How to Keep Your Car in Good Shape
Having your car serviced at regular intervals is one of the most important things you can do for your vehicle. It keeps your vehicle running properly and helps you avoid expensive repairs down the road.
Maintaining a record of your auto maintenance is another important step in preventing unnecessary repairs, and also can boost the value of your car when it’s time to sell or trade it. Grab a notebook, and write down all your oil changes, tire rotations, fluid flushes, and brake jobs.
Know your vehicle
Whether it’s an older or newer model, it’s vital to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If the shop you are going to recommend a maintenance schedule that is beyond the one recommended by your manufacturer, ask the mechanic why they feel the need to do so.
Get a written estimate for repairs before you have work done. This should include a description of the condition to be repaired, parts needed, and labor charges. It should also be signed by the repair shop.
Understand your warranty
Most warranties and service contracts require you to provide a copy of the original invoice that shows the parts, labor, and costs for the repairs. This can help you determine if the repairs were covered by your warranty and whether or not the repair shop was providing the correct services.
Be aware of warning lights
Every car has warning lights on the dashboard that indicate a possible problem. While the light may seem harmless and not worth paying attention to, ignoring it can lead to serious damage to your vehicle.
If the warning light is on, it’s important to pull over immediately and take your car into a certified mechanic. The technician will perform a diagnostic test to identify the cause of the issue, then fix the issue if necessary.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good shape, as improperly inflated tires will make your ride unstable and increase the risk of a crash. Properly inflated tires will also save you money on gas and improve your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency.
Change your air filter regularly, at least once a month or before long road trips. This will keep your engine clean and prevent clogged or dirty air filters that can damage your engine.
Check and refill your radiator and coolant regularly, at least once a year. Low levels of coolant can cause the engine to overheat and result in damage, so it’s essential to check your cooling system.
Inspect shocks and struts periodically, at least once a month or before longer road trips. Shocks and struts are designed to reduce vibration and control the steering system. If you notice that the shocks or struts feel rough or hard, bring your car in for a mechanic to look at them.
Be aware of your warning lights
The dashboard warning lights on a car are premojis that can be used to signal potential problems, and they’re not something you should ignore. Seeing these warning lights can be scary, but it’s best to address them as soon as you notice them, because they could be telling you that there is a problem with your vehicle that requires repair.