Your vehicle maintenance routine is super important to safe travel. Whether your car is old or new, jeep or sedan, staying on top of its condition will save you money over time.
Taking good care of your vehicle means that you’ll avoid expensive repairs. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you won’t get stranded because of a blown tire or engine failure.
Investing on quality jeep accessories will also avoid unnecessary upgrades and replacements. Like what they say, “you buy cheap, you buy twice.
Most of us don’t like the idea of having to take our cars to the mechanic. This usually means major work is necessary. If you balk at the idea of having your car repaired, here are some things you can take care of independently.
Sparkplugs literally make your engine fire up. They work by igniting the gasoline, which then moves the engine pistons and generates power.
It only takes about an hour to switch them out, so why not give it a try? If you do it yourself, you’ll save on labor costs and time waiting until a mechanic can deal with the issue.
2. Oil and Fluids Change
If you don’t already have a vehicle maintenance schedule for oil changes, be sure to take this seriously. It’s important to keep clean oil in your car, so the engine doesn’t seize up.
Adding oil is easy, and most automotive stores and big box stores sell auto oil. All you need to do is lift your car’s hood, open the engine, and pour out the bottle.
To change an oil filter, you will have to slide under the car, find and remove the filter, and replace it with a new one. Like motor oil, car filters are easy to find in most general retail or car specialty stores.
Alternatively, if you would rather have someone else change your oil, you can look up the best oil change near me online.
3. Headlights and Tailights
Headlights and taillights are not too difficult to replace. You just have to pop out the old bulb and install the new one.
The hardest part is finding the access points on the inside of your car. Refer to your user’s manual to see where to find them.
Having bad tires on your car can cause accidents, so don’t skip tire maintenance! Thin tire treads can result in hydroplaning in wet weather and flat tires in any weather. Your tires will be more vulnerable to punctures from glass and road debris if they’re worn down.
You should inspect your tires frequently for tread depth and check that they’re properly inflated. Most gas stations have free or paid air pumps that you can use to refill your tires.
If you take your car for regular oil changes, the servicer may also do a tire check. Just don’t rely on these alone. Always do your own inspections, especially before you go on any long-distance road trips.
If you need to replace your tires, most garages can switch them out in under 2 hours. Don’t take a chance and risk a car wreck over something that’s so simple to fix.
5. Turn Signals and Fuses
You should inspect your turn signals on a regular basis. If they fail, you could wind up with a traffic ticket, or another car could misjudge your direction and hit you! Besides that, they’re very easy to check.
You just have to turn them on, hop out of the car and check that they’re flashing. Even better, turn them on in your garage and watch for the reflection on the walls.
If they don’t work, the bulb may need a replacement. Or, if you have an electrical issue, check the fuse box. Your user’s manual will have all the details on how to replace fuses.
6. Windshield Wiper Fluid
Replacing windshield wiper fluid is one aspect of vehicle maintenance that’s super easy. You just open the hood of the car and pour the wiper fluid into the storage tank. You can use a special mixture that contains antifreeze to keep your windshield from icing up in winter.
Some oil change companies will do this for you on a regular basis. But if you run out for any reason in between servicing, it takes 5 minutes to refill wiper fluid by yourself.
If you’ve ever jumpstarted a car, you know how important it is to keep your battery terminals clean. If they’re corroded, use an old toothbrush, baking soda, and water to clean them up.
When your battery dies, and you need a replacement, you can buy a new one off the shelf at most automotive and big-box retailers and replace it. You’ll need a socket wrench to loosen the old terminal connections and tighten them back onto the new battery.
Batteries can be heavy, so be careful and watch your back when lifting.
8. Wax and Wash
Maintaining your car’s exterior will prevent small scratches from becoming large, rusty areas that look ugly. Regular washing and waxing will help you spot any areas that need attention.
For scratch repair, you can buy touch-up paint at most automotive stores. Most of the time, they have paint color directories available. The directories let you look up the right color for your make and model of vehicle so you can make a close match.
9. Engine Coolant
Taking care of your car’s fluids is useful, although in some cases, mechanics should do the work. For example, it’s probably best not to mess with brake fluid unless you have a lot of experience.
Fortunately, engine coolant is one category that you can refill on your own. You can keep track of your activity in a vehicle maintenance notebook or use a vehicle maintenance app on your phone.
It’s always best not to let the interior of your car deteriorate. A quick vacuum and spot clean of the seats, floor, and trunk will keep your car looking attractive.
If you decide to sell your car, you won’t have to worry about major stains and blemishes that can lower its value.
It’s easy to clean your car at home, but don’t worry if you don’t have space or equipment. Most car wash companies have rental vacuums and cleaning products you can use.
Stay Ready to Run With Good Vehicle Maintenance
Basic vehicle maintenance is easy to do without help from a mechanic. If you pay attention to the maintenance items listed in this article, you can save money and avoid breakdowns.
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