Car ownership is a great thing, and it opens up a wide array of opportunity for those who are able to fully embrace it. From going to the grocery store to getting to work, it’s a valuable addition to anyone’s life that eliminates the need to be reliant upon public transportation. Plus, walking is a thing of the past!
However, there are some rules of thumb that should be kept in mind in order to help you become what many see as a responsible car owner. Whether it’s a new car or second-hand car being used as a starter vehicle, these tips will help you ensure it runs well while prolonging its life as much as possible.
Make sure you have the right tools for the job right out the gate.
A good starting point for tools is a set of wrenches, a set of sockets, pliers, and screwdrivers. By having these at your disposal there are many simple repairs that you can take care of yourself. Saving you money on repair bills and speeding up how long it takes to get things fixed.
Many people will keep a toolbox in their vehicle just in case the inevitable creeps into one of their road trips which are a great thing to do. Regardless, just make sure you have a basic toolset so that you can make repairs as the need for the surfaces. Not everything is overly complex when it comes to repairs.
Always keep an eye on your fluids and change them as necessary.
You want to do this at least weekly and even prior to any long road trips that you might find yourself embarking upon. Water, brake fluid, and oil all need to be checked periodically. If it’s low, go ahead and replenish it. With oil make sure it’s the same kind of oil that was used during your oil change.
If fluids get too low, it could wreak havoc on your automobile. Don’t put yourself in this kind of unnecessary risk, especially when you don’t have to. Believe it or not, it could even blow up your engine in those more extreme cases, which would leave you afoot and nobody really wants that.
Rotating tires isn’t just a task that’s done, it helps provide a better ride.
Your front tires are exposed to different situations than your back tires. This is one of the main reasons that they don’t wear evenly. One way to help distribute the wear for a safer ride is to embrace tire rotation services. This should be done every 5,000 to 10,000 miles dependent on the type of wear that’s seen at these points.
You could even rotate your tires yourself if you’re mechanically savvy. The best rotation is to take the passenger rear and swap it with the driver side front tire. And vice-versa.
Are you prepared in the event of a roadside emergency or will it be a setback?
Things happen, especially when you’re going long distances. Regardless of how long your trips are, it’s best to have a roadside emergency kit in case of breakdowns. You can purchase a ready-made one at your local parts store or just customize your own via Amazon or another online shopping website.
Another thing you should consider is roadside assistance through a provider such as AAA. If your car has to be towed, the bill is covered as long as certain conditions are met. Need a tire? Maybe some fuel? It is these things that roadside assistance can come in and save the day while proving its true value to you.
Change your air filter as needed, don’t go driving with one that’s excessively dirty.
You should always take a look at your air filter to ensure proper airflow is embraced within the mechanical operations of your vehicle. If it’s dirty, change it out with a new one. If you want to save money over the long run, use air filters that can be cleaned out and reused.
As far as how often you should change your air filter, a general rule is every 6 months. However, more extensive usage could shorten this timeframe depending on how often you drive, the distance you drive, and much more.
Always have a good mechanic in your Rolodex, so repairs are handled as needed.
Sometimes things can get more complex than you’re willing to deal with yourself. This is why you should develop and maintain a relationship with a licensed mechanic that has extensive experience. When these times do arise, you’ll have an asset on your team you can trust to fix your car. Of course, make sure that they can help with a wide variety of services so that you’re not finding out that they can’t take care of what you need to be taken care of.