Car maintenance is an essential part of vehicle ownership. But it can be difficult to know what you need to do and when.
Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to help your car run better. Using these simple tips can save you time and money down the road.
- Change the Oil
Changing the oil in your car is one of the most important things you can do for your car. Keeping it properly lubricated ensures your engine runs smoothly and helps improve fuel efficiency.
How often you need to change the oil depends on a number of factors, such as your driving habits and how much you drive. The easiest way to figure out when to change your oil is to check your owner’s manual.
It will tell you exactly what type of oil your vehicle uses and how often it should be changed. It will also give you the exact amount of oil to use and the type of filter your car needs.
Once you have the tools you need to change the oil, start by removing the cap on the oil filler hole at the top of your engine. This should help the oil drain more smoothly and quickly.
- Check the Tire Pressure
Checking the tire pressure in your car is essential for a number of reasons. It prevents rapid loss of tread depth, reduces tire wear and improves fuel efficiency.
It also prevents a vehicle from underperforming or suffering from poor handling. It’s easy to do – all you need is a good tire pressure gauge.
You’ll find recommended pressures on your vehicle’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual. Inflate your tires to the suggested amount before you drive.
To check your tires’ pressure, unscrew the screw-off caps from each tire’s valve stem. Next, insert the end of the tire-pressure gauge into each tire’s valve and press it firmly against the valve. If you hear air escaping, push the gauge in further until it stops.
- Check the Brakes
Your car’s brakes are an important part of keeping you safe. Having them checked regularly lets you know if you need to have any parts replaced or if there’s something wrong with them.
Your brake pads and linings wear out gradually, so it’s worth checking them every 10,000 miles. You can check them for uneven wear and thin spots by looking at them through the inspection hole in the caliper.
If you hear squealing or grinding when pressing the brake pedal, it’s usually an indication that the brake pads need to be replaced.
You should also check the free play of your brake pedal, which is the distance from the pedal to the floor when you aren’t pushing it. If you have excessive free play, it may indicate problems with the pedal bushings and return springs.
Finally, you should also examine the master cylinder and any self-adjusting devices on your brakes. These self-adjusting devices are supposed to allow your brake pedal to activate the brakes before they go all the way down to the floor. If they aren’t working properly, you won’t be able to stop the vehicle.
- Check the Lights
When you get your car ready to hit the road, it is important to make sure all of the lights are working. You want to be able to see where you are going and let other drivers know when you are about to turn.
It is also a good idea to check your brake and turn signal lights on a regular basis so that they are always in working order. Not only do these lights help other drivers, but they can also prevent accidents and reduce your chances of getting a fine or penalty points.
Most cars will have a variety of different dashboard lights to indicate different functions. Some will only illuminate briefly when you turn the car on, whereas others will stay lit.