During the holiday season, every purchase seems to be magnified. The last thing anyone needs is an unplanned bill for car repair. Save yourself time and money by maintaining your car to avoid costly repairs. Below, we’ve outlined 6 ways to extend the life of your car by proper and proactive maintenance – thereby reducing repair bills.
Get to know your vehicle owner’s manual
You love your car, but how well do you really know it? The vehicle owner’s manual is like a car’s diary – everything you ever wanted to know about your car is in there. Take time to give it a quick read so you know where to find important information when you need it. Manuals include the technical details about how your car works as well as important maintenance information (back of book) that will help you extend your car’s life. If you don’t have the time (or patience) to read through your owner’s manual to find out your maintenance schedule.
Check your oil
Checking your oil is an easy thing to do and also one of the simplest ways to keep your vehicle healthy. Oil helps lubricate your engine. If it’s not checked and changed at recommended intervals, it could stop doing its job and cause damage to your engine. A good rule of thumb is to check your oil once a month (depending on mileage driven), but your vehicle owner’s manual has details specific to your car and what type of oil is appropriate for your engine. Learn how to check your oil.
Change your filters
Running a vehicle with clean filters makes a world of a difference. Dirty or damaged filters can cause several performance issues with your vehicle. Filters essentially block out the bad stuff. Engine air and oil filters keep sediments and debris from entering your engine while cabin air filters keep cabin air dust and allergen free. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for details on your car’s filters. Filters can also be checked during routine oil changes.
Garage your vehicle
Where your vehicle is parked actually matters. Garages protect your vehicle from damaging elements such as the sun when it’s hot and snow in colder regions. If you don’t have the ability to park in a garage, don’t sweat it. When it’s sunny, park in the shade. In the winter months, wash your car regularly so salt and sand don’t build up on the paint and undercarriage.
Keep an eye on the tires
Tires are your anchors to the road. If your tires are worn, the connection point between your vehicle and the road may not be ideal. Keeping an eye on the tread wear helps ensure the safety of your ride. Check tire pressure levels on each tire regularly. Most vehicles have a sticker on the inside of the driver-side door that provide the appropriate reading for tire pressure in both normal and cold conditions. If you are unable to find the sticker, consult your vehicle owner’s manual.
Your ride isn’t a race car
Driving like a race car driver can speed up wear on your vehicle’s components. Driving with a lead foot, hard braking and cornering speeds up wear and tear through stress. Don’t be afraid to take your time and enjoy the ride.
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