Buying a new car is perhaps one of life’s purest form of happiness, a liberating experience, that is all the while rewarding. However a vehicle, like most other earthly possessions require some form of maintenance. And to make it last it is imperative that you observe the maintenance schedule and user guide right from the start. Eventually when you run into mechanical issues, be aware it is your responsibility to get these problems fixed. So here are the 10 important things to know about your car and help you keep it in best shape:
Brakes are an important safety feature that nobody can afford to overlook. Faulty brake systems are one of the leading causes of accidents because it leaves you with less control over your vehicle. This is why you should keep your brakes properly maintained. Make sure to observe your steering wheel closely while you are driving. Does it shake when you step on the brake or feel vague / less powerful? If so, then it typically means that there is a problem with your braking system that must be addressed immediately by a specialist repairman.
Engine oil is essential for keeping the engine of your vehicle clean, cool, and lubricated. A lack of adequate engine oil can create friction, heating the bearings, rings, cylinder walls, and other critical engine components. The performance of your vehicle will thus suffer if your engine oil is old or leaking. Be aware of how often you need to change your engine oil, typically every six months or 5000 miles is good rule of thumb to follow, but it can vary between vehicles. Mind that changing your oil automatically entails changing your oil filter also.
Vehicle fluids should also be checked regularly by all car owners. It is something that can be done easily by anyone. The important fluids that you should check include coolant, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluids. Make sure these are regularly refreshed and maintained at the required levels, as per your car owner’s manual.
Your spare tire will come in handy if you ever experience a flat tire. Make sure to check that the spare tire and the jack are in your car at all times so that you don’t run into trouble when you have to resort to it. Spare tires are usually inside the trunk, but may also be located somewhere else depending on the car, for instance underneath the rear on most trucks and body on frame vehicles. Ensure that you also have a tire pump and pressure gauge in case you need to inflate your tires while on the road.
Windshield Wiper Blades
Your car’s windshield wiper blades will eventually wear out. When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear, or streak. Driving in the rain with faulty wipes makes it extremely difficult to navigate the road ahead of you and puts you and other great participants in great risk. Make sure to keep track of when your blades start to wear down so you can replace them before you get caught in the rain. On average, windshield wiper blades should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on several factors like material, use, and the climate in which you live.
Maintaining the correct tire pressure is another important thing you should consider in vehicle maintenance. If your tire pressure is low, your tires will wear out faster and need to be replaced sooner. On the other hand, if the pressure is too high, it’ll cause less traction making it harder for you to stop your vehicle. This is why it essential to use the recommended pressure for your car as per the OEM instructions to be found on the driver’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual. To prevent accidents and spending money replacing worn tires, keep track of your tire pressure using a pressure gauge if your vehicle is not fitter with a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Taillights and Headlights
Taillights and headlights can go dimmer or burn out over time, so always check them before going on a drive. If they aren’t working properly, other drivers might not be able to see your vehicle at night and could end up crashing into you. If you notice any dimming at all, don’t hesitate to go get them replaced and typically replace both tail or head lights. Don’t forget to check you indicator lights, fog lights, and reversing lights also.
Your engine air filter should be checked every six months and replaced during the scheduled maintenance intervals prescribed in your owner’s manual. When it gets dirty and clogged, your engine will have to work harder, causing a surge in your fuel expenses and could possibly even get damaged if the replacement is delayed. When servicing the car ensure that you replace the cabin air filter and / or other applicable filters, such as the oil filter, also.
Suspension and Shock Absorbers
Your car’s suspension will also wear out depending on the road conditions you are experiencing. If you start noticing bumps getting harsher while driving, the car getting unsteady or less stable, especially when cornering, or hear rattling when your vehicle goes over slopes, it means that your shocks or possibly other suspension wearables are worn out. You will have to get them replaced as soon as possible, in order to enjoy a safe, smooth, and comfortable ride. Replacing your shocks will also prevent harsh wear and tear to various other parts of your vehicle.
Last but not least, don’t forget to keep in your vehicle at all times the car and first aid emergency kits. Even if you keep your car well-maintained, it can still break down at any time. Therefore, you should keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. The kit should include tire gauge, jumper cables, flashlight, duct tape, tow rope, glass wipe, and gloves. You might also consider having some screwdrivers and / or multi-tool in case of some quick repairs. Also, always put your health first and ensure you have a first aid emergency kit in your car. This will also be required by law in most states and jurisdictions so make sure to have a compliant and complete emergency kit in your car.
Observing these 10 things will ensure your car lasts you a long while prolonging that sense of happiness and freedom you enjoyed from day one while also keeping you safe and sound. You can thank us later!”