What Are the Best Car Care Tips?

By John Harvey

Your car is a major investment and is very important to you, because it gets you where you need to go. Because of that, you should be caring for and maintaining it properly, so that it stays in good running condition. Many accidents happen simply because car problems that don't need to be there are in existence, even though they could be prevented simply by performing routine maintenance. You can do many of these routine checks yourself, too, and you can do many of them without having to have a lot of mechanical knowledge.

When you take the time and effort to care for your car you will extend the life of the vehicle. There are some other bonuses that you receive including better gas mileage, longer tire life and fewer automotive exhaust problems. You should also note that routine checks alert you to small problems before they have time to become expensive headaches. Early detection and prompt repairs of automobile problems will generally keep any repair costs low.

What should you do to take the best care of your car? Here are some things you should keep in mind:

Begin with the basics. Check your car owner's manual and follow the recommendations concerning oil changes, tune-ups and other routine maintenance tasks.

Change oil and oil filters as needed. For many cars, you'll need to change your oil and oil filters about every 3000 miles, while other cars may allow more mileage between changes.

Flood levels for several different applications should be checked every week. Oil and brake fluid, power steering and transmission fluid, and radiator fluid, as well as your overflow tank, should be checked weekly. Windshield washing fluid, too, should be checked and topped off every week as needed.

Tires should be checked for proper pressure at least once a week. If your tires are under or over inflated, your car will be less fuel-efficient, and it could even be dangerous to you.

Check tires for wear patterns, the amount of tread you have left, and any cracks; also make sure no nails or tacks have been picked up that could be causing you to have a slow leak. Make sure his well that hubcaps and lug nuts are securely fastened.

Tune ups should be performed as part of your car's routine, scheduled maintenance. Problems with spark plugs or fuel injectors can lower your gas mileage up to 35%. Many people try to postpone a tune up, especially if the car appears to be running fine. However it is only when you take it in to the garage that the engine can be thoroughly inspected for any problems or misfiring.

Make sure your chassis is regularly lubricated as well. This means your car's suspension is going to remain optimal. Usually, the shop that changes your oil will also perform chassis lubrication as part of the service.

Your battery is literally what keeps your car ticking along. Keep an eye on it, especially in regard to cables and posts. If you notice corrosion is building up, you can gently clean it off with a wire brush. Make sure connections are secure; if you don't, you could have a dead battery, which is something you don't want.

Change your windshield wiper blades at least once a year and inspect them monthly for cracks or other problems. Use a protective coating such as Rain-X on your windshield every 2 weeks. This increases your viewing ability on days when heavy rain is a problem.

Headlights should also be checked. Also check taillights and turn signals at the same time, once a week. Make sure there are no burned out bulbs, as this can cause you to have an accident or other problems, because they're not working.

It may seem like a lot to undertake: to follow a checklist every week to maintain your car well, but doing it on a regular basis will soon have it be second nature to you. And because you're proactive in this way, your car is going to stay running well and in good repair for much longer, which means that it will perform well for you much longer, too. - 29952

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