When we are little, we don’t necessarily spend a lot of your time thinking about maintenance. After all, oftentimes, our parents prepare our meals, help us to bathe, and drive us to get our haircuts. We are not required to think about the idea of maintenance because our parents maintain everything for us. Of course, they could teach us the importance of cleaning our room, brushing our teeth, and keeping an overall organized way of living. But, unless they are proactive in that area, we are left to fend for ourselves. As a result, many of us may not appreciate the importance of maintenance until we are old enough to drive or when we buy our own car.

Nearly every child has dreams of growing up and being independent. It may seem a little ironic because once they reach adulthood, children long for those innocent, childhood years when they could depend on their parents to do everything for them. We’ve all heard the expression, “Ignorance is bliss”. There is a certain sense of pride one feels when they reach the point in their lives when they are able to take care of themselves. A young adult feels that sense of pride when they are handed the keys to their first home or their first car. Once an individual is given the responsibility to live on their own, maintenance may just be one of, if not the most, important parts of their everyday life.

For many, cars are an enormous investment. And although cars depreciate in value overtime, as the owner of a car, one wants to do everything they possibly can to prolong the lifespan of their car. Additionally, keeping up with the maintenance for your car can greatly impact its resale value in a positive way.

Inspect and Maintain Your Tires: Have you ever been driving along on the road and it feels like your car is leaning to one side? If so, one of your tires may have low tire pressure. Ignoring this can cause severe and unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s engine. Always keep an eye on your tires’ pressure levels and adjust them accordingly. When you take your car in to get an oil change, ask the workers to check the tire pressure for all of your tires. They will tell you if you are in good shape or if you need an adjustment.

Change the Oil: It is a common thought that changing your oil every 3,000 miles is sufficient, but, you may be able to extend that time period if you choose a higher-grade oil. Some oils allow your vehicle to perform at a higher level for up to 5,000 miles. When you take your car in to get an oil change, ask about the different types of oil that are available. Also, not every type of oil is going to be suitable for your car. This is generally based on three factors: the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic or non-synthetic oil, and your car’s mileage. Ask a service team member for assistance if you are unsure.

Check the fluids: To make sure your car keeps running smoothly, you should check:

  • Engine oil – lubricates the engine
  • Coolant – helps to prevent your car’s engine from overheating
  • Power steering fluid – acts as the pass through which power is transferred from the steering wheel to the steering mechanism of the car. Also helps to lubricate and protect all moving parts of the system.
  • Brake fluid – keeps your brakes lubricated
  • Transmission fluid – lubricates the internal parts of your engine and dissipates heat.

Check the Air Filter:

Remove the air-filter element from your vehicle. To check its condition, hold it up to a strong light. If you can’t see any any light passing through it, it is time to replace it. Having a properly functioning air-filter will increase your car’s fuel efficiency. Additionally, it has been said that changing a clogged air filter has the potential to increase acceleration by 6 to 11 percent on modern fuel-injected cars. Other studies have indicated that doing this can save up to fifteen cents per gallon at the gas pump. Changing your air filter can help reduce emissions as well.

Inspect your Brakes: Unless you are an expert in vehicle maintenance and know exactly what to look for in this area, it is probably best to have an experience professional do a thorough inspection of your cars brake system. They can tell you if it is time to replace them.

Check the Battery: Look closely at the battery’s terminals and cables to ensure they are securely attached. If your battery has removable caps, check its fluid level every few months.

We learn a lot as we get older. How to properly maintain and care for our cars will not only make us more confident in leading a healthy and happy life; it will save us loads of money over time.