Proper Car Care and Maintenance Saves Money and Lives
Us – car lovers, we take our cars very seriously. Your car is a well oiled machine, that is, if you oil it well. As it gets older it needs more oiling…and other things. Regular car care and maintenance is very important to make sure that the car runs smoothly as longer as possible. Throughout this website you will find more details about how to take care of every part of your car. This is a knowledge passed down from generation to generation, just so you can keep that baby in your garage purring.
Basic car care and maintenance doesn’t require a lot. You don’t need to know how to take apart a whole car and then put it back together. Don’t worry about that. You just need to do a few regular checks and promptly visit the local mechanic if any problem should occur.
It all starts with the tires. Check the tire pressures regularly, if not once a week, at least once every two weeks. It will save you money on fuel as bad tire pressures affect fuel economy. You should also rotate the tires every 5 000 miles or so. Just put the front tires back and vice-verse and you should be good.
The brakes are also very important part of your vehicle and they accumulate a lot dust over time. That dust contains some very awful things and if you leave it for too long it will get baked onto your wheels with the help of moisture and heat.
The heart of the car. Your engine has a few rubber drive belts at the front of it which loop around several pulleys. As we all know rubber is a perishable material, especially in the extreme conditions of the engine bay. Get those checked-up every 25 000 miles and replace them every 50 000 miles.
The easiest part of it is checking for oil level. It is very easy and it will give you some useful information like if the oil level is too high or too low which can cause problems for the engine. Oil should be changed every 5 000 miles or so.
Checking the coolant level is even easier. The manual will show you where you can find the coolant reservoir. Wait for the engine to cool down and check if it is high or low. See how easy that was. Now you can open the hood and actually do something useful instead of staring at it like it is a piece of art you’re trying to understand in order to impress your girlfriend. Except every engine IS a piece of art and it WILL impress your girlfriend if you know proper car care and maintenance.
Fuel and bodywork
There is only one thing to know about your fuel. If the manufacturer says to use regular gas, then use regular gas! Premium gas does not give your car more power. Premium gas is made for sporty cars because their engines need higher octane – premium fuel to prevent detonation.
The paint job on your car is very expensive, so if you want to take care of it properly then don’t ever use the cheapest wax or polish. Today’s polishes and waxes are very sophisticated compared to the ones a decade ago. They are easier to apply, protect the paint job from fading and leave less white residue. Also, how can you maintain your car if you don’t wash it? So, don’t be lazy, wash your car at least once a week.
Electrics and Indicators
Whenever you want to disconnect your battery to do some work on the electrical system, disconnect the negative side and then the positive in order to prevent any electrical shorts. Do the opposite (positive and then negative) when reconnecting for the same reasons. Proper car care and maintenance involves checking your battery terminals from time to time. If they are not clean it will be harder for the current to pass around the system.
If an indicator is flashing faster than the other it means that one of the light bulbs has blown and needs to be replaced. The car manual will tell you how to gain access to the light bulbs. If the electrical fault light (looks like a car battery) is on that means the electrical charging system is messed up and if the oil warning light is on it means the oil pressure is too low. Heed the warnings of the indicators on your dashboard! It’s in the code for proper car care and maintenance.
One more thing, when changing the light bulbs on your headlights, hold the metal part at the base because your fingers will leave traces of oil and grease on the glass and that might eventually lead to cracking. Another important thing is changing your spark plugs every 15-20 000 miles.
Now that you know some basic car care and maintenance facts, you should also know that it involves going to get professional check-ups every 15 000 miles, or if something isn’t working right. After the first 15 000 miles you should get oil change, air filter, tire rotation and ask the mechanic to check important things like the cooling system and the brakes. After about 30 000 miles add a new fuel filter and transmission fluid to the previous inspection. After 60 000 miles add the replacement belts, valves and hoses which should, by now, be wearing thin. If you do this for your car, she will last longer for you and you will have fewer problems on the road. Proper car care and maintenance will save you a lot of money in the long run and most importantly, it can save your life.