Vehicle maintenance is important for several reasons; chief among them is your safety and that of your passengers, not to mention other road users. A secondary reason is retaining the value of your vehicle. Some of the basic vehicle maintenance tasks cost no money and take only a few minutes, while others may take a bit of time and effort. All are worthwhile.
Check Your Tires Monthly
An important yet often ignored car safety precaution is checking your tires regularly – monthly is ideal. Tires are your only contact point between car and road, using the air they contain to support the entire weight of the vehicle. Tires that are in perfect working condition help ensure your safety with no disruption to your driving experience.
The recommended tire pressure for your particular vehicle will be stated in the owner manual, printed on the inside of the fuel flap, or printed on a label on your driver’s door. The importance of maintaining this tire pressure cannot be overstated. Over or underinflation causes uneven wear and reduces tire longevity. It also affects cornering, stability, and braking. Increased fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are a result of low tire pressure. And don’t forget tire rotation and remember to keep your spare tire in good condition.
Change Your Oil and Oil Filter on Schedule
With modern, high-performance engines, the old industry standard of changing your oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles is no longer accurate. Many manufacturers now recommend intervals of 7,500 miles or more. Every vehicle’s owner’s manual will tell you how often to change the oil and filter.
Driving habits will impact oil consumption. City driving creates the need for more frequent oil and oil filter changes than highway driving does. Other factors like towing a trailer or driving in extreme temperatures can also affect this.
When it comes to oil filter replacement, the key is to replace it before it becomes clogged or dirty and causes damage to your engine. When you replace it, choose a high-quality oil filter that will help ensure your engine’s longevity. And – on the subject of high quality – consider switching to synthetic oil for optimal viscosity and minimal deposits in your engine.
Inspect All Other Fluids and Examine Belts and Hoses
When belts or hoses become worn out, they can snap or unhook and cause major damage to your vehicle. That type of sudden damage can leave you stranded and unable to get the car on the road again.
By performing regular car maintenance, you can avoid expensive and inconvenient breakdowns. It’s easy to visually inspect your engines and pump belts for cracks, fraying, exposed threads, and glazing. Listening for a tell-tale squealing noise when you turn on your ignition or feeling a power loss of one of your car’s belt-powered accessories will let you know that it’s time for maintenance.
Pinching the hoses to check for rigidity also helps. A hose should be flexible and not stick together when pinched. Look out for signs of swelling at the connection points. As well as excessive exhaust, smoke, or weak acceleration. Inspect for leaks of any fluid. This could save you a lot of money.
Always Listen and Feel for Brake Issues
Brakes give us warning signals that they need attention. If your brakes no longer feel effective, or they are making a grinding, rumbling, or screeching sound, or if the car pulls to one side when braking, the brake pads need replacing. If this could also mean pad wear. Brakes – together with tires – are the most important car parts in terms of your safety and should be checked and replaced regularly.
Keep your vehicle in showroom condition to ensure safety, low gas mileage, and longevity of your engine. As your trusty auto service technicians and premium used car sales since 1985, Special Interest Automobiles is ready to carry out your vehicle maintenance. Get in touch today.