No matter your skill level, as a car owner, you should get comfortable making sure you can perform some simple car-care practices. Some things you may want to leave to the pros, but there is a bunch of basic vehicle maintenance that you can do easily on your own too!
Firstly, you should always get acquainted with your owner’s manual. Every car has one, and it's usually a thick little booklet that’s stored in your glovebox. If you can’t find it, don’t worry; you can always find an online version! Give it a read, and then turn to your maintenance schedule section. This will tell you what kinds of maintenance is needed and when.
Next, you’ll want to regularly check and change your car’s oil and oil filter. Think of your engine as your vehicle’s heart and its oil as its blood. It lubricates the rest of the engine, allowing your engines various parts to work together without grinding and causing damage over time. Old engine oil can cause just as much damage as too little engine oil, so be sure to get it changed out regularly. The type of oil you use will be widely up to you, so long as it meets the service and viscosity requirements laid out in your owner’s manual.
After your oil checks, you should make sure to check your tires each month. Your tires are in constant use by your car, so it’s even more vital for them to be in tip-top shape. While it’s simple to add air to your tires, you’ll need to ensure that they’re at the correct tire pressure. Your ideal tire pressure can be found in both your owner’s manual and on the inner door jamb on the driver’s side door on a white or yellow sticker. You’ll need to inflate your tires when they’re cold, which is after having driven less than a mile to get an accurate reading with a pressure gauge. Otherwise, add 4 PSI to whatever reading your gauge gives you. Your tire pressure should be no more than 5 PSI over or under the recommended amount, according to your manufacturer. And while you’re at it, check your spare tire’s pressure too!
In addition to checking your tires, you’ll also need to inspect the rest of your fluids. Some of the most important to check are your brake, transmission, coolant, and washer fluids. Like with your engine oil, you’ll want to check the transmission fluid with a dipstick. Brake fluid, radiator fluid, coolant, and washer fluid levels can all be checked visually.
Lastly, examine all your engine’s belts and hoses for leaks or cracks. If you spot any leaks, cracks, or bulges in a hose, have it replaced pronto. And on belts, check for signs of wear like cracking, glazing, and missing chunks missing. These should also be replaced as soon as possible to prevent additional costly repairs. You’ll also want to inspect your windshield wipers, battery, and air filter occasionally to ensure they are all in good working order.
Following this quick list of simple car-care practices will help your car to go for many more months and miles without a hiccup. And if you still aren’t comfortable taking on some of these car maintenance tasks, go ahead and give the team at AutoPro Auto Service a call today! Whatever your auto repair needs, schedule an appointment with AutoPro Auto Service today to keep your vehicle performing at its best. We are conveniently located at 7901 W. River Road in Brooklyn Park, MN.