As soon as the salesman hands you the keys to your brand-new car, the world becomes your oyster. There are no limits to the places where you can go. If you take care of the vehicle, that is.
Every car owner should be performing regular maintenance. Without it, the vehicle will fall apart the first time you take it on a long drive. Considering how big of an investment a car is, that’s the last thing that you need.
That’s why we’re here to help you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Check out this guide for step-by-step instructions on caring for your car.
1. Take Your Time to Break the Car in
You pull out of the dealership’s parking lot in the car that you’ve had your eye on for a while. We know that you want to test out what it can do by going full-throttle as soon as possible, but you should hold off.
If you try to put too much stress on a new car all at once, you could end up blowing the engine. Like when you buy a new pair of shoes, a vehicle has to be broken in.
Until your car reaches the 1000 mile mark, do your best to not exceed 55 mph. Don’t try to carry too large of a load. Borrow someone else’s car if need be.
It’s good to not let a car sit for too long throughout its entire life. It’s especially important when it’s still new. If it stays idle for a while, it will prevent the right amount of oil from reaching the engine.
2. Read the Owner’s Manual
We understand that reading the owner’s manual of your car isn’t exciting, but it’s a necessary evil. When it comes to maintenance, every single car is different.
Some need oil changes more often than others, for example. You may end up changing it too often if you don’t follow along with what the manual says.
3. Check Your Tires
If you don’t take proper care of your tires, you could end up having a blowout in the middle of the road. When this happens, it’s possible that the momentum could send you crashing into another vehicle.
Most people recommend that you check your tire pressure every time you stop to get gas. This is because the pressure fluctuates, depending on how often you drive the car and the weather.
If you let your tires get too flat or too full, it will decrease your tire’s lifespan. You’ll find yourself visiting https://www.ozzytyres.com.au/ much more often for new ones.
If you want to get an accurate reading when checking your tire pressure, you’ll need to wait until they’re cold. If you’ve driven recently, let your car sit for a while before you do a reading.
If things are a little low, you can fill it with air at your nearest gas station. Check your owner’s manual to find out how much air your tires need. It’s different for every car.
As part of routine maintenance, you need to rotate your tires as well. You see, the rear and front tires don’t wear out the same way. By rotating them, you keep things evened out, which will help lengthen their lifespan.
4. Clean the Vehicle
As you drive your car, it collects a variety of dirt and grime. This doesn’t pose an immediate threat, but you don’t want to wait too long before you take your vehicle through the car wash.
Over time, grime will begin to eat through the paint on the car. Once it’s done with the paint, it will move on to the metal. Cleaning your vehicle’s interior isn’t as pressing as the outside, but it still needs to get done.
The dirtier the car gets, the more stress that it puts on you. You also don’t want to have to move a bunch of trash over every time you have a passenger. That old food smell isn’t good for anyone.
Most gas stations have squeegees available that you can use to clean your windshield. Take advantage of this when you can. A dirty windshield isn’t only gross to look at.
It makes it hard for you to see. If a good cleaning doesn’t keep them clear for a long period of time, that might mean you need to replace your wipers. Go ahead and get that done ASAP.
5. Keep an Eye on Your Oil Levels
Again your user manual will tell you when you need to check your oil levels. It keeps all the moving parts of your car lubricated. Without it, they’ll create enough friction to tear themselves apart.
The job isn’t too hard to handle on your own, but if you don’t trust yourself to do it, you can always make an appointment to service your car.
6. Check the Fluids for Maintenance
The oil isn’t the only fluid in the vehicle that you need to keep track of. To keep your cooling system in good standing, you’ll need to stay on top of your coolant.
The good news is that you don’t have to change this too often. Every two to three years is fine. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check it, however.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of hot weather, it will affect how fast you go through your coolant.
Your brakes are the most important part of the vehicle. If they go out, then it could cause you to have a devastating accident.
This being said, you’ll need to check your brake fluid levels on a normal basis. You only need to change it once a year. Flushing it will stop the fluid from gathering moisture and causing corrosion.
As the fluid gets older, it collects debris. If left unchecked, this can lead to total brake failure.
While you’re checking these fluids, you should also take a look at your power stirring fluid and transmission fluid. These are both crucial to the performance of the car.
7. Change the Air Filter When Needed
The best way to ensure that your engine keeps going strong for years to come and increase your fuel efficiency is to replace your air filter when needed. Like with most things, your owner’s manual will tell you when it’s time to do this.
You can swap it out yourself or have someone else do it. We will tell you that if you want to save your money, performing this crucial routine car maintenance step is easier than changing your oil.
8. Drive With Care
Driving recklessly will put a ton of years on your car’s engine. When you’re accelerating, do so slowly.
If it’s cold out, many people turn on the car to let it warm up while sitting in the driveway. This doesn’t actually do anything. In fact, it wears on your car.
You can take some strain off your engine if you shift into neutral while you’re sitting at the red light. Take care of your tires by avoiding potholes.
Don’t make any sudden stops, and be careful not to hit the curb. You’ll damage the power steering in your car if you hold the wheel too far to the left or right for a long period of time.
Avoid taking your car out to do a single errand. Short drives like this put unnecessary strain on the vehicle. Wait until you’ve got a few things to do before you take it out for a drive.
9. Learn What the Warning Lights Mean
Whenever a warning light pops up, don’t ignore it. Park when you can and look up what it means. You can probably find this information in the user manual or online.
If you know what all the symbols mean, you’ll be able to get the jump on a small problem before it becomes a big one.
10. Have the Brakes Checked
Changing out your brake fluid is only one part of caring for your car. You will need to get your brake pads checked when they’re acting up, or you’ll put both yourself and your passengers in serious danger.
The most common signs that your brake pads are going out are loud noises, stuttering, and vibrating.
Maintenence Steps Every Car Owner Should Perform
Buying a brand-new vehicle can be an investment. In most cases, you’re stuck in a loan for at least 5 years. Sometimes more.
As a car owner, it’s your responsibility to make the expense worth it by keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance. If you fail to perform the steps on this list, you’ll not only wreck your car. You’ll put yourself and everyone who rides with you in danger.
Are you looking for more ways to take care of your vehicle? Check out our blog daily for all the latest tips and tricks.