Car Maintenance 101: Everything You Need to Know
The Ultimate Regular Car Maintenance Checklist
The best way to keep your car in top condition is to properly maintain it. Regular car maintenance helps keep your vehicle in the best shape so you and your precious cargo can safely get around town. Some parts of your vehicle need to be checked more frequently, while others can go the distance, but all are crucial to your vehicle’s operation. Continue reading to learn all about what needs to be done for regular car maintenance in order to maximize the life and performance of your vehicle.
Why is Regular Car Maintenance Necessary?
If you’ve invested thousands of dollars into a vehicle, chances are you’re going to want it to last as long as possible. Taking care of your car by performing preventive maintenance helps ensure you have safe and reliable transportation, but that’s not the only reason why it’s so important. Other factors to consider are:
1. Extended Life of Your Vehicle
If you don’t prioritize maintenance, you’re putting your car at a higher risk for malfunctions. When not properly maintained, errors can occur in the engine and other components of your car. Performing routine maintenance on your vehicle can easily extend the life of it much longer and ensure a safe ride. The last thing you want to happen is to have your vehicle break down, thankfully regular car maintenance can prevent this.
2. Reduced Repair Cost
Regular car maintenance is relatively inexpensive, but larger car issues due to lack of upkeep will end up costing you a pretty penny. When you neglect your vehicle’s maintenance, it allows for smaller problems that would’ve been caught during a routine check to turn into larger, unexpected, more expensive repairs. Ultimately, performing routine maintenance on your car will save you money by reducing the need for early replacement of expensive parts.
3. Increased Safety
Having your car break down, especially at night, can be an unsafe and scary situation. Regular maintenance reduces the risk of having your car malfunction, and also ensures your car is in the best safest condition possible. When you keep your car up-to-date on maintenance, you are ensuring the safety of yourself and your passengers.
5 Regular Car Maintenance Tips
1. Check and Maintain Tires
The weight of your entire vehicle is riding on your tires (pun intended), so it’s crucial that you know how to check them. You should be checking your tires at least once a month, and before and after every road trip. Regularly checking your tires will lessen the chance of a blowout while driving, and also extend the life of your tires.
When you check your tires, you should be looking at the tread to make sure it’s still intact. If you notice your tread is worn, get new tires. Driving on worn out, or “bald,” tires is very unsafe due to the lack of traction to the road.
Additionally, you should be checking your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires wear much faster than properly inflated tires, so you’ll want to keep them inflated to the required PSI. The average PSI for car tires is around 32 to 35, but you can find this information in your car’s manual.
2. Change Oil and Filter
The oil in your car is what lubricates different parts of your engine so they don’t grind together. Routinely changing your oil about every 5,000 miles is essential to keep your car in the best condition possible. With the right tools, you can complete an oil change by yourself from your driveway, however, our technicians can also take care of it for you at our service center. Oil that isn’t changed regularly can damage your engine, resulting in a much more costly repair.
Along with changing your oil, your oil filter needs to be replaced as well. Overtime, your oil filter will gradually become clogged with contaminants, and eventually block clean oil from passing through it, resulting in engine malfunctions. Typically, you can drive your car 5,000 to 8,000 miles before you’ll need to change your oil filter.
3. Inspect Brake Pads
Regularly checking your brake pads will allow you to catch small problems before they turn into bigger, more expensive, and possibly dangerous problems. Your brake pads are essential to being able to safely slow down and stop your car. Thankfully, brake pads are designed to give clear signs when they’re in need of a replacement.
The best thing to do is have our service team take a look to determine if your brake pads need replacing. Signs that you need to replace your brake pads include:
- You hear a squealing noise
- The front of your car pulls to one side when your brake
- Your brake pedal vibrates when pressed
Learn more: Decode you Dash: What Your Car Emergency Warning Lights Mean
4. Check all Fluids
Motor oil isn’t the only fluid you have to worry about in your car. There are plenty of other fluids that need to be checked and topped off when needed. Thankfully, checking and replacing your vehicle’s fluids is fairly easy. You, or your mechanic, should check to replace your car’s:
- Engine oil
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Windshield wiper fluid
5. Replace your Windshield Wipers
It’s recommended that you replace your windshield wipers every six to 12 months. The rubber that the wiper blades are made out of is degradable, so over time your wipers will wear and become less effective. Thankfully, windshield wiper blades are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace on your own.
Car Maintenance at Battleground Kia
We hope that this blog serves as a helpful guide when researching regular car maintenance. If you’re not a do-it-yourself kind of person, our highly qualified technicians can perform a routine maintenance check on your vehicle to make sure everything is in the best condition possible. Click the button below to schedule your maintenance appointment with our service team.