Before the season changes or you hop into your vehicle for your long desired road trip it is always wise to check it over. You do not want to be stuck in the frigid cold of winter with a broken down car. Neither do you want to start on a road trip to only end up use up all your spending money on a car repair 100 miles away from home. Here are ways in which to maintain your car and keep it for the long run.
I am sure you mom is a lot like mine when she said "take care of your belongings." Sure mom was probably talking about your toys but that adage holds true for the 'toy' known as your car. If you take proper car of your vehicle it should be more reliable and last you a longer period of time.
The first thing you can do to maintain your car is to understand it. Read your owners manual and make sure you have been doing the proper maintenance at the recommended time. If you do not understand about a particular system of the car, learn about it. You can read books or search online to find out about the electrical system, fuel system and son on.
Once you have an understanding of what you should be doing to the car it is time to take action and perform maintenance on the car. Maintenance can mean doing regular fluid checks or checking the tire pressure to getting the oil changed or coolant system flushed out. Performing these tasks are what will add longevity to your vehicle's life span.
You need to get into the habit of doing the following checkups weekly or monthly. This is especially true before a season change or a long car drive or road trip. If you are unfamiliar with how to find the equipment listed, check with your owner's manual.
Check the:Engine oil level - use the dipstick and check every other time you pump gas into your vehicle.
Coolant level - views the transparent reservoir and make sure the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum level lines.
Windshield Wiper Fluid - view its transparent reservoir and make sure it is within the proper minimum and maximum lines.
Transmission fluid - engine needs to be running to check, look for details in your owner's manual.
Brake Fluid - should be able to view the reservoir and make sure has proper amount.
Belts and hoses - they can get holes or tears from regular use so look for any unusual wear and tear or evident problems.
Tires - make sure they are properly inflated and in good shape. You can find your recommended tire pressure in the owner's manual or inside of the door jamb of the driver's side. If the tires appear worn out or bald you will need to get new tires before starting on a long car trip or not only will you get poor gas mileage but terrible handling.
By performing these regular tasks you are likely to find any problems that need to be repaired before they blow up into major problems. Before going on a long road trip or the changing of the season you need to add to your check list so that your vehicle s in the best shape possible.
You have checked the various fluids and glanced at such items as tires, belts and hoses but there comes a time when more must be done with these items. There comes a time when adding oil is not enough, it is dirty and needs to be changed out. Same holds true for other fluids.
You should always change your car's oil according to the recommended schedule listed in your owner's manual. Oil is vital to the engine running properly. The engine oil lubricates the moving parts and reduces wear and tear as it helps to cool down the engine. If you are leaving on a long trip make sure you will not be going past the mileage of your next scheduled oil change. If you are it is better to get the work done before starting out.
Another smart thing to do before the season changes or you begin your travels is to get a tune up. A tune-up by a mechanic allows you to get filters changed out, an inspection of such important items as the timing chain and brake system. Not only should your car run more efficiently but it will have been thoroughly checked out so that anything that might break or leak should be caught and fixed before it can become something major on the road when you least expect it.
Back to mom's old adage of taking care of your belongings, keep the car looking good inside and out. Checking fluids and properly maintaining the components of the car's various systems is vital but so is the proper care of the interior and exterior. You do not want a car that is running strong but looks like it is on its last legs.
Wash and wax your vehicle on a regular basis but particularly before the season changes or a long trip. When it gets cold you are not going to want to be out in the cold washing off the car. And waxing the car before a trip should help deflect bugs from sticking to the grill. Also you will have a nice clean windshield to look out of. Properly maintaining the exterior will keep the paint from being hurt by UV rays or pollutants rampant in our environment.
For the interior vacuum it regularly and clean up and spills immediately. Spray a protective product on your dashboard and similar materials in the car. There is also a protective product that can be used on any non-leather upholstery so that spills or dirt is easier to wipe up. For leather use the correct product to keep it supple. Remember to even clean the headliner because dirt can also collect up there.
By performing this regular maintenance on your vehicle you will not only be prepared for everyday driving but a long road trip as well. The only thing you will need to do is load up the car with your luggage and get on the road. If you are getting the car ready for the season change you need to get your trunk prepared with such items as a blanket and ice scraper. For either event you car will get you safely to your destination and beyond if you take continual care of your vehicle.