Proper Car Maintenance


Owning and maintaining a car involves much more than simply filling the gas tank and driving. Proper time-scheduled maintenance and repairs must be adhered in order to keep the vehicle running at optimal performance. While some big jobs will necessitate a trip to the mechanic, there are many things you can do yourself even for business professionals.  Whether the car is brand new or pre-owned, safeguarding one of the most necessary of possessions against ordinary wear and tear should be a central concern for car owners.

Cleanliness of the exterior of a car or auto is the first thing that is not only the most noticeable, but vital in preserving the automobile. A good washing, whether at home or at a car wash, can help keep rust at bay. Removal of bird droppings in a timely manner will help to prevent staining or paint breakdown of the vehicle.

Waxing the vehicle at least once a year is also an excellent way to enhance the looks of the car, as well as keeping the paint job looking fresh and bright. For cars driven in harsher climates where rust and/or sun-fading may be a factor, waxing a few times a year will help stave off dullness that commonly plagues vehicles when exposed to the environment on a regular basis.

Keeping a close eye on the condition of the tires is essential in maintaining a car. Those of you who were fortunate enough to go to a professional traffic school know that this is one of the leading causes of avoidable accidents on the road.  Worn or balding tires not only affect gas mileage, ride comfort, and looks of the vehicle, but also the overall safety. In general, maintaining adequate tire pressure is an important measure to take to allow for the best driving experience, as well as for safety reasons. Rotating and balancing the tires can also help in expanding the life of the tire. This should be done at every 6,000 to 10,000 miles if possible. Replacing older tires that have lost tread is one of the most vital maintenance procedures a car owner can adhere to. It is best to replace all four tires if possible, but if expense is an issue, replacing at least the front two tires will suffice.

Routing oil changes are also necessary to extend the life and health of a car. On average, the oil and oil filter should be changed at approximately 3,000 miles or every three months. During the time of the oil change, take the opportunity to monitor the levels of steering, transmission, and coolant fluids.

An engine tune-up involving the replacement of spark plugs and wires will keep the vehicle running at top performance as well as improve gas mileage. While performing a tune-up, remembering to check the fuel injectors for clogging or corroding as well as checking belts for excessive wear can save the car owner time and money in the long run.

One of the most important safety measures on a car are the brakes. A well-working brake system in a vehicle should not be understated. If stopping the car begins to noticeably take longer, or a scraping or grinding sound occurs when the brakes are applied, a thorough check of the braking system is in order. If the steering wheel has a lot of vibration or shakiness to it, the brakes may also be the culprit. Replacing the brake pads, shoes, and rotors may be necessary in order to keep the braking system up to par.

The life of a vehicle can be enormously extended by performing these simple maintenance measures in a timely manner. Keeping up with car maintenance is not only beneficial to the vehicle, but adds an element of safety to all who may be traveling in it.