6 Cost-Effective Ways to Maintain Your Car
According to research conducted by R.L. Polk, the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads is 11.4 years. If you want your car to reach its 11 year anniversary, however, you need to maintain it. While you can always take it to the dealer, there are other, more cost-effective ways to maintain your car.
Try to get into the habit of washing your car once every one to two weeks. Aside from the aesthetic benefits it provides, washing removes abrasive debris and grime that could otherwise damage your car’s paint. Use high-quality wash soap designed specifically for cars.
When you are finished, dry it by hand to prevent the formation of water spots. There are special microfiber towels for cars that you can use to dry your vehicle after washing it. These are made of fine synthetic fiber—thinner than silk—and remove moisture without damaging your car’s body.
In addition to washing your car, you should also wax it. Applying a coat of wax to your car creates a barrier between the paint and outside elements. Without this protective barrier, sunlight, road salt, moisture, bugs, and debris may damage its paint. A good rule of thumb is to wax your car once every three months after washing it.
How frequently do you inspect your tires? Unfortunately, most drivers rarely, if ever, check their tires. It’s not until they experience a flat tire that they actually take a look.
You can reduce the risk of a blowout and save money at the pump by inspecting your tires’ tread and air pressure. When the tread begins to wear away, you’ll experience poor handling and an increased risk of a blowout. Over-inflated tires can also contribute to a blowout whereas under-inflated tires force the vehicle to consume more fuel.
Check Fluid Levels
There are several car fluids that you should check on a regular basis, including the engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.
It’s best to check these fluids when your car’s engine is cool for two reasons. First, it ensures an accurate reading since engine heat hasn’t caused the fluid to expand. Secondly, certain types of fluid, such as coolant, should only be checked with a cool engine.
If you happen to spill any fluid during this process, use a towel to clean it up. Microfiber towels for cars are perfect for cleaning minor spills.
Change Engine Oil
Perhaps the most important fluid in modern-day cars is the engine oil. It keeps the engine running in peak condition by lubricating the gears and reducing heat. In the past, it was recommended that you change engine oil every 3,000 months. Now, most automotive experts recommend changing it once every 5,000 to 7,5000 miles.
Following these maintenance tips will help to keep your car on the road for many years to come. There are also many car maintenance resources you can easily find online. Remember, a car is an investment, so treat it as such.
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