We depend on our vehicles to get us through our everyday life. If you do not think that you depend on yours, simply imagine how it will be if your vehicle breaks down. How will you get the kids if they are sick at school? How will you get to the grocery store when you run out of milk, but need some for tonight’s dinner? How will you take your girlfriend out on a date or your parent’s to their next doctor appointment? Most of all, how will you get to and from work on a daily basis? Yes, you may have friends that can help you out some, but no one wants the full responsibility of transporting you. Instead of waiting until you find out what being car-less is all about, why not take care of the basic maintenance to prolong the life of your car, right from the start of having your own vehicle? Doing so will not guarantee a car that will never have issues, but it should make the issues happen a little less often, because little issues will not become major ones.
Keep Your Fluids Clean
Whether you have a brand new vehicle or an old beater, one of the best things you can do for it is to check the fluids often. You should also change the oil every few hundred miles to ensure that the inside of your motor has all of the lubrication that it needs while running you around town. As oil travels through the motor, it becomes thin and discolored. The discoloration can lead to deposits that are left inside the motor and the thinner the oil is, the harder your motor will have to work. In both cases, it is bad news for your motor and your fuel economy. It is the same way with transmission fluids and clutch fluids. Brake fluid and power steering fluid are also important if you want the vehicle to drive the way it did when it was new.
Give Your Car a Doctor Appointment
Even if you change the fluids and filters often, there are still tiny things that can go wrong with your vehicle. Therefore, you should have your vehicle checked out and serviced by a professional at regular intervals. Most vehicle owner manuals will tell you how often you should give it a checkup. During this, your air filters will be replaced as needed, tires can be rotated, your brakes can be checked or changed as needed, and more. Your manufacturer can also hook your vehicle to a computer that may give you an insight into potential issues before they become an issue.
Keep an Eye On Your Belts
A timing belt is a belt that controls many aspects of your motor. They, like all other belts under your vehicle’s hood, can get worn out over time. Instead of waiting until your vehicle’s motor starts ticking, you should check it often to make sure it is not getting worn. Belts that are cracked, unbendable, and look rough, should be changed. Otherwise, if you are driving down the road and your vehicle leaves you stranded, it could mean a new motor, new alternator, water pumps, and more.