Car maintenance is absolutely crucial after a long and cold winter.
National car care month falls in April as we finally start to see an end to this bitter winter that has been so unsparing on our vehicles. So is your vehicle road ready? Not only is the weather damaging to your car but the salt and ash that is used to manage ice on the roads is corrosive, damaging the metal parts. This also destroys the paintwork on your car making it look old, faded and dull resulting in decreased value.
Your vehicle needs some additional care and maintenance now more than ever to prevent a roadside breakdown. Not only are you protecting the value of your car but you can have the peace of mind that your vehicle is in good running order if you take the necessary care now.
Millions and millions of dollars are invested in the car maintenance and service industry and this number growing every year. So from a business viewpoint, there is a huge profit to be made by performing the most basic maintenance on a car. Last year alone, over 17,518,000 new vehicles were sold in the United States and the cost of minor repairs or just a good wax coat can be a very lucrative business endeavor.
You need to look for signs that your car may be in trouble – the “check engine” light should not be ignored. If you hear a funny noise, smell like a strange odor or if your vehicle is running rough, it is time to call your local dealer or find an ASE certified technician to make any necessary repairs.
Car Detailing Experts Help Explain How Car Maintenance Can Help You Save Money In Costly Major Repairs In The Long Run
The safety and reliability of your car are largely dependent on performing regular, basic maintenance. In addition, it is going to save you money in major repairs down the road. On average, a vehicle owner pays $792 for basic maintenance annually according to the “Your Driving Costs” study conducted by the AAA in 2016.
On the other hand, not taking care of your car most often results in the need for major repairs which means increased expenses and a decreased resale value. Whether you opt to do a D.I.Y service or use a trusted vehicle technician, pay attention to the following 10 basic procedures that should be performed to ready your car for the coming spring and summer months:
- Check and top up the 9 fluids in your vehicle on a regular basis which includes the oil, battery, brakes, transmission, power steering, coolant, filters, and fluids as well as your windshield washing fluid.
- Cabin and engine filters should be inspected and replaced around every 6 months.
- When performing an oil change, check the hoses for cracks or corrosion and replace them if they are leaking.
- Serpentine belts and V-belts should be inspected for cracks or loss of tension and replaced if necessary.
- The braking system needs an annual check including the drum, rotors, and linings.
- Inspect the battery to ensure that it is free of corrosion or leaks and that all connections are clean.
- Check tire pressure at least once a month. The correct pressure is listed on a placard on the driver’s door. Don’t forget to check the spare tire too.
- Inspect the tire tread for damage, deterioration such as cracks, bubbles, and bruises along the walls as well as uneven wear and tear. Replace tires if necessary with the same size and brand all around the vehicle.
- The wheel alignment and balancing should be checked once a year to prevent unnecessary wear on the tread as well as to improve handling and fuel economy.
- Check windshield wipers for any sign of deterioration such as cracks especially if they are causing streaking or are noisy when in operation and replace every six months or more often if necessary.
A good rule to follow is to check your vehicle owner’s manual which provides a service schedule that will tell you when minor and major maintenance should be performed on your car and how often. So dig that manual out of the glove compartment and get started on enjoying safer travel in your car this summer.