Car Maintenance Basics | Mark Alexopoulos
Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

Car Maintenance Basics

Routine car maintenance can extend the durability and life of your vehicle. Preventative car care is essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and can also help prevent more substantial expenses down the road. Follow these necessary maintenance steps to help keep your car running in peak condition.

 

Change Oil Regularly

Checking and changing your oil is one of the easiest ways to take care of your car. Whether your vehicle has a dipstick or an electronic gauge to check the oil’s color and oil level, you should know how to test it. Understanding the difference between muddy, murky oil and clean oil will also help you determine if something is wrong with your engine. While there is no universal recommendation for how often you should change your oil, your car’s owners manual will have the answer. For years, many mechanics recommended oil changes every 3,000 miles, but due to modern engine technology, some vehicles can go 7,5000+ miles until a change.

 

Maintain Tires

Keeping your tires in the best shape possible is another easy way to save money and prevent accidents. It’s recommended that you check your tire pressure at least once a month and before any long trip. The correct tire pressure is generally printed on a placard found on the driver’s door, or it’s written on the inside of the glove-box. It is also important to routinely check tire tread, rotation, balance, and alignment. Rotating your vehicle’s tires maintains fuel efficiency and prevent irregular wear and tear.

 

Routine Brake Checks

Your braking system is one of the most critical safety features of your vehicle. Brakes will have normal wear and eventually need to be replaced, but be sure to check the braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection includes brake fluid level, brake fluid level, brake and dash warning lights,  rotor thickness, and condition of hoses and brake lines. Additionally, keep an eye out for specific signs such as high-pitched squealing, slower stopping, and steering wheel vibration while braking because these are indicators that your brakes need to be checked.

 

Additional Care

Other car maintenance basics include checking your air filter, hoses, and belts, and replacing your wiper blades regularly.

 

Routine preventive care is the single best thing you can do as a car owner to keep your vehicle maintained. Following these simple and easy maintenance basics can extend the lifetime of your car and save you money in the long run.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!

Car, Car Care

Winter Car Care

Winter is upon us, and for many drivers, that means challenging winter weather and road conditions. Snowy roads, icy streets, lots of salt and freezing temperatures can impede your driving and damage your car. However, following these preventative winter care can help you prepare for this winter season.

 

Replace Wiper Blades

Wiper blades are a necessity for winter weather, and unfortunately, need to be replaced more often than you think. Consumer Reports found that wiper blades lose their effectiveness in as little as six months, and you can improve their lifetime by cleaning the rubber edge periodically.

 

New Tires

Winter-grade tires are built to perform better in snowy conditions and are designed to grip ice and snow for optimum traction. Depending on your location, if you live in an area where ice and snow occur often, consider buying tires dedicated for winter. If your location gets occasional snow, all-season tires can also do the trick. Be sure to keep your tires in good shape, including keeping them properly inflated.

 

Keep Battery in Good Shape

Cold temperatures hurt your battery’s performance and cause a lot of stranded cars in the winter. You can have your battery professionally tested, or you can perform a check on your own. No matter what, be sure to know how to jump-start a car and keep winter essentials (gloves, scarf, hat) handy in case of a dead battery.

 

Gas and Washer Fluid

During winter months, be sure to keep both your gasoline and windshield wiper fluid full. Condensation can build if the gas tank is not full, causing fuel lines to freeze if the temperature is low enough. Additionally, if your gas tank gets low, it makes it harder for the fuel pump to keep cool. It is also important to keep your windshield wiper fluid full because it can clean salt off of your windshield.

 

Pack a Survival Kit

As previously mentioned, it is important to keep winter essentials handy in case of bad weather. Be sure to have a windshield scraper, flashlight, cold weather clothing, emergency flares, salt and water accessible in your car.

 

As temperatures continue to drop, be sure to follow these preventative winter car care tips. Planning ahead of time can prevent accidents or issues from occurring as well as being prepared in case of emergency.  

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!

Auto Industry, Car

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