Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Well, it’s never truer than it is when applied to auto maintenance. When you buy a new car, it comes with a set of recommendations for regularly scheduled maintenance that the manufacturer believes will keep the vehicle performing at its optimum level. As it ages, it’s just as important—if not more so—to keep up a routine of preventative maintenance. Doing so can identify and catch small problems before they become big ones. Here are some tips on what you can do to prolong the life of your vehicle.
Regular oil and oil filter changes are probably the number one way to keep your engine purring along happily. Not only does doing so purge contaminants that can cause wear and tear, but it also ensures that a mechanic will be looking over the motor on a regular basis and can spot any potential problems.
If your car’s alignment is just a bit out of whack—and with the condition of today’s roads, hitting an unseen pothole can easily do that—it can cause uneven tire wear. That’s why it’s important to have your tires rotated on a regular basis, so the wear is evenly distributed over all four tires. Perhaps doing this at the same time as an oil change is a good idea. Checking tire pressure frequently is also a very good idea. Under-inflated tires can be dangerous because they can cause your car to handle improperly and could cause a blow out at high speeds. Low tire pressure can also degrade fuel economy.
Maintaining a car’s brakes is perhaps the number one way to ensure its safety on the road. There’s nothing worse than stepping on a brake pedal in an emergency, only to have it go all the way to the floor with no effect. Have your mechanic perform a quick brake inspection and he or she will be able to spot small problems before they become big ones. Don’t take chances with this vital system.