For most of us, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without a car. It seems like we live in them, whether we’re carting kids to school and activities, battling traffic to get to work, or simply taking a relaxing drive along the beach. Regular car maintenance is a must, but if you aren’t mechanically inclined, it can be hard to know how to get the most out of your vehicle. Fortunately, there are things you can do regularly to keep your vehicle up and running; here are the various parts of your car to maintain.
The heartbeat of a car, of course, is its engine. Most drivers are aware that regular oil changes and warming up their car in the winter are good ways to preserve engine life, but there are other things you can do to help your engine last longer. You can lessen the muck that gets into your engine by making sure that the splash guards on your vehicle aren’t torn or damaged; this keeps salt from splashing up into the engine compartment. Even with splash guards, clean your engine at least once a year. That yearly cleaning is the perfect time to change your fuel filters, even on newer cars.
Brakes are the last thing you want to fail while you’re driving. To make sure that they stand the test of time, regularly flush your brake fluid, about once per 25,000 miles. This keeps moisture and other debris out of your braking system and prevents corrosion in your car. Having excess, unnecessary weight in your car can also cause your brakes to wear out more quickly than usual. Try not to leave heavy, unnecessary equipment in your car.
Like the engine and the brakes, the car battery should also be cleaned regularly to prevent corrosion. Using a toothbrush and a simple mixture of baking soda and water, this is a task you do not have to leave to the professionals. After you have rinsed the battery with water and dried it, adding petroleum jelly to the terminals will also prevent further corrosion.
Most drivers know to be wary of under-inflated tires, but drivers should also be wary of over-inflated tires. This will cause tires to wear out faster. Drivers should also keep an eye on their wheel alignment. If this is off, the tire tread will wear unevenly, which can cause other issues. Regular inspection is key to extending the life of your car’s tires.
Between car keys, home keys, work keys, and souvenir keychains, it’s easy for your keyring to become overburdened without you realizing it. However, having too much weight on your keyring can actually damage the ignition in your car over time. Multiple keyrings can be less convenient, but this extra step is worth it.
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list. The point is to consider the little things you can do to get the most out of your vehicle. Your car will thank you.