Simple Car Maintenance Tips
As grocery trips replace leisurely road trips, your car has taken on what automakers refer to as severe duty. This has added wear and tear on your vehicle but this can be decreased with proper maintenance practices.
Check tire pressure on all four tires (you can locate this information on your door placard or owner’s manual) to ensure they are correctly inflated to save fuel and wear on them.
Check Your Headlights
Headlights are one of your vehicle’s most essential safety features, providing visibility of the road ahead and alerting other drivers of their presence on it. Unfortunately, headlights may become misalign and go out over time, decreasing reaction times when confronted by road hazards and blinding other drivers on the roadway.
To make sure your headlights are aligned properly, park on a flat wall and use tape to mark the center of each headlight. Open up your hood and locate the adjuster screws located either behind or side of your headlight assembly based on your car model. Have someone sit in the driver’s seat while making adjustments; as needed have someone switch on and off your lights.
Some vehicles feature built-in bubble levels similar to carpenter’s levels for easy alignment. If this applies to your vehicle, follow the manufacturer’s directions when aligning. Once finished, test headlights against a dark road to make sure they remain properly aligned.
Inspect Your Brakes
Brakes are one of the most essential safety features on any vehicle, and regular inspection is essential to making sure they’re operating effectively. Warning lights on dashboards, decreased responsiveness when applying brakes or pulling to one side when stopping suddenly may all indicate poor brake systems; other telltale signs include pulling to one side when applying them and an unsettled pedal feel when pressing them down.
Most vehicles feature a small metal indicator that emits a high-pitched sound when their brake pads become worn out and should be checked and/or replaced, alerting drivers when their stopping distance has increased and possible damage has occurred to rotors. Regular inspections can extend their lifespan and save you money over time.
Inspect Your Tires
Maintaining quality tires for your vehicle is vitally important to its performance, assisting both with traction and braking while improving ride quality.
At your tire inspection, make sure they have enough tread, are properly inflated, and are undamaged. Low or high spots on a tire could put it out of alignment and cause vibration when driving – something to watch out for if spotted!
As part of regular maintenance, it is wise to conduct periodic tire pressure checks using a tire pressure gauge. Be mindful when doing this that cold tires should only be checked, in order to obtain an accurate reading and also remember that what may appear in your owner’s manual or data decal may not necessarily reflect what should be the appropriate tire pressure setting for your vehicle.
Check Your Fluids
Just as an athlete needs water to perform at their best, so must a vehicle contain adequate levels of certain fluids in order to function effectively. Therefore, it is vitally important that these levels are regularly inspected.
Engine oil must remain at an adequate level or its internal components can burn up, necessitating replacement. Coolant helps dissipate heat from your engine to protect its lifecycle. Brake fluid is also necessary, and an empty reservoir indicates wear on brake pads should be checked out by a mechanic; finally windshield washer fluid aids visibility in inclement weather driving.
Under each car’s hood lies an intricate web of hoses and reservoirs designed to fulfill specific functions. Understanding where all these fluids reside will help keep your car running smoothly by catching minor issues before they escalate into larger issues. Our knowledgeable technicians will gladly inspect six essential fluids (oil, transmission, power steering, brake and windshield wash) during your next service appointment for optimal vehicle care.