If you are a car owner, keeping things in tip-top shape not only helps your vehicle last longer, but also contributes to your safety on the road. Yet, most people tend to put off car maintenance until it’s too late, which often means a costly trip to the mechanic. Luckily, with a bit of care and attention, you can keep your vehicle running like new—and it’s easier than you might think.
It’s important to check your tire tread and pressure. The tire tread is the amount of rubber that connects with the road when you are driving. Over time, this rubber can get worn down, leaving you with bald tires. While bald tires are a major safety concern, the good news is that it’s pretty easy to see if your tires are reaching the end of their days. If the tread is visible all the way around the tire, then you’re good to go. For a more decisive check, you can pick up a depth gauge at your nearest hardware or automotive store. They’re inexpensive and come with instructions to help you get an accurate read.
It is also important to check the air pressure in your tires. Having proper air pressure keeps your tires from overheating while you’re on the road. Most new cars come with a tire pressure indicator, but you can still perform a manual check with a tire pressure gauge. Adjust the inflation according to the instructions in your car’s manual or the sticker on the bottom of the driver’s side door.
Oil is vital to the survival of your car because it keeps your engine running smooth. In addition to having the right amount of oil, your car also needs to have clean oil. While it is important to take your car in for regularly scheduled oil changes, you should check the oil on your own every so often. To do this, pop the hood and find the dipstick. Wipe the tip clean, insert it back into the shaft and pull it out again. The markings on the end of the dipstick will show you if you’re running low on oil. If the oil is dark brown or black, then it’s dirty.
Visibility on the road is always important, so don’t wait until you run out to stock up on some windshield wiper fluid. To see exactly how much you have left, take a peek under the hood, and look for the see-through washer fluid tank. It’s easy to top up, but make sure you only use genuine windshield washer fluid—plain water can leave streaks or even freeze in the tank.
Taking care of your ride doesn’t have to be hard or super costly. With these simple car maintenance tips, you’ll be cruising in the fast lane for years to come.
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