Everyone knows how much Americans love their cars. Despite this, many do not take as good care of their vehicles as they should. In fact, nearly 77% of cars being driven today need some kind of work to be done, according to a recent survey. More than $60 billion in routine car maintenance goes undone each year. To avoid having your car spending too much time at the automotive shop, here are some things you should do for your car:
- Pay close attention to your tires. You can skip needing tire repair at the local automotive shop by doing simple things to keep them in good shape. There are a few things you can do to keep your tires healthy:
- Keep an eye on the air pressure. When tires are left underinflated, they are much more likely to be the cause of a serious motor vehicle accident. Once every 30 days, you should take a gauge and look at the pressure of your tires. If you are not sure what the pressure reading should be, take a look at your owner’s manual.
- Have your tires rotated. This is something you have to have done at an auto shop. You need to have this done every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
- Have the wheel alignment checked. This can be done at the same time you have your tires rotated. If your alignment is out of whack, it can cause uneven wear and tear on your tires.
- Pay attention to the fluids in your car. You should make it a point to check and change your oil, wiper, brake, power steering, and automatic transmission fluids. These are all needed to keep your vehicle running the way you want it to run.
- Take some time to examine your lights. From time to time, it makes sense to put your car in park and then inspect your lights. You should take this time to look at how your turn signals, headlights, brake lights, and tail lights. It is always better to catch these things on your own rather than be pulled over by a police officer. If you find a problem, you can take your car to the local auto repair shop to have it checked out and fixed.
- Put in new windshield wipers when you need to. The problems with windshield wipers can sneak up on you. When you find that they are no longer effective at clearing the windows of rain, you should go ahead and switch them out. This is much less expensive than getting in a crash because you cannot see traffic through the rain.
- Show your air filter some love. You need to pay attention to the air filters in your HVAC system at home and the same is true about the air filters in your car. One way to tell if you need a new one is to take it out and look at it. When you hold it up to a light, you should be able to see the light coming through the filter. If you cannot, you should get yourself a new one.
- Get the debris off of the car. You should keep the exterior of your car clean and free of debris, your paint is your car’s first defense against the world. From time to time, it also makes sense to get any dirt and debris out of the radiator. You can also look to make sure all cables are connected securely and that there is no corrosion in the engine or near the battery.
- Take your car in for a checkup from time to time. You go to your primary care doctor for checkups and your car can benefit from the same treatment at the local automotive shop. Having the experts give your car a look-see and tune-up will keep it running longer and better.
Keeping a car or truck on the road longer does take time, energy, and some money. The good news is that you can help yours stay healthy and happy for a long time with minimal trips to the local automotive shop with these simple tips and tricks.