Americans love their cars, that is no secret. This is one of the reasons that the average car driving around on the roads of the United States is at least 11 years old. From keeping your car from needing auto body work to doing general preventative maintenance, you can keep your car running with these tips.
1. Pay attention to the specific needs of your car. When you buy a car, it comes with a manual and the manufacturer has listed a service schedule for the specific make and model. You should pay attention to this service schedule. A Chevy car will have different needs than other kinds of cars. When you follow the maintenance schedule that comes from the manufacturer, you give your car the best chance to run as well as it can. Preventative maintenance goes a long way with both new and used cars.
2. Watch the tire pressure and the fluid levels. This is a very easy thing that all owners of cars can do to keep their cars running. If you can swing it, it is great to do these things once a week. If you cannot, you should shoot for at least once a month.
- Take a pressure gauge to look at your tires. You will find the correct pressure in your owner’s manual.
- Check the oil. When the engine is cool, clean off the dip stick with a rag. Put it back and check both the level and the color of your oil. This is hands down the most important fluid in your car. While checking it will not prevent you from needing auto body work, it will keep your engine from seizing.
- Check your fluid in the power steering system.
- Check the transmission fluid.
- Look at the radiator overflow.
- Give your car a chance to wake up. When you first wake up, you take your time getting up, right? Your car needs some of that as well. This is especially true if you live in colder climates. You do not want to start up your car and gun it as fast as you can. If your car has been shut off for more than a few hours, you should go slow first thing in the morning.
3. Be a relaxed driver. Not only will you be less likely to be in an accident that results in needing auto body work be done. Take it easy when you are braking. If you drive a little more carefully and deliberately, you will keep your car running better for a lot longer.
4. Be careful when you shift. Never shift from drive to reverse when your car is in motion (or vice versa). This can be a big factor in saving your transmission. If you try to switch from one direction to the other when your car is in motion, you can really do a lot of damage to your car.
5. Pay attention to your car. Most people like to drive with their sound system on, it can be a lot of fun to ride down the highway with music on but it is also a good idea to drive in silence every now and again. That way you can really listen to your car. Listen for strange noises. Do this when you are driving and when the car is idling, say at a traffic light. You may notice sounds that can indicate small problems that you can catch early. When find problems early, you can deal with them before they become large and expensive. Do not panic if you hear a strange noise. Sometimes brakes that squeak can indicate a problem but it can also be caused by a chance in the ambient temperature or weather.
6. Things will break down, be prepared. No matter how much preventative maintenance you do, things on your car will break down. You can be the most careful driver but you can still be hit at a light and need auto body work, these things happen. You will stay a lot saner if you know that this can and will happen and are prepared for them to.
We all love our cars. By following these simple tips, your will last much longer.