There tends to be a lot that goes into acquiring a vehicle, from the research done beforehand to the money invested in it. Of course, we also place a great deal of reliance on our vehicles, as they’re essential instruments of our everyday lives. This is precisely why it’s so important to do everything we can to maintain our cars, trucks, and SUVs in order to get as much enjoyment and functionality out of them as we can.
Keeping a vehicle clean, changing out the oil, and so on are likely to be obvious necessities that any vehicle owner is aware of, but there is a wide array of maintenance endeavors that car owners may not be aware of or may not take as seriously as they should.
Here we’ll discuss a variety of things that you can do in order to make your vehicle last as long as possible in terms of both comfort and practicality.
What Do You Know About Your Car?
Every vehicle comes with one, but it’s not as guaranteed that every owner will read it. We’re talking about the owner’s manual, of course, and this is your greatest resource in keeping your car on the road and out of the scrap heap. Your owner’s manual is the first place you need to reference in order to know what to keep up with and what to do should your car indicate that there’s an issue.
The manual will let you know when different components of your vehicle need to be changed out, when certain services need to be carried out, and so on. Even if you’re not a mechanical kind of person, you can always ask your mechanic to show you the most essential things to keep up with and various signs of maintenance issues to look out for.
You’re Changing More than Just the Oil, Right?
One of the most basic rules of thumb that pretty much every car owner hears is that they need to change their oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first. Vehicles need far more fluid changes and additions than just oil, though.
It’s also good to flush out your vehicle’s coolant system on an annual basis and put in new coolant. Flushing out the system helps to keep various deposits from building up that could hamper the efficiency of the system and your vehicle as a whole.
You should also change out your vehicle’s transmission fluid about every 30,000 miles for most vehicles, but you’ll definitely want to refer to your owner’s manual, as this can alter, depending on your vehicle’s specific make and model, as well as the driving conditions it encounters.
It’s not just different automotive fluids that your car needs in order to thrive; it needs various parts as well. Air and oil filters need to be changed on a regular basis in order to ensure that their subsequent systems are able to keep corrosion, build-ups, and poor air and oil quality to a minimum.
Changing your spark plugs and your brake pads is also a very important maintenance step. Old spark plugs are always going to lead to some kind of engine trouble; the only question is when. Having your brakes changed is obviously extremely important, and, luckily, it’s not all that hard to know when it’s time to make the change.
As you’ll need to rotate your tires about every 6 months (another tip for you), this is the perfect opportunity to see how the brakes are holding up. You’ll likely hear the problem before you see it, though, as worn-out brake pads will lead to a screeching sound whenever you press the brake.
Creating a More Efficient Vehicle:
A lot of your maintenance troubles can be solved by taking some preventative measures that will help your car perform more efficiently and gain greater durability. One such measure is replacing halogen lights with LED lights if your vehicle doesn’t already have them. LEDs last much longer, burn brighter, and use less energy than standard halogen bulbs. They’re also more resistant to shock and vibration – something that can be an issue for any vehicle.
Buying high-grade tires can also lead to fewer issues down the road, while at the same time helping to save you money at the gas pump. You can even purchase cold air intake kits that will enhance your engine’s performance ability, replace nuts and bolts with lighter, stronger pieces, and install a higher performance suspension system. All of these options take a standard performance vehicle and push it higher up toward the status of a true high-performance piece of machinery.