For most people, their car is their main mode of transportation. You rely on your car to get around town and take care of your daily activities. Nobody likes to see their “check engine” light flick on or have their car break down. Whether you have a luxury vehicle or an older car, you need to properly maintain your car if you want it to run optimally. Taking care of your car helps you avoid unexpected repairs or expensive problems.
There are many steps to taking care of your car, from cleaning to maintenance and even the way you drive. With a new car, you probably have a warranty that covers some repairs for a limited time. But once your new Acura warranty expires, it’s up to you to handle any repair costs. That’s why it’s critical to take care of your car from day one. If you’re not a car person and don’t know how to properly care for your car, check out these tips to get started.
1. Keep Your Car Clean
Regularly cleaning your car is a seemingly simple task, but many let too much time pass or think it’s not that dirty. You might not realize it, but cleaning your car is not just about keeping it looking nice; it’s necessary if you want to avoid unnecessary damage to your car. Dirt and little rocks can get into the undercarriage and wear out the moving parts. Bird poop can ruin your paint job if you don’t clean it right away. Not cleaning the interior of your car can lead to permanent stains and wear to your upholstery.
Try to clean your car inside and out at least once a month, or more if it gets dirty quickly. Be careful to rinse your car before washing it to avoid scratching the paint. Automatic car washes can also cause scratches and aren’t as thorough, so it’s best to go to a professional or do it yourself. Polishing your car once a year can also protect the paint job and leave it sparkling.
2. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Every car requires routine maintenance, and it’s a good idea to learn the basics of maintaining your car. Some of these things you can even learn to do yourself. Here are some things that need to be done routinely to maintain your car in good condition:
- Oil change. Typically, you should change your car’s oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or every six months. You can get it done or do it yourself. If you’re not sure the last time it was changed, you can check if it’s low by looking at the indicator on the dipstick. Changing your car’s oil regularly is essential, as dirty oil can damage and even kill your engine.
- Tires. You should regularly check your tire pressure to avoid problems like flat tires and less gas mileage. Also, it’s important to rotate your tires so you can the most use out of them and don’t have to replace them as quickly.
- Brakes. If you don’t replace worn-out brake pads, your brake rotors will fail at some point, which will cost you a lot more to replace. It’s best to regularly replace your brake pads and get them checked if they’re making noise.
- Filters. Oil and air filters become clogged with use, so you should change them frequently. It’s an easy task you can probably do yourself.
- Spark plugs. You should get your spark plugs checked every 30,000 miles. Bad spark plugs can cause many problems and affect your engine, so changing them out is a must.
- Battery. To keep your car’s battery in good condition, you should drive it regularly. If you don’t use your car for a long time, the battery might go flat. Once this happens, you’ll have to jump-start the car, which can further damage the battery and other electronic parts of your car.
These are some of the main things you should pay attention to when doing routine maintenance on your car. Ask your mechanic if you want to know exactly how often you should check these things or if there’s something else that you should add to your routine maintenance list.
3. Drive Smoothly
The way you drive can also affect how well your car runs. Hard braking, sudden acceleration, and jerky turns can cause unnecessary wear on your vehicle, and you’ll have to replace different parts sooner. Try to drive as smoothly as possible, and avoid sudden stops and rapid acceleration. You’ll also get better gas mileage by driving in this manner. Also, avoid potholes and damaged roads, as these can also cause damage to your tires and suspension.
Taking care of your car will prolong its lifespan and save you money on fuel and repairs. Keeping your car clean will save it from scratches and other problems. Staying on top of routine maintenance can help you avoid an emergency mechanic trip and expensive repairs. And driving smoothly will protect your car from unnecessary wear. Follow these tips to keep your car in great condition.