As cars become more complex, owners are becoming increasingly more confused about how they should maintain their cars. You may have also struggled with differentiating between “must complete” maintenance tasks and those that aren’t all that important.
Well, the good news is that your troubles are over. Below, you can find a list of dos and don’ts for vehicle maintenance. Follow these and you are sure to find it a great deal easier to keep your car in excellent condition.
1. Do Read Your Owner’s Manual
Every car is equipped with a car owner’s manual. In fact, even when you buy a second-hand vehicle, you should still be able to find the manual in the glove compartment. Despite this, it is estimated that around 40 percent of vehicle owners never actually get around to reading this!
It is vital that you don’t fall into this group. Your owner’s manual contains everything you need to know about your specific make and model. Keep in mind, every vehicle is different and needs to be maintained in a certain way. If you want to make sure that you’re maintaining your vehicle in the safest and most appropriate way, then this booklet will help you out.
This document also gives you some idea of how often you need to service your car. Thus, it can actually help you save some money as well. For instance, after reading the manual, you may discover that you don’t need to change your oil as often as you might have imagined.
2. Don’t Skimp on Auto Service
There is no denying that auto service can get rather pricey. Thus, it is natural to want to find the cheapest mechanic around. However, remember that you often get what you pay for. So, although you may be saving money in the long run, your vehicle servicing may not be up to scratch. In this way, you may be putting your vehicle at risk for further issues later on.
To avoid such a scenario, make sure to do your research. Do some checking and find a good auto repair shop that is affordable, but that has a reputation for excellent service. You will then be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Oh, and when selecting an auto repair shop, make it a point to check on the kind of spare parts that they use. All the parts should be sourced from well-known, good quality manufacturers. This ensures that your vehicle’s repair job will last a lot longer.
3. Do Pay Attention to the Warning Signs
As you are well aware, there are now more signs than ever before on your dashboard. These light up when there is something wrong with your vehicle. Although it can be tempting to ignore these for a while, you shouldn’t. If you can’t figure out what the problem is, take it into a repair shop as soon as possible.
Of course, these aren’t the only warning signs that your vehicle will give. Sometimes, you may notice that something is amiss while you are driving. You may find it difficult to steer your car, brake, or perform similar functions as easily. Or, it could be that you’re hearing certain noises from the internal components.
Whenever you make such observations, don’t ignore them. Have your mechanic take a look at your car immediately to determine what is wrong. Remember, continuing to drive your vehicle in such a state will only make the problem worse. Not to mention, it could compromise your safety as well.
4. Don’t Ignore Vehicle Recalls
Did you know that in just the last few years alone there have been millions of vehicle recalls? What’s even more shocking is that many of these were from some of the best-selling car manufacturers in the world. Clearly, based on this information, it is possible to buy or own a vehicle that may be faulty in some way.
Now, the car manufacturer or dealer should contact you directly. However, if your vehicle has changed hands a few times, this may not apply to you. This is why it is a good idea to keep checking for yourself. This is easy enough to do. You simply have to visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recall page and enter your VIN number. This will show if your vehicle has been recalled or not.
5. Do Change Your Tires as Necessary
Yes, tires can be rather expensive to replace. And, to make matters worse, you will have to buy four new ones! Just doing the math on this can make you want to put off buying new tires until much later. Before you come to this decision, though, it is a good idea to check your tires.
In particular, check out the tread and just how much it has been worn down. The tread is what helps your tires – and therefore, your car – to maintain contact with the road. If the rubber has been worn away quite a bit, then there is a loss of friction. This increases the risk of your tires sliding on the road.
It should also be noted that certain types of damage aren’t always noticeable on your tires. The rubber on very old tires may have tiny cracks or tears. Thus, their rigidity is compromised quite a bit, making it quite dangerous to drive on them. So, do yourself a favor and swap out your tires well before they reach the end of their lifespan.
These are the top dos and don’ts that you should be aware of as a car owner. Follow them and your car maintenance will be an absolute breeze. You will be surprised by just how much longer you are able to make your vehicle last.