Got a new car and now you’re worried you won’t be able to take good care of it? Some people are natural car-buffs who know the ins and outs of loving a car but not everyone is so gifted with the talent to understand mechanics. Some people just need a car but don’t have the training to keep it in shape.
With that in mind, maintaining a car is actually quite simple. People often expect you’d have to pop the hood and spend every day poring every detail but the reality is just a few car-loving habits will do the job neatly. Here’s a look at the top 7 things you will want to follow to take good care of your car:
Tip #1 – Regularly Change Oil and Oil Filter
The best way to keep your engine up and running is to change oil regularly and to change your oil filter too. Ignoring this can also be the quickest way to break your engine and end up with a car that no longer runs.
It’s amazing how few people every pay attention to their oil engine indicator light. Valvoline prices aren’t shooting up to the roof so changing oil at home shouldn’t be a problem for most. Walmart Auto Shop (or any auto repair shop for that matter) don’t charge much either.
This means there’s no excuse to not drive up to a mechanics’ shop and have them do the oil change job for you.
Tip #2 – Change Your Coolant Every Year
You’ll want to change your coolant at least once every year. A good balance is 50% coolant and 50% water. This mixture will keep the system running smoothly, help avoid corrosion, and will flush out sedimentary dust particles and more.
Your cooling system is uniquely tied to your engine so the next priority after your engine oil is the cooling system.
Tip #3 – Transmission and Differential Oil Services
Have you ever looked into your car’s manual? If not then you should because you will want to know what the proper interval is to change differentia and transmission oils. Also make it a point to know what type of transmission fluid you need – first thing you should read is the viscosity of the fluid needed.
Tip #4 – Keep Your Car Clean
Think people wash their cars just to keep it shiny and pretty? Those are some reasons but cleaning your car also helps keep it in good shape. You need to make sure you clean everything though – wash the exteriors, wash the underside, vacuum the interiors and wipe down the dashboard, and wax the car too.
All of these will help your car fight against corrosion and dirt build-up. Corrosion will chew away at your car over time and it can happen quicker than you’d expect.
Tip #5 – Lubricate Everything
Grease is going to be your best friend. You’ll want to make sure every moving part is properly lubricated. For the most part you can just bring your car in to an auto repair shop and have the grease the vehicle down to make sure not a single spot is missed.
Tip #6 – Change Spark Plugs
Most car manufacturers and mechanics will recommend you change the engine’s spark plug every 50,000km or 31,000 miles. Sooner or later the spark plug loses its capability to function and this leads to slow starts, engines turning off, and failure to start the car especially during cold weather.
Replacing the spark plug regularly also ensures your car engine runs at its optimal level.
Tip #7 – Always Maintain Your Battery
These days you’ll find batteries labeled “maintenance-free” but you shouldn’t take their word for it. Always take a few minutes to pop the hood open and check the condition of your car battery. Any sign of corrosion, cracks, or bulges indicate you should have it replaced at an auto shop.
You should also make it a point to keep your car battery clean. Take a clean rag and wipe down your car battery every now and then to keep dust and sludge off.
Bonus Tip – Get Good Car Repair Insurance
The term “auto insurance” is flung around for repairs caused by an accident while “car repair insurance” refers to normal repairs caused by broken or worn out parts and malfunctions. You probably won’t need the latter until the warranty expires or if you’ve bought a second-hand car with no warranty.
Having car repair insurance is crucial because while it may not completely cover the costs, this type of insurance will definitely help in the long run because it can cover a hefty portion of the repair bills.
Love Your Car
These seven tips are bona fide measures to keep your car running fine and dandy. You don’t need to be a car expert to get these done and if you still have doubts you can always drive over to an auto repair shop and let the mechanics show you the ropes.