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Cars > silkmoose’s Garage > Blog > How to Take Care of Your Car


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How to Take Care of Your Car

By silkmoose

Your car won’t take care of itself. Don’t just remember to change your oil two times a year, like most college students do. What you need to do is to get in the habit of maintaining your car regularly, instead of relying on others to remind you. Once you start maintaining your car on a regular basis, it will need fewer repairs to keep running well. These are a few simple procedures and period checks you can do to ensure your car stays in the best possible shape.

1. Keep your vehicle clean

Keeping your car clean is an important part of its maintenance. Every day, our cars are exposed to dead bugs, grime, grease, salt, sun, and tree sap. These things will eat away your paint and eventually start damaging the metal as well. Wash your car regularly if you don’t want your car to start corroding over time. During the winter, you should wash your car more often due to the dirt and mud that accumulate when driving on the icy roads. It is enough to wash your car once a month if you live in an area with little pollution.

2. Change oil

One of the most important ways of keeping your vehicle run smoothly is getting your oil changed every 5,000 miles. Add it regularly every month. In order to get an accurate dipstick reading, keep your car parked on the level ground. In the case of a leak, make sure to fix it as soon as possible.

3. Check oil level

Get in the habit of regularly checking if your car has enough oil because it’s essential to your car’s performance. All the moving parts in your car’s motor have to be lubricated so they don’t grind and become dysfunctional. Oil also traps and holds the nasty byproducts of combustion. Check your oil at every other gas fill-up. All you need is some adequate light, a clean paper towel, and three minutes of your time. Before an oil checkup, turn your engine off and wait for five minutes because the oil needs to drain back into the pan.

4. Change air filter

This is one of the easiest do-it-yourself car maintenance jobs, and you should do it every 12,000 miles. By changing your car’s air filter, you ensure a prolonged engine life, increased fuel efficiency, and reduced emissions. Buy a new air filter, open the hood, locate the air filter box, open it, remove the dirty air filter, and give it a look to see if it needs to be replaced. If so, put in the new air filter. It’s easy and you will save a lot of money by doing it yourself. You can find all sorts of car parts online or make your purchases in a local car shop.

5. Check air tire pressure

To check the inflation pressure in each tire, use an accurate tire-pressure gauge (if you don’t have your own, use the ones available at gas stations). Make sure to do it once a month, as well as before taking any long road trips. Pencil type gauges are good and cost about $10-$15, while digital tire pressure gauges are probably the best and can be bought for about $15-$25. The recommended air tire pressure can be found in the owner’s manual, which is usually in the glove department, or on a placard on a front door jamb. Also, don’t forget to inspect tires for any sidewall bulges, cuts, and uneven or abnormal wear, and rotate them every 5,000-10,000 miles to equalize their natural wear patterns.

Preventive maintenance is the best thing you can do to ensure your car’s best performance and save money on repairs. These are the basics, which are like regular checkups at the doctor for your car. By maintaining your car and paying attention to anything that can become a major problem, you can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

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Cars > silkmoose’s Garage > Blog > How to Take Care of Your Car

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