Car Maintenance: 5 Crucial Routines To Keep Things Running
Let’s face it. Cars can be expensive. Payments, gas, routine checkups, and maintenance are all things you have to take into account. But what happens when the balls rack up too quickly? You know how it goes- seeing that expensive repair bill and wondering how you’ll pay.
Fortunately, you can easily cut your costs by doing some of the work yourself. In this article, we’ll walk through the top 5 DIY car maintenance tips for keeping your car in tip-top shape. Let’s get started.
Doing some of your own car maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s easy to save a lot of money in the long run by investing a little time for basic upkeep. In fact, with a few simple tools and some basic know-how, you can keep your car running strong for the long haul.
1. Check Fluid Levels
An easy way to maintain your car is to check its fluid levels. There are many different fluids in your engine bay that are necessary to keep your car healthy and functioning. These include:
- Windshield washer fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
All of these are easy to visually inspect without the use of any tools or equipment. Be on the lookout for any leaks, and check to see how much fluid is left in the container. As a good rule of thumb, if you’re below 50%, it’s a good idea to top it off.
The other fluid that you need to check is your engine oil. Checking your engine oil requires a bit more thought, but it’s also pretty easy to do on your own:
1. Remove the dipstick and wipe it off
2. Insert it back into the oil to get a clean read
3. Pull it out and check for the two little markers on the dipstick
4. If the oil level is between the markers, you’re good to go
5. If not, you may need to change your oil
Fortunately, there’s a DIY fix for that.
2. Change Your Oil
Oil is what keeps your engine running smoothly, and it needs to be changed every few thousand miles. While changing your own oil may sound daunting at first, it’s actually pretty easy. All you need to is an oil filter, a filter gasket, and fresh oil. To do the oil change, just follow a few simple steps.
- Go under your car and unscrew the oil drain cap
- Let the oil drain out into a bucket
- Remove the old oil filter and gasket, and insert the new one
- Go back to the engine bay and add fresh oil
- You’re all set. Just be sure to recycle the old oil when you’re finished.
To learn more about changing your oil, check out this article over on Family Handyman.
3. Wash & Wax
Everyone enjoys a clean car. Unfortunately, going to the car wash can get expensive fast. But if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, cleaning your own car can be a fun and exciting way to drive with style.
Most large department stores sell car wash and wax for just a few dollars. Plus, a little goes a long way and you’ll have plenty left over for the next time around. When you’re ready to get started on your car, grab a hose, a cloth, and your cleaners. From there it’s a straightforward process of rinsing and rubbing your way to a perfect shine.
Just remember: wax on, wax off.
4. Inspect Your Tires
Inspecting your tires may be the easiest way to keep your car safe and roadworthy, and you can usually tell when tires are going bald or flat with a simple visual inspection. But if you’re still not sure, you can get even more precise with some simple tools.
A tire gauge is an excellent way to determine the amount of air in your tires. Most tires require between 30-35 PSI for optimal performance, but it varies depending on tire size and model. Each individual tire should have more information imprinted on its side if you’re unsure.
Another easy way to test your tire’s longevity is with the simple penny test:
- Find a penny and hold it in your fingers
- Select a point on your tire where the tread seems low
- Place Lincoln’s head face down in the groove
If Lincoln’s head is covered even a little, you’re ready to roll. If the tread doesn’t cover any part of his head, you need to get new tires ASAP.
5. Try Additives
If your car is having trouble, you can always try an additive. There have been numerous success stories about how one little bottle fixes everything from shaking to poor fuel efficiency, to transmission slips and more.
Just be sure to check the products you’re buying. Take a peek at the product specifications to make sure it’s safe for your particular car. You may also want to go online and look at reviews to ensure the reliability of the product.
One of the most respected brands is Lucas Oil Products. They provide a variety of top quality car additives at very reasonable prices.
Taking care of your car is very important. With a few simple tools and a little sweat equity, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come.
If you’re looking for more DIY car maintenance tips, you could check out a site such as Twelfth Round Auto, one of the many sources for finding reviews of car gadgets.
Good luck with your car maintenance!
Regarding car maintenance, we just released a new guide on grease guns. Just thought that you may be interested in reading that guide!