquaint yourself with the owner’s manual. More specifically, pay close attention to the maintenance schedule section. Make sure to take note of the desired intervals for maintenance items, and flag this section down with a sticky note for quick access. Remember, following the manufacturer’s recommendations is crucial to keeping the car and engine running as smoothly and optimally as possible.
4. Check your air and cabin filters
One aspect of the car that is not always top of mind is the air and cabin filters in your car. They protect the air quality within the cabin, and more importantly, they protect the engine. The filter protects the engine from different contaminants, such as dirt getting in, as well as other particles from the cabin. Clogged filters cause the engine to work harder to push air through the filters, impacting fuel and performance efficiency. Depending on your mileage, automakers may recommend different timeframes in the manual of when to change it and fail to mention it. This is a useful tip for healthy car maintenance.
With this in mind, you can easily use your senses to determine whether the filters are clogged or not. A musty smell that ruminates, especially when the heat or AC is on, can indicate that the filter is past its prime. When inspecting the filters, try putting the flashlight on your phone or any light source behind it. The general rule is that if you can’t see through it, it is time to replace that filter.
5. Change your oil
Checking your car’s oil and changing it if need be is crucial for keeping your engine in its best condition. Ensure your oil is topped up and change as directed in the car’s owner’s manual. Either you can change the oil yourself, or if not comfortable, take it to a service centre to a trained professional. If you decide to change it yourself, make sure you use the correct motor oil for your vehicle. Take the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the appropriate oil level, and dispose of the old fluid.
6. Check and change your windshield wiper fluid
Checking and changing the windshield washer fluid is not always the first thing on the list when considering upkeeping car maintenance. However, that does not mean it is any less critical for your vehicle. Windshield washer fluid helps keep drivers and passengers safe by ensuring that the windshields are clean and clear of debris. You always want to be prepared rather than run the risk of having no fluid!
7. Review your car insurance
Just like you should keep up your car maintenance, you should always ensure that you are up-to-date with your car insurance policy. Doing this can help you know about your policy’s coverage and that your limits and deductibles are up to date. Keeping your car in its best condition is good for helping the car stay efficient and ensuring that you and your passengers are safe in getting where you need to go. And remember, if you are ever unsure about the procedure for fixing or checking anything within your vehicle, make sure to contact a trained professional, and they will help in any way fit.
If you are looking to renew or purchase a new auto insurance policy, contact one of our isure representatives today.