How to Maintain Your Vehicle Like A Pro, Even if You’re Not

By  //  October 25, 2020

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There is almost nothing worse than car trouble, especially if you must outsource repairs even for the smallest things. There are some tricks out there that will help you preserve the health of your vehicle and keep it running smoothly so that you can avoid calling the mechanic so often.

Often a few preventative steps can be the difference between routine repairs and emergency situations.

For those that are uncomfortable and do not trust themselves to spot issues before they escalate, rest easy, help is at your fingertips.

With, they are full of how-to guides that can elaborate on these tricks and give you step by step instructions that will give you the education and confidence you need to teach yourself the basics.

Keep Up on Oil Changes

Clean oil is the lifeline of any vehicle, and putting off changing it at the appropriate mileage as recommended by the manufacturer can end up costing you tons of time and money to repair costly issues that result from oil change negligence.

You do not know what you cannot see and who knows how much has built up inside the oil pan and filter. Locate your vehicle’s dipstick under the hood and get in the habit of checking it for oil levels.

If you have a vehicle that tracks this for you, and alerts you to oil life percentage and the need for a change, great, if you don’t, use the trip odometer to easily count your miles so you know when to anticipate the next change.

Get to Know Your Tires

Tires can be overwhelming, tons of options, language you may not be familiar with, and potentially showing signs of damage you don’t even know how to spot. However, the benefits of caring about one of the most essential parts of your vehicle are endless.

Here are some keywords to learn about when shopping, and caring for tires:

■ Tread: the grip of your tires is what is going to prevent you from sliding in the rain, allow you to roll through the snow, and help grip the road when you need a fast brake. An easy way to check for ware is the penny test. Take a penny and insert Abe Lincoln’s image head first into the most worn part of your tires, if you can see the top of his head, that’s an indication that is it time to get new tires.

■ Pressure: too much pressure can be just as big of a hazard as too little. Most vehicles have a sticker inside the driver’s side doorjamb that shows the recommended pressure levels, be advised that these levels may be different for front and back tires. If you don’t have or know how to read a pressure gauge, most gas stations have air machines that can easily show you the pressure of each tire, and then you can fill them too if needed.

■ Spare: almost every vehicle comes with at least one spare tire, but where it is placed varies from car to car. Read your owner’s manual to find out where yours is, or in some cases to discover if you even have one. Having a spare tire on hand is the difference between a change and a tow if you find yourself catching a flat on the side of the road. Driving on a low tire can bend and damage the rim significantly, so having a spare to get you a short distance to the repair shop can save you money on the back end.