Preventative Maintenance Your Car Needs
Cars, if not properly maintained, can become a massive drain on your finances. Most of us have experienced that stomach-churning moment when an unexpected car expense means that planned meal out has to be canceled, or—even worse—that longed for vacation has to be put on hold.
But some simple preventative car maintenance can dramatically reduce the likelihood of unnecessary car repair bills becoming reality. In short, take care of the small stuff and the big issues often never occur.
Whether you carry these tasks out yourself or rely on a professional to do it for you, the following are easy car maintenance jobs that you forgo at your peril…
- Carry out a regular vehicle inspection: Starting with the basics, once a week or so just give your car a quick once over. It only takes minutes to check that your lights and blinkers are working, check the fluid levels (oil, washer fluid, antifreeze, coolant, power steering fluid), ensure tire pressures are correct and assess tires for wear and damage. In addition, turn the music off for just a few moments and listen to the sound of the car when it’s running. Any strange noises can be investigated before they become a serious issue.
- Change the oil regularly: OK, so not something we can all do, or indeed, would actually want to do. Using a garage or oil change service would be the go-to solution for most of us. How often it needs to be changed depends on the individual car, so check the manual to know yours. Whether you’re happy to do a bit of car DIY yourself or not, you should learn the difference between car oil that looks healthy or otherwise. Ask a pro to explain what you should look for when checking the oil level (such as muddy, murky oil color) so you’re able to pre-empt an issue that there might be a problem with your engine.
- Replace windscreen wipers when needed: Those telltale streaks on the windscreen mean your wipers need some TLC. It could just be they require a clean, but it might mean a new set are needed. Good visibility is essential when driving, so don’t delay if your wipers aren’t 100% AOK.
- Check the battery terminals: Most cars now have batteries that are pretty low maintenance. However, it’s still necessary to look at the contacts to check for any buildup of “yuck” on them. Any such deposits should be brushed away with a special cleaning brush (costs a few bucks from any auto shop).
- Check timing and serpentine belts: This is an essential task as failure to change them when necessary can leave you with an eye-watering repair bill.
- Replace filters: Fuel filters and air filters get clogged up, so regular replacement is vital for optimal car performance and reducing the risk of breakdown.
- Rotate and balance your tires: A task most of us will leave to the experts, it’s an inexpensive and quick fix—one that will not only ensure your car handling is safe, but can also massively increase the longevity of your tires.
Those who like getting their hands dirty will enjoy carrying out such preventative measures themselves. However, the majority of us tend to use specialist services such as their closest Jiffy Lube. With advantages such as speed and affordability, not to mention nationwide Jiffy Lube locations, all of us can ensure that we carry out these essential chores that keep our cars as healthy as possible.
Not only does this save money in the long run, but it also gives peace of mind that your car is well-maintained and therefore safe to drive.