Car maintenance is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to ensure that your vehicle works well and lives a long life. Along with having a car warranty, whether it’s an after-market warranty or a manufacturer’s warranty like a Honda car warranty, performing proper maintenance tasks will save you money over the life of your vehicle. Regular maintenance will keep your vehicle running properly, but it can be easy to forget or postpone. It can also be hard for new car owners to know what maintenance should be done, and how often to do it. Here are some hints to help you keep on top of these regular maintenance needs
Car maintenance is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to ensure that your vehicle works well and lives a long life. Along with having a car warranty, whether it’s an after-market warranty or a manufacturer’s warranty like a Honda car warranty, performing proper maintenance tasks will save you money over the life of your vehicle. Regular maintenance will keep your vehicle running properly, but it can be easy to forget or postpone. It can also be hard for new car owners to know what maintenance should be done, and how often to do it. Here are some hints to help you keep on top of these regular maintenance needs.
Talk to Your Mechanic
One of the best ways to know what maintenance should be done and how to do it properly is by talking to a mechanic. A trusted expert can explain what you should be doing and can help you learn how to do it correctly. Small maintenance items like changing wiper blades, replacing burnt-out bulbs, and checking the oil can be done easily and regularly by most car owners. If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it, ask a trusted mechanic for advice.
Set Up a Schedule
Set up a schedule for your car’s maintenance. Most car manufacturers recommend maintenance be performed at certain times, and the best way to make sure this happens is to schedule it and stick to your schedule. Whether you perform the maintenance yourself or take your car to a mechanic, ensuring that all the recommended maintenance is done on time will lengthen the life of your car and save money in the long run.
Keep Good Records
Future buyers will want to know that your vehicle was maintained regularly and properly. The best way to prove that this has happened is to keep good records. Records of oil changes are especially important, but you should also keep a record book and receipts of all other maintenance as it is performed. This is also helpful to your mechanic when you have vehicle problems as they can rule out maintenance-related problems and determine how old certain parts are.
Create a Pre-Trip Checklist
A pre-trip checklist can be used any time you are traveling farther than normal. Some people perform them every time they drive, but that’s not practical for most people. The list involves checking things like lights, fluid levels, and other things that could affect the safety and performance of your vehicle with the goal of performing any repairs or maintenance needed before you leave on your trip.
Give Your Car Regular Check-ups
Just like people, vehicles should have regular check-ups. Whether this is done by a mechanic or by you, regular check-ups allow you to spot problems early. Problems that aren’t spotted early can lead to breakdowns, expensive repairs, and further damage to large components like the engine or the electrical system. Regular check-ups will also give you peace of mind that your car is working well and you won’t be left stranded on the side of the road.
Wash Your Car Regularly
Washing your car regularly will extend its life, as well as make it look nicer, and make it easier to sell in the future. Just like other maintenance tasks, wash your car on a regular schedule. You should wash it more often if you frequently drive on wet or salty roads. Make sure that you are washing underneath the vehicle and in the wheels as well as the more visible parts of the car.
Don’t Forget to Clean the Inside
You should also vacuum your car regularly. Ideally, it would be vacuumed every time you wash it, and more often if there is a specific area that needs to be cleaned up. The carpet in your car can be damaged by abrasive action which happens when dirt and sand are ground into the fibers. One of the best ways to keep the interior of your car looking clean and well-maintained is by keeping the carpet vacuumed regularly. You should also wipe down the windowsills, dash, and other areas to keep dust and grime from building up.
Don’t Put Off Maintenance
When your car needs maintenance, whether it is regularly scheduled or in response to a check engine light, make sure you handle it as soon as possible. Putting off necessary maintenance and repairs can cause damage to your vehicle or make the problem more expensive. Putting off regularly scheduled maintenance can decrease the life of your car over time, and cause wear to important and expensive parts like the engine and transmission. Avoiding or delaying some maintenance, like rotating and replacing tires when worn, can actually put you in danger of an accident.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
If you haven’t read your owner’s manual, you don’t really know what maintenance your vehicle should have and how often it should be done. Reading the important parts of your owner’s manual should be one of the first things you do when you get a new or new-to-you vehicle. Besides these important things, you will also learn how to set your clock and program your radio if you read your owner’s manual.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to help increase the life of your vehicle and make maintenance easier is simply to drive more carefully. Reckless driving, speeding, and driving in inclement conditions puts both you and your vehicle at risk. Drive your vehicle like you care about it and it will repay you with a long and reliable life.