A car is only as good as it works, which means above all things, maintenance is key for your vehicle. Your car may be pretty, it may look rugged, or it may have cosmetic issues, but none of that matters if you can’t get in it and drive safely.
So, five maintenance tips to keep your vehicle in top shape, regardless of appearance, include scheduling regular dealer service, checking your fluids consistently, keeping a maintenance history available, washing your car at appropriate intervals, and using weather protection as necessary.
Regular Service Schedules
By taking your car in for scheduled service at a dealer, you’re ensuring that it is looked over by experts who know what to look for at certain times in a car’s lifecycle. Dealers will have professionals do thorough checks on all necessarily components, and recommend the best ways for your to keep your car in perfect working order. You can always go to your local non-dealer mechanic, but then you don’t have the benefit of someone working with your vehicle that absolutely knows it from top to bottom, so results of service may vary quite a bit.
Check Your Fluids
On a personal level, it’s extremely important that you understand how to check the fluids in your car. Brake fluid, oil, engine coolant, transmission fluid – these are all absolutely vital parts of making sure your car runs as well as it can, and they are all things that you can check independently. By avoiding doing even those simple checks, you run the risk of your car operating inefficiently, or even the engine potentially overheating and seizing!
Keep a Maintenance History Available
If you own a car, how easy is it for you to access information about when it was worked on last? When was the last time your oil was checked? When did you get your brakes fixed, or your steering aligned? If you’re like most people, you don’t have a great idea of the timeline. That can mean you don’t know how to look that information up, or you don’t know what’s next. To avoid that, simply keep a maintenance calendar and good records you can search.
If you live somewhere that the roads get salted in the winter, an important maintenance consideration is getting your car washed. Salt can rust out doors and the undercarriage and brake system of your vehicle, so rinsing those areas off regularly is an absolute must.
And finally, weather protection for your car will help keep interior and exterior components working their best. Typically, this means getting a car cover in the winter if you need one, and then some type of sun block in the summer, to prevent your dashboard from feeling like it’s melting in the heat!