Taking care of your vehicle is one of the most important responsibilities of being an owner – especially if you want to know you can get from A to B whenever you need to! Not only does regular maintenance ensure the longevity and safety of your vehicle, but it can also save you money in the long run by preventing those ‘out of the blue’ costly repairs or, worse, a fault that causes a crash.
So, with that in mind, here are some tips on how to look after your car or van and keep it in tip-top condition.
1) Check Your Fluids
One of the most important things you can do to look after your car is to regularly check the fluids. This includes anything from your oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid to coolant and windshield washer fluid. Most of these can be easily checked by simply popping the bonnet and locating the corresponding dipstick or reservoir. Make sure to keep an eye on the levels and top up as necessary.
2) Change Your Oil Regularly
Oil is essentially coined as the ‘lifeblood of your car’, so it’s crucial to change it regularly and make sure you have enough. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should provide a recommended schedule for oil changes, but a general rule of thumb is to do it every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Just make sure to use the recommended oil type and viscosity for your car and not just choose anything.
3) Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Proper tire inflation not only improves gas mileage but also helps extend the life of your tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a month, and keep them inflated to the recommended level. This information can be found in your car’s owner’s manual or, if you are really unsure, at a car dealership. You can also check online by using trusted websites.
4) Get Regular Tune-ups
Regular tune-ups are important to keep your car running smoothly and prevent any major problems down the road. A tune-up generally includes replacing spark plugs, air filters, and fuel filters, as well as checking other key components such as belts and hoses. Think of a ‘wear and tear’ check.
5) Put Safety First
Making sure your vehicle has sturdy locks is really important for looking after it. The last thing you want is for someone to break into it or access anything important that is inside.
Invest in some deadlocks for vans, especially if you keep a kit or tools in your vehicle overnight.
6) Address Problems ASAP
If you notice any problems with your car, such as strange noises or vibrations, don’t ignore them. Addressing problems promptly can help prevent more serious issues from developing and can ultimately save you money in the long run.
7) Drive Responsibly
The way you drive can actually affect the health of your car. Avoid aggressive driving and sudden stops and starts, which can put unnecessary stress on your car’s components. Also, make sure to follow the recommended maintenance schedule and take your car in for any necessary repairs to keep on top of everything.
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