Keeping your vehicle in prime condition can help prolong its life and save you money on repairs. This is especially true if you are planning on selling it at some point.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. Also, be sure to balance and align your tires to improve handling and fuel efficiency.
Check Engine Light
When your check engine light turns on, it’s a warning to take your car to a service center. This is a crucial step that can prevent more expensive damage & keep your vehicle running smoothly.
The car computer monitors all input signals that could affect emissions & when it detects a problem, the check engine light is activated. The computer can then log diagnostic trouble codes but these will often only point in the general direction of the problem & still require an experienced technician to diagnose.
Check engine lights may illuminate for a wide variety of issues, from the relatively minor (loose gas cap) to the more serious (catalytic converter malfunction). Even if the issue seems minor, you should still bring your vehicle to a mechanic, as the sooner the problem is addressed, the less likely it will snowball into an expensive repair.
The tires of your vehicle are one of the most important components, as they provide traction and stability to help you drive safely. A healthy set of tires can make your commute much smoother, and they’ll also last longer when properly maintained.
The type of weather where you live and how you drive will affect how long your tires last. For example, boiling temperatures can cause your tires to overheat, which will reduce their lifespan.
Driving smoothly can also extend the life of your tires, since hard braking and rapid acceleration can put a strain on them that shortens their lifespan. You should check your tires regularly for proper pressure, tread depth, and damage like cuts from rocks or nails that might be lodged in the rubber.
Brakes are one of the most important mechanical parts in any vehicle. They are also among the most critical in terms of safety, which is why they must be maintained properly to ensure they function correctly and consistently.
The brake system works by transforming the kinetic energy from your car’s motion into thermal energy that is dissipated through the brake pads and rotors. This allows the driver to stop the car and maintain control.
The brake pads and rotors are the main points of contact between the braking system and your wheels, so they are subject to constant friction and pressure. Having them replaced with high-quality, durable pads that are designed to last longer is a smart move.
Your electrical system needs to work correctly in order to operate all of your vehicles systems. If something goes wrong, it can prevent your vehicle from starting and it may even prevent it from driving at all. Having specialists in auto electrical repair regularly examine the charging system, battery, starter, and alternator can help to ensure that these key components are functioning properly and will keep you moving.
In addition to checking the connections, they will remove and clean the battery posts and cables to prevent corrosion. Corrosion can inhibit the flow of electricity and cause many issues. You should also do your part by regularly opening the hood to check and clean these points of contact. This will help to ensure that your battery is always receiving the right voltage and will allow it to start your vehicle and power your electrical accessories, such as your radio, air conditioning, and power windows.
Keeping the correct amount of motor oil in your vehicle is essential to prevent it from overheating. The engine has many moving parts that rub against each other and create friction that generates heat. Oil lubricates these moving parts to reduce friction and absorbs the heat generated, thus cooling the engine.
During an oil change, the mechanic drains the old oil and replaces it with new, fresh engine oil according to your manufacturer’s recommendations. The engine oil filter is also replaced, which protects your engine from harmful contaminants.
Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including regular oil changes, helps to keep your car running well for its lifetime and ensures that you get the most value at resale time. Proper maintenance increases your car’s fuel economy, power and performance and extends its life span.
While many vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that warns drivers when the tires drop below the recommended psi, it’s important to do your own monthly checks. Simply remove the valve cap and use a dial or digital gauge to get a reading. If the reading is below the recommendation, push in on the valve stem to let out some air.
It’s a good idea to check the tires when they’re cold, since as they warm up they can lose a few psi. Keeping the recommended psi in your tires helps with handling, steering response, and fuel efficiency. If you’re unsure of the recommended psi, look for it on the sticker inside the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. Optimal inflation can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by 3.3 percent.
A car battery may be one of the most important parts of your vehicle since it is responsible for powering the starter and electrical systems. With the growth of in-car technology, batteries are now required to power more systems that put additional strain on them.
On average, a car battery lasts three-to-five years. However, it’s critical to keep up with the maintenance of your battery to prevent a potential breakdown.
It’s also important to clean the terminals on a regular basis as corrosion can be very damaging. For example, a simple mixture of water and baking soda can be used to clean the terminals. Always make sure to disconnect the negative terminal before attempting to clean it. You can also use an anti-seize lubricant or cola to scrub the terminals.