Regular car maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle in good condition. After all, you’re more likely to retain the value of a properly maintained car, especially if you purchase high-quality components from a reliable auto parts company such as CarParts.com. By taking good care of your vehicle, it can command a higher price should you ever decide to resell it down the line.
On the other hand, neglecting your vehicle can cause it to break down more frequently. Not only can this be a minor inconvenience, but it could also get you into an accident. As a result, you may end up spending a significant amount on car repairs, replacement parts, and possibly even medical bills in case you or other people were put in harm’s way.
With that said, the importance of routine car maintenance cannot be understated. Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to get started. Just keep in mind that each car part requires a different repair or replacement schedule, as they don’t usually wear out at the same time. If you’re feeling a bit lost, don’t worry. Read on for a simple guide to help you learn the best times to inspect some of your vehicle’s components:
Check Your Tire Pressure Once a Month
To ensure that your tires are always properly inflated, you should check them at least once a month. That way, they’ll be less likely to burst while you’re on the road.
Temperature also matters when inspecting your tires. As such, we recommend checking the pressure and adding air only while your tires are cold. This typically means that the vehicle was driven for less than a mile or has been parked for at least three hours. Otherwise, checking the tires while they’re still hot can cause the pressure to rise anywhere from four to six psi higher than usual.
While a basic visual inspection can clue you in on the state of your tires, it’s better to use a tire pressure gauge to get an accurate reading. Additionally, you should use a tire pressure gauge with only a .5 psi margin of error. Failing to do so may cause you to underinflate your tire, increasing the likelihood of it blowing out while you’re out on a drive. As for the correct tire pressure to use, you can find this information on the driver-side door jamb as well as the owner’s manual.
Change Your Engine Oil Every 10,000 to 15,000 Kilometers
Changing your engine oil and oil filter when needed can help you keep pieces of dirt, metal, and carbon from getting into your engine, preventing it from wearing down too quickly.
Generally speaking, manufacturers recommend that you change the oil for a gasoline engine at least once a year or every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers. If you use your car less frequently, you may replace the oil once every two years instead. And if your car uses a diesel engine, you’ll need to get the oil changed at least once or twice a year or every 7,000 kilometers.
While it’s important to change your oil on time, there’s no need to replace it more frequently than necessary. Though it won’t cause any damage to your engine, doing so will only cause you to waste a lot of time, money, and resources. Additionally, disposing of oil that’s still usable can put quite a strain on the environment.
Replace Your Air and Fuel Filters Every 25,000 to 50,000 Kilometers
Another way to extend the lifespan of your engine is to regularly replace your car’s air and fuel filters on time. Similar to the oil filter, both of these are designed to keep dirt, debris, and other impurities from getting into your engine and causing damage to its internal parts.
In most cases, it’s best to change your air filter once every 25,000 kilometers. But if you usually drive in environments with high rates of air pollution, you may want to replace it more frequently than that. Failing to change your air filter on time may result in lower gas mileage, unusual engine sounds, or may even cause black smoke to exit through the exhaust pipe.
Meanwhile, you’ll need to replace your fuel filter at least once every 50,000 kilometers. Otherwise, a clogged fuel filter can cause a host of problems. For instance, you may notice that your engine might feel rougher than usual while idling. You might also have a harder time starting your engine. In the worst cases, it may not even start up at all.
Maintaining your car can seem intimidating at first, but with enough patience and practice, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. We hope that this guide has given you a better idea of some of the necessary maintenance checks for keeping your car in tip-top condition.