Owning a car is exciting and functional for daily life. If you commute often, you most likely need a car that is reliable and dependable. Taking care of your vehicle regularly helps it to last longer because neglecting basic maintenance can lead to internal part failures and breakdowns.
Even if you don’t suspect that there’s anything wrong with your car, it’s important to upkeep regular maintenance to make sure it stays that way. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming lazy with taking care of your vehicle, as this can be costly in the long run. Here are the top five maintenance essentials when owning a car.
Regular Oil Changes
Oil changes are one of the most basic maintenance steps to owning a car, yet it’s one that can easily slip our minds. Depending on the car you have, plan to do an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Failure to routinely change your oil can eventually lead to engine failure so it’s important to mark oil changes on your calendar or keep note of the last time you did it.
Car washes aren’t just for the appearance of your car. They get rid of substances like bird droppings, road salt, mud, and other corrosive materials which damage the paint of the vehicle and can also lead to premature rust. How often you wash your car depends on where you live, the season, and the environment, but a good rule of thumb is to plan on washing your car every two weeks.
There are many different types of filters in a car. Some filters like air filters need to be changed about once a year, while others like oil filters may need to be changed several times a year with your oil change. If you drive often, you may need to change your engine air filter to keep the vehicle clear of environmental dust and dirt.
Cleaning the Engine and Battery
We often think about cleaning the outside of a vehicle, but we can overlook the importance of keeping what’s under the hood clean as well. Cleaning your car’s engine and battery are way to extend the life of the vehicle. Corrosion can build up on a car engine and battery which can lead to problems starting the car or decreasing the life of those parts, so it’s important to make sure they are regularly cleaned.
Most people don’t know how to perform maintenance on a vehicle themselves, therefore it’s important to schedule maintenance appointments. Whether you go to a dealership that has a service center, or you find a local mechanic, make sure to have a trusted location on speed dial in the event that you need a basic maintenance appointment or you have an emergency. The easiest way to avoid problems in the long run is to keep regular maintenance appointments. It’s a general rule of thumb to have maintenance done every 6 months or 6,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Regardless of the vehicle you have, taking care of your car regularly will expand its lifetime and keep it in overall good condition. Maintaining your vehicle is not just for appearance but also for performance and to ensure it’ll last as long as you need it to.