Having your vehicle regularly serviced by a mechanic can have a lot of benefits. Regular maintenance is part of being a car owner that many people do not think about when they purchase a vehicle. Although maintaining your vehicle can cost some money, it will cost more if you continue driving your car even when there are already signs of trouble, and it will cost you more than just money if you get into an accident because your vehicle is not regularly checked and maintained.
As a vehicle owner, there are some things that you can do at home to make sure that your car is still safe to drive around. These things will be able to help you delay bringing your car to the mechanic for maintenance but are not meant to replace professional auto servicing.
1. Read the owner’s manual. – Your car should come with an owner’s manual that has all the details that you need to know about your vehicle. Aside from the regular maintenance schedule of your car, the owner’s manual also contains information about what type of oil and the octane level of the fuel your car needs. Although these things may seem basic, it could significantly affect your vehicle’s safety and performance; it could even lead to damage that will cost you thousands of dollars.
2. Inspect your car. – No one knows your car more than you, and a simple once-over of your vehicle can help you see if there are issues or if anything looks out of the ordinary. Take time to check if all of your lights are working. While driving, listen for strange sounds coming from your car. Checking your tire tread and air pressure from time to time may also prove to be useful in avoiding accidents.
3. Check your oil. – It’s necessary to check your oil regularly and this something you can do at home without having to visit a mechanic. If your car has a dipstick, you can check the oil level and its color; if your vehicle has an electronic gauge instead of a dipstick, you should learn how to check the oil by using the gauge. Knowing the difference between clean oil and muddy/murky oil can help you save a lot of money.
4. Replenish Fluids. – Different fluids and liquids run vehicles. Aside from the oil and fuel, your car also has antifreeze, power steering, coolant, wiper, and transmission fluids. Learn how to check the levels of these fluids, so you know when to add more or when to change them. If you notice any leaks, even if you don’t know what fluid is leaking, do not ignore it, instead bring your car to a mechanic right away.
5. Assess your battery. – Although newer batteries do not require as much maintenance as they used to, it’s still best to know where they are inside your hood and to check them regularly. Make sure that there are no leaks and no build-up that may hinder the contacts. If there are build-ups, you can use a battery cleaning brush to clean it off.
6. Replace wipers. – Wipers are easy to clean and replace. If your wipers are leaving a streak on your windshield, it may be time for you to replace them. Do not wait until you can barely see through your windshield since visibility is very crucial in driving.
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