How to Perform Basic Car Maintenance
It is very important that you learn how to perform some basic car maintenance. That way you can have a vehicle that operates well. It is also going to ensure you don’t have to pay for costly repairs due to common mistakes that people make. Such efforts aren’t time consuming or expensive but they definitely pay off in the long run.
The engine is a key element of any vehicle. If you have problems here then the vehicle isn’t going to last you. Keep a good eye on the temperature gauge of your vehicle. If it is getting too hot then you have a problem under the hood. Make sure all of the hoses are free from signs of wear. You also want to make sure you have enough water and anti freeze in the vehicle.
The oil on your vehicle should be changed every 3 months or every 3,000 miles – which ever occurs first. You want to use the right type of oil for your vehicle. If it has lots of mileage it is worth it to go with the high mileage type even though it costs a bit more. You also want to make sure you have enough automatic transmission fluid in there.
Pay attention for any signs of leaks under your vehicle from any of these liquids. If you notice them you need to determine where they are coming from. A small leak can quickly become a huge problem if you aren’t careful. In order to properly check your fluids, you want to allow the vehicle to be completely cooled down.
Having the proper amount of air in your tires is important. Not only will this help you to get better fuel mileage, but it will keep your tires lasting longer. Look at the sidewall of any tire on your vehicle and you will find out how much pressure it should have in it. Be careful not to over fill them either. Check your tires often for signs that the wear patterns aren’t even. This can be a sign that you have something wrong with your vehicle that needs further investigating.
Your brakes are also very important to your vehicle. You want to check them to find out how thick your brake pads are. If you hear your brakes squealing then you need to check them out. A banging sound when you step on them can mean you have a worn out rotor that needs to be replaced.
Check your belts often too so that they don’t break and leave you stranded. If you have a serpentine belt on your vehicle, carry a spare with you. This belt costs about $20 but it controls many elements of your vehicle. Sadly, many people have had to get a tow truck to take their vehicle to a shop for such a minor repair that they could have easily done themselves if they had that belt in the trunk.
Make sure you are familiar with your vehicle and how it operates. You want to feel confident that you can perform basic car maintenance with ease on it. You can find out where certain fluids go and the amounts to put in them through your owner’s manual. You can also go online and get specific information for your year and model of vehicle.