13 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly
Modern vehicles are expensive, but one way to avoid headaches and purchasing a new ride is by properly maintaining your existing car or truck. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Not only can regular maintenance save you money but it can also prevent unexpected mechanical failures. Nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. Keeping up with your vehicle’s needs is critical to a happy ownership experience and fortunately there’s quite a bit the average motorist can do to keep their ride running in tip-top shape.
Lubricating Door Latches
Changing an Air Filter
Disposable paper filters can be purchased for as little as $20. Installing a new one is an easy way of insuring your engine has a good supply of fresh air. If you want a little extra performance and to help the environment you can invest in a washable, high-flow filter.
Checking Tire Pressure
Traction and stability can be affected by tires that are either over or underinflated. Having a good pressure gauge is the only way of properly keeping tabs on this. You can get a simple analogue unit or even a battery-operated one with a digital display; either will do the deed without breaking the bank.
Changing your serpentine belt can be accomplished with basic hand tools in just a few minutes. Additionally these rubber components are very affordable so there’s no excuse for not taking care of this maintenance item.
Replacing Spark-Plug Wires (if equipped)
If your ride is equipped with plug wires it’s a good idea to change them when the manufacturer recommends. Luckily this is usually an easy task; if you can plug a lamp into a wall socket you can probably change these.
Swapping Spark Plugs
More adventuresome motorists that are up to the challenge may find the job rewarding, it can also improve performance and fuel economy. Many vehicles these days come with spark plugs that are equipped with platinum-tipped electrodes. These are often rated to last for 100,000 miles so you don’t have to change them very often.
MSRP: $4.99 each
Doing a Brake Job
With proper instructions changing your car or truck’s rotors and pads, drums and shoes is affordable and relatively simple. What are you waiting for?
Dirty filters can restrict flow and cause drivability issues. A damaged filter can even allow containments to enter your vehicle’s fuel injectors causing even more issues, leading to pricey repairs. Head off these woes by changing your fuel filter.
Transmission Fluid and Filter Change
With good instructions, a decent selection of hand tools and some patience you can change your vehicle’s transmission fluid and filter. Some manufacturers claim to offer transmissions that are “filled for life” but this is a little suspicious. Changing the fluid and filter every 30,000 to 50,000 miles cannot hurt and will most likely add years and tens of thousands of miles to your car or truck’s life expectancy.
More by AutoGuide.com Staff