Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance “to do” list:
Change the Oil
Routinely checking and changing your car’s oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car owner’s manual.
You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.
You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things – the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car’s mileage.
Check the Fluids
There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:
•Radiator Water or Coolant
•Power steering fluid
A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.
Test the Lights
A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it’s the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.
Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.
Replace Windshield Wipers
If your wipers aren’t working like they used to, don’t let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.
Check Belts and Hoses
Keeping your car’s belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you’re driving, it may cause many of your car’s systems to fail.
Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they’re in good condition and don’t need replacing.