Owning a car is not just about filling it with gas and driving to where you want. Routine maintenance is essential if you want your car to last. A log of your car maintenance intervals will help you stay on track and keep your car in good condition for many years. It will be easier to track issues and determine when professionals are needed to take the car apart.
These car maintenance tips can help keep your car running smoothly between visits to the mechanic. You can identify problems faster and get it checked by professionals before they become major issues.
The right insurance coverage is an essential part of owning a car. Car insurance protects your investment by covering damages due to negligence. The insurance company will pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged by a covered claim. It depends on the level of coverage you have and the extent of the damage.
Car insurance companies may offer car maintenance coverage that is not typically covered by standard insurance. Mechanical breakdown insurance (or MBI) covers mechanical parts failures, which can help offset the cost of hiring a professional to fix your vehicle. Here are some more tips for taking care of your vehicle with routine maintenance.
- You should check all of your lightbulbs at least once a week. Make sure that your lights are not damaged and have them replaced if necessary. Don’t forget the tag lights at the back. You may be able, depending on the make and model of your vehicle, to replace them yourself. If you are unable to replace them yourself, you will need to hire a professional to do it.
- Car maintenance also includes regular washing and cleaning. Washing and waxing your vehicle removes dirt, pollen and oils from the car, as well as road salt, oil, and other grime. Over time, allowing contaminants to build up on your car’s paint can cause damage. People who live in snowy areas may also have road salt that can cause rust damage. You should also clean the interior while you are cleaning out the exterior. Take out all trash and wipe down the interior.
- Fluids should be checked at least once per month. This includes oil, coolant and windshield washer fluid. To have fluids checked, schedule an appointment with a mechanic if you spot any leaks. Fluid changes are based on make and model, and can be based on mileage. A brake fluid flush costs around $100. While a transmission fluid flush can run up to $400, it could cost as much as $500. For all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicles, differential fluid or transfer case fluid must be checked and replaced according to the owner’s manual. This can cost around $100.
- Oil changes are important. This depends on how often you drive, your driving style, and whether you take short or long trips. Some cars can travel 7,500 miles, while others require more frequent oil changes. Costs will vary depending on what oil you use, how much your car uses and where you live. It is a good idea to check your battery life, air filter, and whether you need a wheel alignment/rotation during every oil change.
- Schedule maintenance when recommended: Some parts recommend scheduled maintenance after certain mileage, such as 12,000, 24,000 or 36,000 miles. You can find the recommended maintenance intervals in your car’s owner’s manual. It’s easy to remember if you put the schedule in your calendar. This will help you keep track of your car maintenance.
- Every six months, check your windshield wipers. Damaged windshield wipers can cause visibility problems during storms. You should replace your wipers if they stop working or there are streaks on your windshield. The auto parts shop can help you determine the size wipers you need. Wiper prices vary depending on the size and condition of the wipers and can range from $10 to more than $100.
- Make sure to change your engine air filter. Engine air filters trap dirt and other particles in your engine, allowing it to run smoother and more efficiently. It should be inspected at least once a year, even if it is not being replaced during maintenance. It should cost less than $100 to replace an engine air filter. You can either buy one yourself or hire a professional.
- Pay attention to your brakes. Your brakes can save you from an accident. They should be checked at regular maintenance visits, but you should also pay attention while driving. You should contact a mechanic if you hear any noises coming from your brakes. The cost of brakes and rotors can vary. However, it could be as high as $400 per axle for performance cars.
- Make sure you check your tires at least once per month. You should ask your mechanic to inspect your tire tread depth every time you take your car in for maintenance. Depending on your driving habits and road conditions, you will need to replace tires more often. Tire wear that is irregular could indicate a poor alignment. This could lead to premature tire wear. Make sure you have regular tire rotation in your car maintenance program. Tires should be replaced before they reach 2/32. Most tires have a tread depth of 10/32. The cost of replacing tires and the cost to replace them can vary depending on where you live and how labor-intensive it is.
- Regularly change your belts or hoses: Even if they are not failing, it is recommended that you change your belts or hoses every 2 to 3 years. You may need to adjust a squeaky or loose belt if you notice it. The timing chain or timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 miles. However, each manufacturer will have its own recommendations in the owner’s manual. Prices for labor and parts vary depending on where they are located and what belts or hoses need to be replaced. A drive belt replacement costs on average $175.
AAA has estimated that car maintenance costs between 8.39C/-10.11C/ mile. These maintenance tips will help you keep your vehicle in good condition for longer.