Basic Car Care Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly

452353233In winter, spring, summer or fall, you depend on your car to take you everywhere.

But never forget—your car depends on you, too. If you abandon it or take it for granted it will slowly fall apart, and eventually you will have to pay a high price for your neglect.

A basic maintenance schedule will help keep your car humming along at peak efficiency. Set your car care priorities and follow them like clockwork, and your preventive medicine regimen will pay off in lower mechanic’s bills, a longer vehicle life span and much more reliable performance.

Eight Great Home Car Care Tips

The great news is you don’t have to be mechanically inclined to practice sensible car preventive maintenance.

Here are eight simple car care tips that will keep your car rolling down the highways and byways smoothly, safely and indefinitely.

Tip #1: Familiarize yourself with the owners’ manual.

Your car has unique characteristics and you should become an expert on them. Pay particular attention to all recommendations related to service, maintenance and basic troubleshooting.

Tip #2: Check your oil every month.

Just having the oil changed on schedule is not good enough. You want to make sure proper volume is always maintained and that your oils is not getting dirty. The engine is easily compromised without a steady and sufficient flow of clean oil, so you should be prepared to add more if necessary and change it earlier than expected if signs of contamination are present.

Tip #3: Regularly check all fluid levels.

Check the antifreeze/coolant every 12 months, the power steering fluid every three months, the automatic transmission fluid every three months and the wiper fluid every six weeks to make sure adequate levels are maintained. And refill to recommended levels as necessary, of course. If you aren’t sure how to do this look in your owners’ manual for guidance.

Tip #4: Keep all of your lights in working order.

You will notice it if a headlight burns out. But unless you check frequently you may not realize your taillights, turn signals, warning lights or reverse lights have stopped working. If a bulb goes out on any of these it is neither difficult nor costly to change.

Tip #5: Monitor the condition of your tires closely.

Keep your tires inflated to the recommended level at all times. To check for excessive wear and tear insert an upside-down penny in the tread. If Lincoln’s entire head is visible your tire needs to be replaced.

Tip #6: Put a new coat of wax on the car every 8 months.

This will improve the car’s appearance and protect it from sun and weather damage.

Tip #7: Don’t forget to clean underneath the car.

A car’s underbelly will accumulate plenty of muck, grime and road salt, especially in winter. So be sure to hose the entire vehicle off, from top to bottom, every time you pay a visit to the car wash.

Tip #8: Take action to protect the interior of the car from sun damage.

Park in the shade whenever possible, use a window deflector screen and apply a UV protectant to preserve interior plastic or vinyl.

Your Auto Mechanic is Still Your Friend

Please keep in mind, this advice is meant to supplement but not replace regular routine maintenance by a trained auto mechanic.

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