Maintaining your vehicle is a crucial step you need to take to increase the life of your vehicle and keep repair costs low. It can also help to ensure both your safety and that of your passengers, as well as the safety of other drivers. Following the tips above will help you get the most out of your vehicle and keep it running smoothly for years to come.
Keeping your vehicle in good shape is the smartest way to ensure that it doesn't disappoint when you least expect it. No matter how durable manufacturers claim their vehicles are, it is vital to note that they are machines made of materials and moving parts that degrade over time. So having regular preventative maintenance can save you thousands of dollars as well. Here are maintenance tips to keep your vehicle running at its best for years.
1. Get acquainted with the car manual
Every vehicle has an owner's manual, which contains tons of information about maintenance and safety precautions to take. It's typically kept in the glove compartment of your vehicle, but if you can't find yours, you probably might be able to find an electronic copy online. With the manual in hand, you will be able to learn everything you need to know about your vehicle so you can take the right steps to keep it in great shape.
2. Change engine oil and filter
Although oil plays a significant role in the health of your engine, it can easily get contaminated with dust, dirt, and debris from your engine and the environment, which may pose a problem to the overall functionality of your vehicle. So make sure you inspect the engine oil regularly and change it when it's dirty. Your air filter needs attention, too, as many car problems are often due to clogged air filters and loose fittings. It is generally recommended to get your filters changed every 12 months or after 12,000 miles.
3. Inspect all other fluids
In addition to the engine oil, you should also get into the habit of routinely checking other fluids so you can keep them at appropriate levels to keep your vehicle running properly. These fluids include:
- Brake fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
Be sure to top up or change the fluids as and when due to keep moving parts lubricated. If you see a fluid level drop between checks, it might be an indication that you have a consumption or leak problem.
4. Check tire pressure
Tire pressure can impact fuel economy and also determine the rate of wear. When tires are under-inflated, they are a drag on fuel efficiency, and when they're over-inflated, they pose a safety risk as they're more prone to blowouts or premature tread wear. So to have maximum control of your vehicle and achieve higher fuel efficiency, you need to ensure that you have the proper tire inflation. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI, and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.
5. Inspect the exterior
Don't overlook the basics when performing vehicle maintenance. It's important to routinely inspect the exterior of your vehicle for signs of damage. Replacing aging or damaged parts is usually cheaper and easier than scrambling to replace. Be sure to also clean it regularly, as this will make your ride shine and protect the paint by removing any abrasive dust or dirt.
6. Deal with any problems immediately
Fixing car problems can be both stressful and expensive. However, these issues don't just pop up - there are always warning signs. If you react to the signs immediately, you just might be able to nip the problem in the bud before it escalates to a more serious issue. Be sure to pay close attention to whatever warning signs your vehicle gives so you can immediately have it checked by an auto technician.
7. Go for regular checkups
There are many other steps for vehicle maintenance, but unless you have professional experience as an auto technician, it's unlikely that you will be able to carry out all the tasks needed to keep your car in good shape. Take your cars to an auto shop regularly to have them checked for possible issues that you're yet to detect. A qualified repair shop will help you detect and replace any worn or damaged parts.
Cost of maintaining a truck
Maintaining a truck can be expensive, with some estimates pegging the figure around $15,000. For example, replacing 16 tires alone out of 18 tires on an 18 wheeler alone costs around $4,000. Other common problems that may need repairs (or replacements, as the case might be) include air/line hoses, alternators, wiring, and brake repairs.