Preventative maintenance is an important aspect of being a safe driver. When you continue to drive a car that needs maintenance work done, you remain at a higher risk of causing an accident, which could hurt you, your passengers, or others on the road.
If you want to end up trading your car in or selling it, you’ll want to keep up with maintenance to get more out of your car. Here are the top six car maintenance tips you’ll need to keep your car performing optimally:
1. Get Your Oil Changed Regularly
Follow your manufacturer’s recommendation for the type of oil you should use in your car. Then, get your oil changed regularly according to the mileage you put on. For some oil types, you need a change as often as every 3,000 miles. Others let you get by with 6,000 miles before needing a change. By getting your oil changed, you’re helping to vastly reduce your risk of breaking down on the road and potentially ending up with bigger problems you could have prevented.
2. Check Your Air Filters
This one you can’t afford to ignore for the sake of your health. Check your car’s air filters regularly, because clogged air filters can cause a problem for your engine. Besides affecting the performance of your engine, dirty air filters can also cause poor internal cabin air quality. Not cool at all. Any preventative car maintenance spot will help you check your air filters and replace them with new ones if they’re dirty.
3. Have Your Tires Rotated and Balanced
This is a pro maintenance tip for anyone who wants their tires to last them longer. Every 6,000 to 8,000 miles you should get your tires rotated and balanced to balance out the wear they’ve acquired. You should also align them, which helps make them less prone to additional wear. Non-aligned tires can cause inaccurate steering, too, which could be dangerous on the road.
4. Change Your Transmission Fluid
Change your transmission fluid regularly according to the preventative maintenance schedule recommended by your car’s maker for your specific model. While transmission fluid doesn’t need to be changed as frequently as oil, they do need to be changed at specific mileage-based intervals for the vehicle to be in proper order.
Letting your vehicle run on low transmission fluid means lubrication problems under the hood, which can cause problems with the internal parts of the transmission. Like getting your oil changed every so often, you also need to get your transmission fluid changed regularly, according to your manufacturer’s recommendations.
5. Have Your Tires Checked Regularly
Your tires take on a lot of wear and tear as you drive on them over and over again day in and day out. Driving on the road, especially in the summer, exposes the tires to heat. The osmosis from this heat can cause air to slowly seep out through the material of your tires, resulting in tires with low air pressure.
Driving with low tire pressure means your tires are making contact with the heat of the road for longer, which could potentially put them at risk of overheating and blowing out on the road. Besides low air pressure, other car common tire problems include poor alignment. For preventative purposes, you should get your tires re-aligned, balanced and rotated every 10,000 miles.
6. Have an Extended Warranty Plan
Another safeguard against costly repairs and having to purchase a new vehicle altogether is to invest in an extended warranty plan to cover it. This saves you maintenance and repair costs, which often accrue when you’re driving an older vehicle that has racked up a higher mileage.
While it saves money to drive an older vehicle, it’s not always worth it if you aren’t covered for maintenance and repairs. An extended warranty fixes this problem, allowing you to benefit from your car for longer and save up more money before you have to buy a new one.
Getting the Preventative Maintenance You Need for Your Car
While many costly repairs can be avoided with the right preventative maintenance, you can save a lot of money by getting repair and preventative maintenance costs covered by an extended warranty plan. There are several maintenance tasks that need done on a regular basis to keep the car driving safely on the road.
It needs its tires aligned and balanced, it needs the oil and air filters changed, and it needs the transmission fluid changed at regular intervals. Keeping up with your car’s recommended maintenance not only extends the life of your car, but also helps keep you safer when driving it.