Over 17 million cars are sold in the United States each year. For most people, having a reliable car is something they view as a priority. Newcomers to the world of car ownerships do not realize just how much work goes into keeping an automobile in pristine shape.
The only way to avoid serious repair issues is by providing a vehicle with maintenance. Every part of a car will wear out over time and will have to be replaced. The best way to keep these parts functional longer is by working with professionals to maintain them.
Whether you have a common car like a Ford Escort or something more exotic, knowing basic car maintenance can help an individual keep their vehicle reliable. The following are some maintenance tips every car owner needs to know.
1. Basic Car Maintenance Starts With Checking Fluid Levels
Jumping in a car and starting it up is something most people do daily. The various parts in your car’s engine and transmission will need lubrication to work properly. Without this lubrication, these parts will get damaged because of the high levels of friction.
Taking the time to check all the fluids in your vehicle is essential when trying to avoid serious repair problems. The engine oil and transmission fluid can be checked with the help of a dipstick. These dipsticks will have markings on them indicating if the fluids are at the right level.
If either of these fluids is low, you need to contact a mechanic immediately. Allowing engine or transmission leaks to persist can lead to a car being rendered useless. Therefore addressing them in a hurry is so important.
2. Take the Time to Look at Your Owner’s Manual
Choosing the right car to purchase will require a lot of research. Once you have found and purchased a vehicle, your main concern should be finding out as much as you can about it. The best way to do this is by reading the owner’s manual.
This manual will provide you with information about the features your vehicle has and will offer recommendations about how to maintain it. Failing to read the information in this book can lead to many problems.
If the vehicle you have purchased doesn’t have a manual in the glove compartment, you can easily find one online. There are tons of websites that can provide you with a PDF copy of an owner’s manual. The more you know about your vehicle, the easier it will be to keep it in good working order.
3. Pay Attention to Warning Lights
As you learn more about the car you have purchased, spotting repair issues will get easier. Most modern cars have a warning light system that can help a car owner diagnose their problems. These lights are triggered when there is a problem detected by the engine computer.
The check engine light is one of the most common warnings a car owner will have when issues are afoot. The only way to figure out why this light is on is by seeking out the help of a knowledgeable mechanic.
These professionals will have diagnostic tools they can hook right into the engine computer. These tools will give them a detailed breakdown of what is wrong with the vehicle. With this information, the mechanic can get the issues repaired in a hurry.
4. Checking Your Tire Pressure is Important
Did you realize the tires are the only part of your vehicle that touches the road during operation? These thick pieces of rubber provide you with both traction and stopping power. The older the tires on your vehicle get, the more problems you will ultimately experience.
When trying to keep your tires in good shape, be sure to check the pressure. Modern vehicles have pressure sensors located in the tires. These sensors will detect low pressure and alert the car owner with the help of an interior warning light.
If the tires on your vehicle are consistently losing air, they probably need to be replaced. While new tires are a bit expensive, they are worth the money considering the increased safety they can provide. Allowing professionals to help choose and install new tires is a good idea.
5. You May Notice Issues While Driving Your Car
As time goes by, you will become pretty familiar with how your vehicle operates. This familiarity can come in handy when signs of repair issues start to surface. In most cases, a car owner will hear or feel something strange while operating the vehicle if problems are present.
If you feel a vibration or hear loud noises that aren’t typically there, you need to find a mechanic to take a look. A number of issues can cause these problems to occur, which is why working with a knowledgeable mechanic is a good idea.
These professionals will be able to troubleshoot the problems and get them fixed the right way. Attempting to do this complicated work alone will usually lead to the problems getting even worse.
6. Walk Around Your Vehicle to Inspect the Exterior Lights
Keeping your car safe should be one of your main concerns. Performing routine inspections of your vehicle is a must when trying to find problems before they cause safety issues.
When performing these inspections, look at the condition of your exterior lights. Without functional headlights, taillights and turn signals, driving can become dangerous. If one of these lights is out, you should be able to replace the bulb on your own.
Working With an Experienced Mechanic is Essential
Performing basic car maintenance on your own is a good idea. However, if you are faced with serious repairs, hiring a mechanic to help you is a good idea.
Are you looking for the owner’s manual for your vehicle? If so, check out our large selection of manual PDFs.