Your car is one of the top investments you’ll make in your lifetime, right behind a house and an education. The average adult will own around nine cars, bringing the total for a typical car budget to more than $200,000.
It’s a hefty price to pay, so you want to ensure each car lasts as long as possible. If you drive a lot, this means keeping up with maintenance and taking care of wear and tear.
You already know that oil changes and tire rotations are essential. But you might be surprised at these other tips that can easily extend the life of your car.
1. Keep an Eye On Your Tires
Tire rotations are done to ensure the wear and tear on the tread stays somewhat even. These are typically performed with every other oil change. In the meantime, you need to inspect your tires to make sure the tire pressure of each one (PSI) is where it’s supposed to be.
Most newer vehicles have pressure warning systems that let you know when your PSI is getting low. But if you live in a cold climate or you’ve had a recent storm, this number isn’t always accurate. The pressure will even out as the day gets warmer.
Ignoring the PSI for too long is the fastest way to a flat tire. You’ve probably seen pieces of tread on the highway almost every time you’ve been on the road. These blowouts are dangerous and can cause accidents.
With so many delivery drivers on the road, there are enough ways for accidents to happen. Monitoring your tire’s pressure and tread will reduce your chance of this happening.
If you are in a collision with a delivery driver because of a tire blowout or another reason, this article from JT Legal Group will guide your next steps.
2. Watch the Fluids
Checking and changing the oil in your car is the most common fluid maintenance. There are lots of other fluids that keep your car running, and they all need to be monitored, as well, such as:
- Coolant (you might call it antifreeze) is the liquid that keeps your engine from overheating and lubricates all the moving parts.
- Power steering fluid is what makes it easier to turn your steering wheel; you can drive your car with low power steering fluid, but it will damage the pump and can be expensive to fix.
- Brake fluid is the essential liquid that makes your brakes work; low brake fluid is just as scary as it sounds since if there are gaps in the brake line, it will be harder to stop your car.
- Transmission fluid, quite possibly as important as your car’s oil, is vital to keep the moving parts lubricated, maintain fluid pressure, cool the engine, avoid rust, and more.
Any of these leaks can make it difficult or perilous to drive your car. If you see a leak, see if you can figure out what color it is, then call your mechanic.
3. Replace Your Air Filter
Changing our home’s air filters lets our HVAC units run better and cleans the air we’re breathing. Changing our car’s air filters acts in a similar way.
Dirty engine air filters clog up the engine, reducing the vehicle’s efficiency. It’s much cheaper to replace the filter annually than to keep paying for extra fuel because the engine is full of dirt particles.
4. Bring in Your Vehicle for Regular Exams
Treat your car like a patient and the mechanic as the doctor. You can do some of the maintenance yourself, but ultimately, the mechanic is the one who is trained in diagnosing and fixing vehicle problems.
If your check engine light comes on or your car is stuttering when it starts, head to the mechanic. Going to the repair shop is the best way to figure out what the issue is before it becomes a major cost.
Your car is one of your most valuable assets, even while you’re still paying for it. It gets you to your job and other important destinations, and you want to take care of it as it deserves.
In addition to your regularly required maintenance, follow these four tips to show your car how much it means to you and keep it running well for as long as possible.