Neglecting routine vehicle maintenance is a common trend in the cold, wintery months. That’s why each April is designated as National Car Care Month.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 35% of car owners “skipped or delayed service or repairs that were recommended by a mechanic or specified by the factory maintenance schedule,” consequently raising the number of roadside breakdowns that would have been easily prevented if drivers adhered to a routine vehicle maintenance schedule.
To help you avoid costly repairs and/or a breakdown, here are 9 tips to keep your vehicle running its best:
1) Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Maintaining proper tire pressure assists with fuel economy & safe handling while driving. It’s also helpful to have your vehicle’s alignment checked at least once a year to reduce tire wear and improve fuel economy and handling. Tire tread depth is also important and should be checked periodically (click here to learn how to measure your tire’s tread depth).
2) Check the oil, filter and fluids. Be sure to have your oil changed within your vehicle’s owners manual recommended intervals. Brake, transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield washer fluids should also be checked regularly. Your car’s filter also need regular inspection and replacement.
3) Have your vehicle’s brake system thoroughly examined every year and confirm that the brake rotors and drums are inspected at each oil change.
4) Be sure your vehicle’s hoses are examined at each oil change and don’t delay having them replaced when they show signs of cracking.
5) Make sure your vehicle’s battery connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free. The battery should always be securely mounted. As the summer season approaches, have your battery tested if it is over three years old. (Read this helpful blog on how to maintain your battery)
6) Have your vehicle’s exhaust system inspected for leaks, damage, broken supports or hangers if you hear any unusual sounds. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and should be corrected without delay.
7) Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers and struts, and chassis parts, such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
8) Be sure all exterior and interior light bulbs are working and replace them immediately if not (for your safety AND to avoid getting a ticket!)
9) Replace windshield wiper blades every six months (especially as we go into the rainy Spring season) or when they begin to crack, tear or streak.
Wiygul Automotive Clinic supports National Car Care Month to stress the importance of routine car maintenance. Proper car care will extend the life of your car, improve fuel efficiency, and increase the longevity of your vehicle. If you are overdue for a service or repair, click here to schedule an appointment.