In order to ensure that your car is safe to be on the road, you must perform routine maintenance. While most people know about oil changes and brake pad replacements, there are several other things you should consider regularly. A properly maintained car can reduce your risk for automobile accidents and injury.
When you raise the hood of your car, if what you see looks as foreign as Arabic, you may want to have a friend familiarize you with your vehicle. If this isn’t an option, don’t panic. It’s not as complex as it may seem.
Each month you should inspect your vehicle’s lights to make sure they are functioning. To do this, just turn on your car and get out. Walk around, inspecting headlights, tail lights, side lights, and brake lights. In order to check your brake lights, you may need someone else to press the brakes while you look. If no one is around, you can use a heavy rock or brick to apply pressure to the brakes while you investigate. If a light is not working, take your car to the mechanic.
Additionally, each month you should check your tires. Tires with too little air can increase your chances of having a blow-out, as well as reducing your gas mileage. Each tire is printed with a recommended psi. Use a hand tool to determine what level psi your tires are at. If they are too low, go to a gas station and add air until they reach the desired psi.
Another easy monthly check-up you can perform at home is making certain that you have enough windshield wiper fluid. This is a clearly marked container, typically located on the left side of your engine. If the liquid is below the recommended “fill line,” add water.
Oil changes vary depending on how frequently and how far you drive your vehicle, but the average person should get their oil changed every three months, or between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. While you are getting your oil changed, ask your mechanic to:
• Rotate your tires
• Check your fluids (power steering and transmission, especially)
• Inspect your belts and hoses
While most maintenance needs to be done more than once a year, there are a few things that only require your attention annually, such as:
• Checking your brake pads and fluids. If worn down, replace brake pads
• Steering and suspension
• Spark plugs
• Antifreeze levels. Do this before the first freeze, as this will prevent your liquids from freezing up the engine.
While properly maintaining your vehicle will guarantee its longevity, it can also prevent accidents from occurring.