Once you buy a car, read through the owner’s manual so you’ll know suggested time frames for oil and transmission fluid changes and other important things. Here are a few things to do regularly to keep your car running smoothly:
Check your vehicle’s tire pressure monthly and before any road trips. Properly inflated tires give them a longer life and increase your fuel efficiency. You can find the ideal pressure level on a sticker inside the driver’s side door. Experts suggest checking your tire pressure when your tires are “cold” or haven’t been driven for 4 hours.
Check your oil monthly. Keeping your engine lubricated is key to the health of your car. To check your oil, all you need is a paper towel (available at most gas stations). Locate the oil tank in your engine, remove the dipstick, and wipe it off. Then stick the dipstick back into the oil tank and pull it out to see where the oil line is. The oil level should be between the two marks on the bottom of your dipstick. If it’s below the lowest one, put a quart of oil in your car (but never more than a quart at a time).
Change your oil regularly. When you change your oil, also rotate and balance your tires to extend their life.
Every two to four years drain and flush your car’s cooling system, change the automatic transmission fluid, and replace the drive belts and hoses (especially if they become noisy). Check your owner’s manual to see exactly when the manufacturer suggests scheduling these adjustments.
Wash your car regularly. Depending on the weather and where you live, your car can build up layers of dirt, salt, grease and other elements. Washing your car regularly can prevent corrosion to your vehicle.
Regular car maintenance can prolong the life of your vehicle and make for fewer frustrating days of disrupted schedules due to car issues.
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