Simple vehicle maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your car safe and reliable, cutting down on repairs costs while saving on fuel expenses. From tires to lights, just a little effort goes a long way toward keeping it running at peak condition – saving both time and money in repairs costs as well as saving fuel.
Establish a regular maintenance regimen by reading through and setting an annual calendar reminder to examine fluid levels regularly. Some checks should be more evident, such as ensuring tires are inflated to their proper pressure; others, like inspecting headlights and taillights may need further evaluation.
Check Your Tires
Tires are your vehicle’s main point of contact with the road, impacting ride quality, handling, braking and safety in equal measures. Properly maintained tires can increase fuel efficiency while decreasing wear on other parts of your vehicle and increasing lifespan if properly cared for. Regularly check tire pressure, tread depth, balance rotations and replacement when necessary and always have them aligned before embarking on any road trips or driving long distances.
Checking tire tread depth requires various tools; an easy and straightforward method is using a penny as a test. Simply place one into your tread, place Lincoln’s head over it, and if Lincoln can be seen through its depths then it is likely time for new tires.
Tires should also be checked regularly for punctures (nails, screws, rocks and glass are common culprits) and sidewall damage from curbs. Finally, regularly inflating them to their ideal air pressure is also vital – Linxup GPS tracking systems can assist by setting automated reminders based on mileage, date or time to make sure this happens properly!
Check Your Brakes
Brakes are one of the most critical components in your vehicle, enabling you to slow down and stop more safely while relieving strain on other systems and saving fuel in the process. But if they’re in disrepair, they could put you and your passengers at risk.
Your brake pads should be checked at least every other tire rotation, though you should remain vigilant for any changes in their performance. Noisy or squealing brakes could indicate it’s time for new pads, while pulsing pedals could suggest damage to rotors.
Keep an eye out for any signs of leaking fluid or an unfamiliar smell from your car’s brakes, and seek professional help if determining these problems prove difficult. An inspection will allow the technician to identify what the cause may be as well as taking necessary steps to address it; they’ll carefully examine caliper slides for signs of wear-and-tear and carefully evaluate calipers for signs of rust or other wear and tear before providing a solution.
Check Your Lights
Car lights are an integral component of driving safely in low light or rain conditions. Not only do they help provide visibility when driving at night or rainstorm, they also let other drivers know which vehicle you’re going. If they stop working properly it can become very hazardous for both yourself and other road users.
Checking your lights regularly is an effective way to ensure they remain functional, as it ensures they turn off when intended. Frustratingly, left-on rear lights may become irritating to both those driving behind you as well as annoying to people behind them.
Headlights, taillights and blinkers should also be regularly checked. Aim to make this part of your weekly routine as winter draws near; doing this self-check can protect everyone who travels in your vehicle from potential dangers.
Check Your Oil
One of the key steps you can take to keep your car running like new is checking and changing its engine oil regularly. Engine oil serves as the lifeblood of your engine, so if its levels become depleted too soon your engine could start wearing out faster and could eventually cause expensive repair bills down the line.
To check your oil, park on a flat stretch of road and turn off your engine. Remove and wipe down your dipstick with a rag before taking it back out and looking at its level to make sure that it falls within manufacturer recommended range.
Take note of the color and texture of engine oil; clean engine oil will have a translucent amber hue, while dirty oil may appear gritty and darker in appearance. Also take notice of any odd-smelling patches – burning, leaking or unusual smells could signal an engine overhaul is necessary.