8 Must-Know Auto Maintenance Tips for Car Owners

Caring for your car is part of everyone’s job as a responsible car owner. It’s on you to keep it working, and if you don’t, you risk it breaking down and costing you more money.

And when the average cost of a check engine light repair alone is $390, you want to avoid those repairs.

Proper auto maintenance is vital if you want your car to stay in great shape and keep working. The guide below covers the common auto maintenance tips you need to know to keep your car running.

1. Check Your Oil

Your oil is what keeps much of your car running smoothly. It flows through your engine to lubricate the parts and prevent them from getting too hot.

Your oil will disappear and degrade over time, so you’ll need to get an oil change to get a fresh batch.

You can do this yourself or go to a mechanic to get the job done. Your manual will tell you how often you should change your oil, so check it out for more information. You’ll do it after a certain number of months or the number of miles driven—whichever comes first.

2. Monitor Your Tires

Tires won’t last forever. As time passes, your treads will wear down as you drive on the road. When this happens, it becomes harder for your car to grip the road, and it becomes more dangerous to drive.

Regularly check your tire treads to make sure they are still good. In most situations, you want to replace your tires after 50,000 miles driven.

The next thing to check with your tires is the air pressure. Look at your manual for the ideal tire pressure, and use a pump to get it there.

3. Clean Your Battery

With how much power your battery sends your car, it’s no surprise that it degrades over time. The terminals connecting your battery to the internal systems will experience corrosion. If it gets bad enough, the battery may not work correctly—through developing cracks or losing power.

If that happens, you’ll need to purchase a new battery.

Cleaning the terminals is an easy process. Spend $5 on a wire brush to regularly clean your battery terminals to avoid them going bad.

4. Monitor Your Brakes

Brakes are designed to last a long time. But the more you use them, the worse performance you see. If you go too long without checking your brakes, you risk them failing and causing a crash.

Pay attention to your braking to see how it is. A little degradation isn’t a big deal, but if you have trouble stopping your car, it’s a sign that you need to work on your brakes.

In most cases, this problem is because of bad brake pads. Replace the pads on the tire axles that are causing problems.

5. Clean Your Car

Even if you don’t care about your car’s appearance, it can play a role in your car’s function. If you leave dirt and debris to accumulate, it can lead to rust forming and causing other problems.

You can take your vehicle to a car wash to easily clean it. You don’t have to do it often—just enough to prevent rust from forming.

If you do care about your car’s appearance and aren’t happy with how it looks, think about getting car detailing. It will offer a fresh look and make your car look great again.

6. Clean Your Air Filters

Your car manages the cabin’s climate by filtering the air in and out from outside. To prevent dirt from getting into the car from outside, it takes air through a filter before sending it into the cabin.

But filters can get clogged over time—reducing the effectiveness of the climate control system and making it harder to control the climate. Additionally, it can cause extra problems with heating and cooling that require the use of a mechanic.

Make sure to check your filter to see if it’s clean regularly. If not, get a replacement to help your climate control system work properly again.

7. Rotate Your Tires

Your tires should help you stay in a straight line on the road. Even if you don’t have your hands on the wheel, you shouldn’t find your car drifting on flat surfaces.

This happens because your tires are misaligned. Too many bumps caused them to go out of position and pull your vehicle in a specific direction.

If you notice this happening, take your car to a mechanic for a tire rotation. On top of that, rotating them will help your tires last longer since a single tire won’t take more pressure than your other ones.

8. Look at Your Lights

In many cases, knowing when your car lights aren’t working isn’t hard. You can see that your headlights and cabin lights aren’t working. But other lights aren’t that easy.

It’s harder to see your rear lights. You need to be behind your vehicle to see if your turn signals and brake lights aren’t working.

Try to examine these things occasionally. Have someone sit in your front seat and use the brakes—giving you a chance to examine things yourself. You can do the turn signals yourself by turning them on when your car is in park and looking at the rear of your car.

Don’t Forget Auto Maintenance

Your vehicle can work well for a while without you doing auto maintenance. But after a while of no auto care, it will degrade and start breaking down.

If left unchecked, those problems can lead to costly repairs you may be unable to afford. Make sure you create a vehicle maintenance plan to keep your car in great shape and working in the future.

Do you want to learn more tips that will help you take care of the other things in your life? Check out the blog for more helpful guides.

Author: Brandon Park