If you recently purchased a new vehicle or are in the market for one, car maintenance is probably the last thing on your mind. With rising inflation, everyone is looking for ways to save on expenses. Properly maintaining your vehicle can help extend its life, keep it in spotless condition, and save you money. Proper maintenance not only helps you to extend vehicle life but also helps you avoid unexpected costly repairs. Following these important tips can help keep your vehicle going for years and years.
1 Give your tires a little TLC
Your car’s tires are very important to vehicle handling and performance. Proper inflation is critical not only to handling but also to improved fuel economy. Keeping your car’s tires inflated to the automaker’s recommended pressures is vital to proper tire maintenance. Low tire pressure can affect braking, steering, and handling. In addition, it can lead to excess wear and tear that causes your tires to wear out faster.
Rotating your tires is another great way to extend the life of your car. It simply means changing the position of your tires on your vehicle. Consumer Reports suggests rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Regular rotation helps you to maximize tread life and keep tread wear more even across tires. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for manufacturer’s recommendations on tire rotation.
2 Change filters
The engine air filter keeps your engine clean and running efficiently. It keeps dust, pollen, and other debris from entering your car’s engine. When the air filter is clogged, it may lead to higher fuel consumption. The cabin air filter is part of your car’s ventilation system. It helps prevent dust, dirt, fumes, and pollen from circulating through your vehicle’s ventilation system. It allows you to breathe clean air while driving in your vehicle. This filter also helps to maximize airflow and extend the life of your car’s heating and air conditioning system.
The oil filter removes impurities and debris from the oil that lubricates the engine. This filter should be changed along with your regular oil changes to keep your vehicle running at peak performance. Similarly, the fuel filter filters out dust and other debris from the fuel. It plays a big role in maintaining the longevity of your car’s engine. Replace each of these filters as recommended by your owner’s manual. This is an important step in keeping an engine running well. A dirty or blocked filter can lead to poor vehicle performance or an unexpected repair bill.
3 Wash it in the winter
While washing your vehicle in colder temps might not be high on your priority list, it should be. In the winter, your car is subjected to a build-up of mud, road salt, and dirt. Washing it regularly and thoroughly can help prevent rust and corrosion. Add a protective layer in advance of the harsh winter. A coat of wax can create a barrier against road salt, grime, snow, and sleet.
4 Protect it from the hot sun
Just like your skin, prolonged exposure to UV rays can affect the exterior coat of your vehicle. It may cause the paint to fade and crack. It can also damage tires, upholstery, and leather. Park your vehicle under shade whenever possible. Investing in sunlight-reflecting panels can help keep the inside of your vehicle cooler and prevent heat-based damage. Just like in the winter, washing it consistently can help get rid of minerals and debris. Applying wax and sealants can help you add another layer of protection from the elements.
5 Check fluid levels regularly
Keeping your vehicle’s fluids at recommended levels is an important tip for maintaining the longevity of your vehicle. The six car fluids that you should check on a regular basis include engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Think of these fluids as necessary nourishment for your vehicle.
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual is your guide to checking everything properly to help extend the life of your car. Keeping good maintenance records can help you develop the habits needed to increase the life of your vehicle.
Choice One Community Credit Union – Your choice for auto loans & refinancing
Choice One offers competitive rates on new and used car loans. Whether you’re shopping for a new car or looking to lower your payment on an existing vehicle, we can help. Tap to view auto loan rates or learn more.