Our cars are a serious investment from the start. Not only in price, but also in the trust we put in them to get us and our loved ones safely (and in a timely manner) to our intended destinations, be that work or school or play. This is why automobile maintenance is so important. Becoming acquainted with a few simple parts of your vehicle can help you in keeping it up and running more effectively, just by using your eyes for a quick check. Here are 3 simple automobile maintenance tips for those of you beginners who want to become savvier with some simple preventative checks.
- Checking your oil levels. Usually when you get an oil change, you will be given a sticker for your car or some other reminder letting you know when you need to come in next to have it changed. However, if you have an older car, it is important to know how to check the oil levels yourself so as to prevent running low due to leaks or other problems unknowingly. If you check your owner’s manual or look up your car make and model online, you should be able to find detailed instructions and/or images of where your oil dip-stick is located. The dip-stick is what measures the oil your car currently has. First you need to pull out the dip-stick and wipe it off on a cloth or towel to help get a clear reading. Only do this if your car is cool (before you turn it on, and/or after it has been off for some time). Then insert the dipstick back into the chamber it came from very carefully, trying not to touch the sides. Once you have lowered it in completely, pull it back out carefully and then look at the level of the oil on the stick. There should be markings letting you know the range the oil should fall in. If the oil on the stick is below that point, you are low on oil.
- Tread wear. A simple glance at your tires can tell you if the tread has been wearing unevenly. If it has, this could be a sign of a tire-pressure problem in one or more of your tires, or of a wheel misalignment. First check the tire pressure and make sure each tire falls within the proper range for your tires. If they do, then you should take your car in for a wheel alignment check. These preventative measures can save you time and money.
- Checking your other car fluids. Again, if your look in your owner’s manual or online, there should be detailed photos or instructions for your car’s make and model telling you where the wiper fluid and coolant are both located. Usually checking these is just a matter of popping your hood and taking off a cap or two. Wiper fluid is essential for safe driving, and coolant is essential for the proper care of your engine. With just a simple check, you can be alerted to a need to add in more. Then all it takes is a drive to an automotive store for the needed fluid, and you can be topped off and ready to go.
These simple tips and know-hows of automotive maintenance can serve as preventative measures to save you from costlier repairs down the road. They are good way to know your car and take real ownership of it. However, more detailed or complicated automobile maintenance is best taken care of by professionals to give you peace of mind and assure you they are done properly. Call us at Joyce Automotive for all your automobile maintenance needs.