A car is one of the most valuable assets you can possess. It’s there when you need to make a quick grocery run, visit a loved one, or take a road trip. Vehicle maintenance is an essential part of owning a car. According to statistics, there are around 1.7 million vehicle sales in Canada annually, and luckily, there are various top-quality car maintenance services in every locality. If you own a car, taking care of it is not only a responsibility but also a necessity. Keep reading as we explain the fundamentals of car maintenance and repair.
1. Regularly Check Your Fluids
Over time, fluids become dirty and less effective, needing to be checked and replaced. If this task isn’t carried out, your car can overheat or break down, which is extremely dangerous while driving. You should check fluids every week, especially if you drive your car almost daily.
In case you don’t drive as often throughout the week, you can get it checked every other month. This way, you can ensure that the fluid levels are always full and avoid problems in emergencies.
Additionally, there’s a common misconception among car owners to only check the engine oil when the vehicle makes noise while running, but changing the oil is essential to just about everything. A prime example of its usefulness is adding weight to your tires in colder months when it’s been sitting idle for too long. The fluid you should regularly check are:
- Brake and transmission fluids
- Car battery fluid
- Car coolant
- Car washer fluid
- Car windshield wiper fluid
- Power steering fluid
2. Stay Vigilant About Tire Pressure
Maintaining proper tire pressure will keep you out of harm’s way. Whether your tires are over-inflated or under-inflated, they won’t stop or maneuver your car as well as tires with the correct pressure. There are also greater chances of a blowout with improperly inflated tires, while those with the right pressure increase fuel efficiency and last longer.
Keep an eye on your tire pressure because it constantly changes as temperatures fluctuate and the tires log miles. Fill them with air if needed when you stop to get gas at a station. Typically, this is every other gas fill-up and prevents minor deficiencies from becoming big problems.
3. Change the Air Filter Annually
Unless you change your vehicle’s car filter once a year, it will use more gas and burn out faster than usual. You can achieve this by reading through the car type’s manual online for instructions on changing the air filter. Otherwise, there’s always the option of taking it to an auto shop for a professional service. Don’t forget to take all your car supplies, like the relevant wrenches and a car jack.
4. Clean the Inside
We’re all guilty of leaving food wrappers and muddy shoe trails inside our vehicles. If you clean the inside of your car regularly, it will look great and maintain its value. Additionally, it’s recommended to protect the upholstery from inevitable spills with a protector. Protecting car seats is essential to prolonging a vehicle’s life expectancy, especially if you plan to sell it later. Over time, the cleaning process becomes easier because grease stains don’t get absorbed deeply in the fabric, and you can simply take them out in regular washing. Clean and protected upholstery also results in a more comfortable driving experience.
Use an upholstery brush vacuum to eliminate dirt or dust on all surfaces. You can then proceed by wiping down the windows from the inside for clearer visibility. Lastly, ensure that you take out all the trash scattered inside so that clutter doesn’t pile up and become a hassle. By following these steps, you will have a shiny and healthy-looking car for a long time.
5. Clean or Repair Your Windshield
A stained windshield splattered with bugs is a safety hazard, obscuring the road view while you’re driving. For this reason, clean it once every few days with a microfibre towel or the spongy component of a squeegee found at a gas station that is soaked in cleaning fluid. Run the towel or squeegee from the windshield’s sides to the middle before moving from top to button to finish off the leftover stains.
You should carry out this activity, especially after an extended highway or off-road drive, because the windshield is more likely to be swarmed with insect remains that disrupt your line of sight. If your headlights are grimy, give them a proper cleaning as well.
In contrast, if you’ve been in an accident that left you scratchless but resulted in cracks on your windshield, it’s in your best interest to get it fixed immediately. At any time, it could cave in and seriously injure you or other cars on the road. You can check out vanisleglass.com for a quick and painless windshield repair process.
6. Annual Service
There’s no car maintenance without car servicing; a crucial task car owners often forget to achieve once a year. In the case that you’re unsure when your car was last serviced, reach out to your mechanic about coming in for a service soon or check the logbook. Annual servicing ensures that all car parts are working how they should and prevents major problems from occurring down the line.
A car service will most likely include air filter cleaning/replacement, battery test and top-up (if required), oil changes, and wiper blade inspection/ replacement. You can determine whether the things mentioned above are needed by checking various aspects like car electrics, brakes, the cooling system, and suspension. By ensuring that the car is in good condition, you will attain peace of mind that it can be used safely for an extended period.
A car can quickly transition from being your best friend to becoming a headache if you don’t take care of its various parts and mechanisms. Wear and tear affect a vehicle’s functionality, and while that is inevitable, you can make sure that it lasts a long time with regular maintenance and repair. You have to frequently check both the inside and outside for aesthetics and technical reasons, so protect the upholstery, change the fluids, repair your windshield, and whatever else is required. While the tips mentioned above can seem like a task, they’re worth the effort and will become a habit as time passes.