Is Your Auto Maintenance Up To Date?
Buying a car is an expensive investment. To get the most life from your car, it requires routine maintenance.
1. Change your oil & oil filter
Recommendations have varied on the timeline, but it is generally recommended that your oil be changed every 5,000 miles. Depending on the model of your car, the recommendations may be different so check your owner’s manual.
When you go to change your oil, you will be faced with quite an array of options. So, should you use a conventional, synthetic blend, or full synthetic oils? A lot depends on the performance of your car, the mileage, and the climate you’re in. So why shouldn’t everyone just use synthetic? Answer: These oils are expensive and not every engine needs them. Check your owner’s manual to verify their recommendations. For more information and a breakdown on oil, Popular Mechanics has a great breakdown.
2. Check your tires
You should check the air pressure in your tires each month. Inflate tires when they are cold (driven less than one mile) to get an accurate reading, otherwise, add 4 PSI to the recommended amount, explains Bridgestone Tire. Check your spare tire while you’re at it and confirm all pressures with a tire gauge once the tires have rested. Tires should be rotated every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
3. Check All Other Fluids
Your car has multiple fluids that need to be checked & replaced. Most cars follow a 30-60-90 rule, meaning at 30,000, 60,000, & 90,000 miles various fluids should be flushed and changed. Check your owners manual for your make and model timeline.
Fluids include oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, & windshield wiper fluid.
4. Check Belts & Hoses
If belts or hoses show signs of cracking or creasing, it is probably time to have them replaced. The function of these items is too critical to the life of the car to risk them not working properly. These also follow regular maintenance schedules.
5. Check Battery, Wiper Blades, & Air Filter
If the windows streak or the blades screech when the windshield wipers are operating, then replace them. As for the car battery, the main requirement here is to ensure that the battery terminals remain free from corrosion. A wire brush along with a solution of water and baking soda will do the trick. When it comes to the air filter, you may need to replace it once or twice each year. Check the air filter when you change your oil.
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