Tips And Tricks
The best way to treat a car
How do you treat your car? Are you an attentive owner? Or are you the type who ignores your car until it needs something, such as gas or oil? Giving your car the care and attention it needs on a regular basis is the best way to avoid engine repair keep it working at its very best for you. Here’s a guideline that can get you on track to giving your car what it needs all the time:
Every other fill-up
When your car needs gas, that’s a cue to check if there’s anything else it might be needing. You don’t have to do this every time you get gas, but every other trip to the pump should be just about right. This is the time to check some of the fluid levels, to prevent maintenance like transmission repair, including:
- power-steering fluid
- transmission fluid
It’s also the right time to inspect both the drive belts and the tires. Examine the tires for air and wear. Check the pressure to see if you need to add air, and look at the tread to see if it has become too worn in any particular area. Be sure to check the tires when they are cold.
Once a month
Other fluid levels should all be examined monthly, maybe on the first or the fifteenth. This includes the radiator coolant and the master-cylinder fluid. In addition, have someone help you check all your lights to be sure they are in good working order. This includes brake lights and taillights, directionals, and headlights at both high and low beam.
Every 3,000 miles. This is the time to lubricate the car, examine and replace the air filter, and change the oil and filter.
Every 12,000 miles. About once a year, lubricate door locks and hinges, drain and replace the antifreeze, and examine the windshield wipers to see if they need to be replaced. Both the exhaust system and the wheel alignment should also be checked at this time. Spark plugs should be inspected and changed if necessary. The brakes should be bled and refilled.
Every 24,000 miles. Every other year, it’s time to make certain adjustments. Cars that use unleaded fuel may need new spark plugs and auto electrical service done. Transmission filters should usually be changed at this time, and an engine tuneup that includes replacing the PCV valve should be completed as well.
Taking good care of your car means it will run better for you and, in the long run, save you money on repairs. Give your car the TLC it deserves.