A car is a significant investment. Taking proper care of it will save you from quite a few headaches and will save you tons of money. Follow these key tips to avoid breakdowns and keep your car running smoothly.
1) Change the oil every three months or every 3,000 miles. This is one of the most important things to do to keep your engine running smoothly. Oil not only keeps the engine well lubricated, but also prevents it from overheating. If you frequently drive in dusty areas or are always in stop-and-go traffic, you may need to change your oil more frequently.
2) Regularly change the oil filter (it’s a good idea to do this when you change the oil), air filter, and fuel filter
3) Regularly change the transmission fluid
4) Get your brakes looked at as soon as they start acting irregularly (i.e., weird noises, a low brake pedal, or a warning light)
5) Make sure your engine cooling system is working properly. This means you should have enough clean coolant and all hoses are free from any tears.
6) Check your alignment frequently. Pressure on one side may indicate a more serious problem than just low or high tire pressure. If you notice any type of imbalance, make sure your mechanic checks all components of the suspension system.
7) Be aware of leaks. If you see or smell any leaks (especially oil or antifreeze), make sure you get it taken care of right away. A minor leak can turn into a major leak and cause major problems down the road.
8) Open up the hood and gently turn over your engine belts to check for any tears. The belt runs whenever the engine runs and although belts typically last for a very long time, a broken belt can cause a lot of damage to the engine. If your belts look worn, it’s best to get them replaced before they break.
9) Don’t ignore the check engine light. It’s there for a reason and it could be signaling a major problem. When it comes on, you should have a diagnostic test run to identify any potential problems.
10) Change the spark plugs and wires every 30,000 miles. This will not only keep your engine in good shape, but will help keep your gas mileage up as well.
Courtesy of: HowStuffWorks