If taking care of the family car is something you need to do, but you’re not sure how you’re not alone. An increasing number of people find that because of regular maintenance, they are usually a little clueless about taking care of their cars themselves. Most maintenance tasks, however, can be easily handled at home or the local gas station and will go a long way in making sure that the family car stays in top shape as long as possible.
Read the Manual
It’s increasingly true — nobody reads the manual anymore. Unfortunately, the manual is one of the best parts of your new vehicle. Chock-full of handy information you should know if you want to play a part in maintaining your car, the manual is the best — and often most overlooked — resource on your car available. It gives information that’s vital to regular maintenance, such as how many miles before an oil change, tire pressure, and when to change things like timing belts.
If you can’t find the manual, often it’s online, or a general service manual is available at your local auto parts dealer.
Checking Tire Pressure
Two of the easiest things that people can handle when it comes to car maintenance are checking tire pressure and changing the wipers when streaks can be seen. The first is vitally important to automobile performance since good tire pressure maximizes your fuel economy. A car with poor pressure will use up considerably more gas; a car with uneven pressure can have an accident at higher speeds, and will negatively affect your alignment. Most air pumps at your local gas station now have pressure meters to tell you how much pressure is in the tire, and you can consult your manual for the ideal amount for your vehicle.
Check Fluid Levels and Wiper Blades Regularly
Changing your vehicle fluids is something you can easily do yourself. Depending on how well you know cars, you’ll know which containers are for transmission fluid, coolant, and wiper fluid, although they are often labeled. Pouring the wrong liquid into the wrong container is a bad idea, so double-check. Most have dipsticks, and when they’re running low, just replace them by hand to save a trip and keep your car running well. According to CAR-Research XRM, a provider of affordable CRM software, changing your wiper blades when they begin to produce streaks, which means the wiper is becoming loose, is also a quick and easy task, though check with your manual so you don’t damage the wiper mechanism.
Car Washes and Interior Cleaning
If you have the time to invest, nothing is the same as cleaning the exterior of the car with a cloth, water, soap, wax, and a buffer. For those without the time, one can just invest a few dollars in going to the car wash. Making sure your car stays clean isn’t just about appearances. In many areas, corrosive substances can mix with rainwater once it hits the ground, and after a bad storm, it’s a good idea to run the car with a once-over of soap and clean water, whether by hand or at the car wash.
Making sure the inside of your car is clean is an important part of regular maintenance. Car interiors left dirty over time can be notoriously hard to clean, so it’s important to do it at least as often as you clean the outside.