This post is a 3-part series on automotive maintenance. We shared an article from Car Bibles this past month about automotive maintenance and 20 essential components for it. That article can be found here.
Let's go through a couple of the points that Car Bibles makes:
1. "Inspect your vehicle on a regular basis"
I can't think of a more important piece of advice. The newer the car is, the more sensors and gizmos it has to keep track of important wear items. But nothing is a substitute for a pair of human eyes. You should have your car inspected often enough to be on first name basis with the mechanics. That doesn't mean you have to spend money every time, but you need to know how things are going with your car.
2. "Learn the meaning of different warning light indicators"
There's danger with this piece of advice. You should understand what system is failing so that you can make informed decisions, but you shouldn't make the mistake of judging the severity of the repair. All warning lights are bad. Just because one issue doesn't keep the car from driving doesn't mean you should ignore it. The car only has one way of telling you that there's a problem: the warning light.
3. "Check tire pressures"
This is a good piece of advice. It's easy to become complacent since all cars after 2005 come with a tire pressure monitoring system. These systems are designed, however, to warn you if there is a major drop in tire pressure (usually 25% change). Fuel economy loss and uneven tire wear occur sooner than what the sensor will detect. Set a reminder on your phone to check the pressures once a month. You can purchase a gauge for yourself or stop by a shop where it takes just a minute to check.
4. "Rotate tires and have the alignment checked"
Here's something you might not realize. Uneven tire wear will invalidate your tire warranty. You may need receipts that show tire rotations every 5-8,000 miles in order to receive that credit for your next set of tires. Ask for an alignment with every tire change (new tires, not summer-to-winter swap) and rotate your tires every oil change or every other oil change.
Click on the next post to read more.