Owning a car is just as much a responsibility as it is a privilege. On the one hand, owning a car allows you the freedom to go where you want and when you want to go there.
You don’t have to use public transportation or rely on friends or family to take you places. This makes having a job, getting groceries, and maintaining a social life much easier.
However, if you don’t take good care of your car, it won’t last you very long.
We’re here to provide you with eight of the most important car maintenance tips to ensure your vehicle remains reliable for years to come. Keep reading everything you need to know about proper auto maintenance.
1. Change the Oil and Filter Every 5,000 to 10,000 miles
Regularly changing your oil is one of the most important things you can do to expand your car lifespan. Engine oil is designed to make your vehicle run more efficiently by keeping all of the internal components lubricated.
In newer cars, you can change the oil every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. However, in older vehicles, it’s recommended to change the oil every 3,000 miles. Each time you change the oil, you should also change the oil filter.
Failing to change the oil will result in dirty (and sometimes clumpy) oil, which will be hard on your engine. It can also lead to overheating.
2. Rotate Your Tires Every 5,000 to 7,5000 miles
One of the most practical car maintenance tips is to rotate your tires to prevent uneven wear and tear. Swapping the drive tires with the non-drive tires is important because the drive tires are always clawing for traction.
If you don’t rotate them every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, you’ll end up needing to replace them sooner. The best auto maintenance advice also suggests rotating tires left to right, to make sure they’re wearing evenly on the sides.
3. Keep Your Fluids Topped Off
Taking care of a car means paying attention to all your fluid levels. There are a number of different vehicle components that require fluids. We already talked about changing your oil, but you also need to keep your oil topped off in between changes.
To keep your engine from overheating, you should keep your coolant topped off. Otherwise, your engine will be more likely to overheat, which could cause permanent damage.
Other fluids to check include:
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Windshield wiper fluid
Windshield wiper fluid may not seem like a big deal. However, if your windshield is dirty and you’re driving into the sun, the level of vision impairment can be dangerous.
Similarly, if you start to run low on power steering fluid (which would only happen if you have a leak), you will lose power steering. Most people can muscle their way through a drive without power steering. However, it would become tedious after a prolonged period.
4. Keep Your Vehicle Out of the Elements as Much as Possible
One of the more obvious car maintenance tips is to protect your vehicle from harsh elements. This includes snow, ice, hail, and high winds. If you don’t have a garage, we recommend building a carport on your property.
Hail damage and debris from high winds can trash your car, leaving dents, chipped paint, and cracked windshields. Check out myelitemetalstructures.com to take a look at some high-quality metal carports. Simply keeping your vehicle under a shelter will help you maintain its condition and value.
5. Be Prepared for Inclement Weather
Learning how to make a car last longer means learning how to avoid accidents. This may sound like common sense, but many motorists fail to prepare for inclement weather properly.
For example, keeping your windshield wipers in good condition is essential. During heavy rainfall and wet snow, poor windshield wipers could significantly impair your vision.
You also need to make sure your tires are snow and ice ready come winter. Depending on where you live, this might mean investing in snow tires, studded tires, or tire chains. Losing control on an icy road could be dangerous for you and the people with whom you share the road.
6. Replace Broken and Worn-Down Parts
A lot of car owners are hesitant to replace or repair worn-down and broken parts. After years of the Covid pandemic and inflation, 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. We understand the importance of being careful with money.
However, failing to maintain your car could end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. For example, if you’re riding on balding or worn-out tires, it could result in a blowout on the highway. Aging tires also provide less traction, which could lead to an accident.
As soon as you notice an issue, take care of it. This is one of the most imperative car maintenance tips. It applies to brakes, belts, tires, air filters, fuel filters, and everything else in between.
7. Wash Your Car Regularly
You may not think that it matters, but washing your vehicle regularly is one of the most important car maintenance tips. This is especially important if you live in areas that use salt on the roads during winter. It’s also extra important if you live near the ocean.
Regardless of where you live, however, dirt, mud, and debris on your car will slowly corrode the paint. If you go too long without washing your car, it can ruin your paint job, which will significantly devalue your vehicle.
8. Have Your Car Checked Out By a Mechanic Once a Year
Finally, understand that you don’t have all the answers. Most car owners don’t know much about the mechanical or electrical aspects of their vehicles. As such, DIY inspections and maintenance are not recommended.
If you really want to learn how to make a car last longer, bite the bullet and take it to the mechanic for a yearly checkup. In many cases, they’ll perform the necessary maintenance items to keep your car running at full capacity for as long as possible.
Looking for More Car Maintenance Tips?
As you can see, there’s a lot of care that goes into maintaining a car. Follow these car maintenance tips to get the most mileage out of your vehicle while avoiding major damage and repairs.
And if you’re looking for more consumer tips, automotive guides, or lifestyle advice, you’re in the right place. Check out some of our other articles before you go to find exactly what you need.