Vehicle Maintenance: Why It's Important
If you own or operate an automobile, it's very important to keep up with the maintenance of your vehicle. You may feel as if you don't know that much about cars, but you don't need to be a professional mechanic to check or even be aware of the various issues that can and often do unfold. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, the following tips could prove to be quite useful. After all, if you catch a problem sooner rather than later, it will most likely be less expensive to fix.Pay Attention to the Parts
Below, you'll find a list of basic objects that can be found in or on your vehicle. These items should regularly be inspected and changed:
- Air Filter
- Oil Filter
- Washer Fluid
- Transmission Fluid
- Wiper Blades
If you aren't completely sure what the above parts are or where they're located in or on your automobile, you can always consult your owner's manual. You also have the option of taking your car to a professional mechanic and having it regularly examined and serviced. Of course, this method may prove to be a bit more expensive than doing it yourself, but it's better to be safe than sorry. And as mentioned earlier, the longer an issue is ignored, the more expensive it will be to properly and fully repair.Specific Actions to Take
The following is a helpful list of how and when to change a few of the items listed above. Again, you can always choose to rely on a professional mechanic to get the job done. However, doing the task yourself may prove to be cheaper, as well as more rewarding.
Changing the Oil
When it comes to automobiles operating to their full potential, oil is a key ingredient. Oil will keep your vehicle moving smoothly and properly. Over time, there are various factors that will cause your car's oil to lose its effectiveness (i.e. exhaust gasses); therefore, it's vital to consistently change the oil in your vehicle. Depending on how new your car is, this task should be done every 5,000 or 10,000 miles. For a more precise calculation, consult your owner's manual or do an Internet search for your specific car.
Changing the Air Filter
Over time, the air filter in your vehicle will get clogged with dirt and dust. If your filter becomes clogged, your gas mileage can be reduced, as well as the horsepower of the automobile, causing the engine to run rough and stall out. When debating how often to change these filters, consider these factors: how many miles you drive each year, as well as the atmospheric conditions during your time spent on the road. Depending on how new your engine is and whether or not you frequent rural or urban roads, you could find yourself changing the air filter between every 1,000 and 10,000 miles.
Changing the Brake Pads
For obvious reasons, the brakes on a car are very important. However, it's nearly impossible to determine how long brakes pads will last. Sure, a mechanic might be able to offer you some professional insight on the issue, but the determining factor relies on your particular driving style, the weight of your vehicle, and the original quality of your brake pads. Luckily, almost all brake pads come with a built in wear indicator. You will most likely hear a scraping or screeching sound, alerting you that it's time to change your brakes. If you avoid installing new brakes, you could potentially cause damage to your vehicle.
Stay On Top of Things
Vehicle maintenance may not be a thrilling or inexpensive task, but it's important to stay on top of various matters for your safety, as well as to avoid further expenses and damages to your car. By not keeping your car up to date, you are potentially putting yourself and other drivers in danger. It's important to do your part and stay safe every time you're on the road.