Rideshare applications have gained popularity over the years. People prefer these applications because they’re convenient.
But, as a driver, owning a car comes with the added responsibility of maintenance. It doesn’t matter how new or old your car is; it needs regular maintenance. Like any other machine, cars can break down because they have a lot of moving parts that can suffer wear and tear. So, if you care about your car, you ought to invest in its maintenance.
Why Is Maintenance Important?
One thing is certain: if you take care of your car, it’ll take care of you. As a driver, your car is your primary asset. It’s what brings in money. Therefore, it’s only right that you take care of it. Now, it’s likely that the usage rate of your car is going to be high. The more miles you travel, the greater the need for maintenance. Bear in mind that when your car breaks down, no money comes into your bank account. So, to prevent avoidable breakdowns, regular maintenance is required.
Many things may cause your car to break down. For example, without proper maintenance, there’s a high probability that your car won’t start. Even so, here are some common causes you need to look out for when that happens:
- Bad or dead battery—There’s a difference between a bad and dead battery. A bad battery is spent and has reached the point of disrepair. A dead battery results when your car lights spend the entire night on, for example. You should be able to recharge a dead battery if it’s in good condition. The bad battery, however, can’t be restored to working order. You don’t want to drive around with a malfunctioning battery, especially in the middle of the night.
- Dead alternator—The alternator charges your battery. It’s responsible for supplying power to your car’s electrical system. So, if it malfunctions, your car may not start. This will cause problems.
- Loose battery terminals or connections—Either the battery terminal itself or the connections to the battery can be loose or corroded. This affects the flow of electrical power from the battery to the car’s electrical system.
- Damaged fuel pump—As soon as you start the car, fuel needs to be injected into the engine to start it. If the pump is faulty, your car won’t start.
That said, below are some tips on how you ought to take care of your precious vehicle if you’re a rideshare driver. Read on!
- Set Routine Maintenance Schedule
Typically, every car has a service date. It could be after hitting 5,000 miles or any other figure best known to you or your mechanic. Nevertheless, you need to ensure that you don’t skip these routine maintenance checkups. You don’t have to wait for your car to break down to have a full maintenance assessment. Rather, schedule regular appointments, so that problems can be identified and remedied in time. Prevention is better than cure.
Also, check the car manufacturer’s manual to see what they recommend so that you can have a proper maintenance checklist in place.
- Change Oil Regularly
Oil is, perhaps, one of the most important things your car needs. Oil moves and lubricates the entire engine. You don’t want to have your car run on bad oil because it’ll affect the car’s performance. Therefore, it’s very important to replace oil regularly. On top of changing the oil, the oil filter needs to be replaced, too. So, to keep track of oil changes, use a calendar.
This is relatively inexpensive. Try not to be frugal because the money you spend to replace oil is way less than the costs you’ll incur to replace or repair a broken engine or engine part.
- Drive Responsibly
There’s always a temptation to drive fast. Say, for instance, your passenger is late to the airport and they ask you to drive at high speeds.
But, understand that speeding is neither safe nor fuel-efficient. You need to drive at slow to average speeds to maximize fuel economy. Wasting fuel will bite into your profits. Plus, driving slowly helps to avoid accidents and makes your passengers feel safe. Therefore, it’s better to drive slowly and arrive alive than to drive fast and not arrive at all.
- Regularly Check And Replace Tires
Tires are in constant contact with the tarmac and outside elements. They wear and tear relatively quickly. Therefore, it makes sense for you to monitor the condition of your tires. Don’t hesitate to replace them when they show signs that they need replacement. Plus, one bad tire can lead to a catastrophe on the road, so you need to make sure that all four tires are in good condition at all times. Tires can be expensive, but they generally last.
- Check The Windshield Wipers
This is a very important car accessory. Visibility is important when driving while raining or snowing. If your windshield wipers don’t function properly, visibility will be compromised, and this could lead to accidents. So, always replace these regularly in rainy seasons.
- Replace Air Filters
The air filter plays an important part in enhancing car performance. But, with time, it can get clogged from purifying air, which affects the air supply to the engine. Clean air is necessary for proper combustion, so the air filter needs to be replaced regularly as well. You could replace it during routine maintenance checks or oil changes.
- Keep The Car Clean
Your car needs to look presentable. You must keep both the interior and exterior clean. If you care about customer service, you’ve got to make sure that the car is clean. Uncleanliness is off-putting to most passengers. You certainly don’t want the cleanliness of your car to work against you. So, it’s in your best interest to keep it looking and smelling fresh. Besides, this is something that’s within your control.
- Do Routine Examination Before Travelling
Before leaving the house, ensure that you have a vehicle checklist. Your checklist doesn’t have to be exhaustive, but it has to cover the important aspects. For example, check the light, brakes, tire pressure, water, and oil. Don’t assume that since they serviced your car last week, problems won’t develop. This is not to frighten you, but to encourage you to establish a checklist and stick to it, no matter what.
- Warm Your Engine
Ideally, your car engine needs to warm up before you drive it. If you live in a colder climate, the engine will take longer to heat up, so you need to exercise patience. Give your car at least five minutes to idle, or gently rev it, just to get the temperature up.
As a rideshare driver, the condition of your car always needs to be good. You simply can’t afford for your car to break down because of poor maintenance because that’s the very asset that brings you money. That’s why regular maintenance is important. Nonetheless, use the above tips as a starting point to help you take better care of your car.