You purchased a vehicle and are loving every minute of the freedom and memories that it is bringing to you. The joy you felt driving it off of the lot after signing that dotted line was second to none, so how do you ensure that your vehicle stays in its best shape? Regular maintenance is an essential component of improving the lifespan of your beloved automobile.
When you think of vehicle maintenance, chances are the first image that comes to mind is sitting in a stuffy waiting room for hours on end while your vehicle is being serviced in the bay. While there is specific maintenance that should be performed at a dealership, there is also a handful of steps that you can take on your own time.
Let’s take a look at the top five vehicle maintenance steps that you can handle.
Don’t Forget Your Owners Manual
With every vehicle that is purchased, regardless if it is off our lot in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, or from a fancy-schmancy dealership, an owner’s manual will be stashed away in the interior. Now sometimes, you might get tired of staring at this ginormous manual in your passenger seat, and you might stow it in the glove compartment or under the backseat, who knows where else it could end up. Still, if you are unable to locate your copy check online, most manufacturers have begun adding manuals online.
Have you found your owner’s manual?
Okay, now turn to the maintenance section; hint, it’s usually the section that people overlook. Now that you are there be sure to note the time frame of when your vehicle’s oil should be changed, when your tires should be rotated, and any additional year-to-year maintenance.
With the owner’s manual located and the maintenance schedule jotted down, you are now ready to embark on the journey of caring for your vehicle.
Your Tires, They Need TLC Too
Think about what holds your car off the road while you are driving… it’s your tires. They are the sole component that is always making contact with the ground. With that knowledge, does it not make sense to ensure that your tires are properly inflated, especially during long road trips?
Make sure that your tires are fully inflated, but not overinflated. To find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, open your driver’s side door. In the door jamb, there is an informational sticker with the correct tire pressure listed. Be sure to reference this when inflating your tires and remember always to inflate your tires when they are cold to ensure a more accurate PSI reading.
There are More Fluids Than Just Motor Oil
Every vehicle has several fluids that coarse through the internal workings making it operate effectively. Liquids such as brake and transmission fluid, coolant and washer fluid can all be found under the hood of your vehicle.
To check the levels of your transmission fluid, you will find a dipstick under the hood, which you will read, much like how you read the motor oil levels. Brake fluid, washer fluid, and coolant levels can all be inspected by removing the appropriate lid and seeing how much is left.
Finally, Your Vehicle’s Belts and Hoses
While inspecting these elements goes a bit farther than routine maintenance, finding cracks or bulges early on can help prevent expensive repairs in the future. Anyone can quickly check these by lifting up the hood of a vehicle.
While it may seem easier to rely on a dealership or quick lube establishment to maintain your vehicle’s upkeep, taking care of the essential maintenance yourself will save you money in the long run. And heaven forbid your vehicle need extensive repairs done, you will have saved money on the front end to use at this time.