Cars are made to be, but wear and tear and accidents can still chip away at their defenses. Parts will rust, tires will lose air pressure, windows can break, and so much more.
If left unaddressed, these issues can easily shorten your car’s lifespan. Fortunately, a comprehensive maintenance routine goes a long way in mitigating long-term damage. Not only does it lengthen your car’s lifespan, but it also keeps it functional and cuts down on potential costs.
Maintenance routines should be time-sensitive, however; you don’t have to examine every part each time. With that in mind, here are the boxes your maintenance routine should check.
Your maintenance routine should include monthly checks of your car’s oil and coolant levels. Low oil and coolant levels, if unaddressed, can lead to costly engine problems.
Note: Make sure you check these levels while your engine is cool.
Of course, this monthly check is assuming that you’re using your car regularly (going to work, school, etc.). As with the rest of the checks on this list, the underlying assumption is that your car isn’t being used excessively. So, for instance, a long road trip would count as out of routine. In these off-routine cases, even if you checked your oil and coolant levels a week ago, you should recheck them.
Your car’s air filter controls the air flow, and what that air carries, into your engine. Essentially, an air filter cleans the outside air by removing particulates and debris before that air enters your engine.
Contaminated air can damage your engine and reduce its efficiency. Clean air ignites quicker inside an engine cylinder, which improves fuel economy by increasing engine combustion efficiency. Make a habit of checking this at least once every month.
Driving with inadequate or imbalance tire pressure can range from being annoying to getting you into an accident. Moreover, low tire pressure can worsen your car’s fuel economy. You should be checking your car’s tires at least once every month (and more during the winters). Ideally, make a habit of looking at your car’s tires whenever you go out. Moreover, if you’re taking a long trip, taking on extra load, or feel your car favoring one side, check the tires. Lastly, make sure you keep a spare on hand.
This includes headlights, brake lights, turning signals, and parking lights. To check the headlights, face a flat surface, turn on your lights, and get out of the car to inspect. The lights should be balanced and not flickering. Get out of your car and inspect your parking lights and turn signals too. To check your brake lights, you’ll probably need a friend to stand behind your car while you brake to confirm that the lights are working. As with the above, monthly checks are adequate.
Get out of your car and inspect your parking lights and turn signals too. To check your brake lights, you’ll probably need a friend to stand behind your car while you brake to confirm that the lights are working. As with the above, monthly checks are adequate.
Oil benefits your car’s engine in the same way as it benefits other machinery: it lubricates moving parts and prevents wear-and-tear.
This keeps the machine—in this instance, the engine—functioning smoothly. Moreover, motor oil also cools your engine and protects against debris. Oil and oil filter checks depend on two things: mileage and time. If you travel frequently, you may need to change your oil and oil filter every 3 months or 3,000 miles. There’s no single correct maintenance period for all cars. Check your car’s manual for the expected maintenance period.
Though not part of the maintenance routine, you should regularly clean your car. This keeps it looking new and functioning well. You can supplement this cleaning by waxing your car. Not only will this improve its appearance by protecting your car’s paint job, but it will also protect your car’s exterior from rust.
Transmission fluid functions like motor oil for your car’s transmission; it lubricates the parts and keeps them moving. Moreover, like motor oil, if you don’t have your transmission fluid periodically checked and replaced, your transmission will get damaged. If you leave it unaddressed for too long, you may need to replace your transmission.
Spark plugs are fitted into the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine. They ignite the gas-air mixture, which ultimately powers your car’s engine, in your engine by way of an electric spark.
A malfunctioning spark plug means your car will either be underperforming or not performing at all. Spark plugs don’t warrant as frequent checkups as, say, motor oil or headlights. Moreover, spark plugs also have to be assessed and fixed by a professional, so visit a mechanic if you suspect a problem.
The car’s battery supplies the electric current to the starting motor, engine, electrical accessories, and more. Consequently, the battery is a necessary component of your car. Batteries can take a beating from extreme temperatures.
If your car is extremely hot, for instance, then your battery will begin to corrode at a faster pace. Cold environments can slow down chemical reactions, which make your battery’s performance sluggish.
Windshield wipers don’t require as much upkeep as other aspects of your car, like tire pressure or coolant levels. Typically, if you’re replacing your windshield wipers once a year, your maintenance routine is adequate. However, you can do a bit more to improve their performance and lifespan. Installing wiper blades and pulling the wipers from the window during the winters will improve performance and prevent ice from building up.
An inadequately maintained interior can lead to harm to the driver and car. Dirty interiors can lead to harmful bacteria and other pathogens growing in the car. Amid the current coronavirus pandemic, this is an even greater issue. Moreover, a dirty interior is typically also a cluttered interior. These are potential distractions that increase the risk of getting into accidents.
Consequently, your maintenance routine should involve maintaining a certain degree of interior cleanliness. Our interior accessories can help with that. They gather the dust and gunk that typically settles on the interior and are easily removed and cleaned. These keep your car’s interior clean, long-lasting, and aesthetic to boot. We offer console liners, cup holder inserts, and interior accessories for the Dodge Charger, Chevy Blazer, Tesla Model 3, and more. Visit our shop to find out more.