Are you a car expert on auto repair? Don’t worry, few people know what that clanking sound actually means. Our cars are an important part of life. Getting from one place to another safely and (hopefully) in some style is a priority. While public transportation is a necessity for quite a few people, let’s focus on on how to keep your car running so well you never have to take it.
The specifics of vehicle maintenance can vary a bit, especially among different makes and models. For example, a Ford vehicle manual recommends for the air filter to be changed out every 30,000 miles, while a Chevrolet says to wait until 45,000 miles. Who’s right? Although how often you’re getting your car serviced will vary slightly based on how the vehicle is operated, the recommendations for specific vehicle are there because the car was designed to hold up according to that schedule. Below are a few general tips to keep your car, regardless of make or model, running smoothly.
- 1. Squeaky Clean Spark Plugs: Replace them about every 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle’s owner manual gives a different check point.
2. How Can You See Out of That? Wind shield wiper blades need to be replaced every six months preferably, or once every year at a minimum.
3. Spongy or Quick-React. Brake pads need to be regularly checked, and on average are replaced every 20,000 miles. Your vehicle may need them sooner or a bit later depending on the model.
4. Don’t Get a Flat. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment to check it yourself. Tire tread wears out unevenly, so make sure you are rotating your tires around the 6,000 mile mark.
5. Save money on gas. Your car may be wasting gas. Cars that had a proper tune up have shown an improvement in gas mileage of up to 4%. The fault may lie with a faulty sensor.
6. Keep it Cool. The coolant level needs to be monitored, and topped off when it drops too low. The coolant needs to be flushed out annually.
Apparently, we are keeping our cars longer than usual. The average car you see on the road today is 11.4 years old. It’s no surprise, really: anything well made that is properly maintained can last. But there is one necessary maintenance procedure we haven’t covered: the smog inspection. A smog inspection isn’t required of new cars, especially the ones touted as “green” or energy efficient. Smog inspections only need to be conducted once a year; if there is a need for automotive repair, it pays to fix it right away. As the average person’s car is an older model, it is only a matter of time before any car must be inspected.
Take the time to have your vehicle inspected according to the schedule it needs. Don’t wait for a regular maintenance issue turn into a big problem. Driving is a privilege, and certainly more comfortable than riding the bus.