While the price of a car may seem steep, somehow most of us find a way to get that down payment together. But it can be the price of maintaining the car where some car owners fall down on the job. Even when they know that a car needs a regular oil change in order to continue to run smoothly, they may instead shrug and say I don’t have an oil change near me so I don’t do it as often. But there are some maintenance jobs that you can’t afford to skip. Here are some that will extend the life of your car and make sure it runs better than ever.
That Bi-annual Oil Change
When I got my very first car I was in my twenties and well past the age many would be buying their first car, especially since I lived in California. But I had used a bicycle to get around up until this time, so I wasn’t as knowledgeable about caring for my new used car. One of the things I didn’t realize was that you were supposed to change the oil in your car twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall when the weather is changing.
In fact, I didn’t even know about adding oil and took a long trip where I blew my engine because it overheated from lack of oil. Don’t take this kind of risk, take care of the oil in your car on a regular basis. Changing your oil twice a year is a good rule of thumb, but even leaving it to once a year is not bad. Just don’t leave it any longer than that unless you want to replicate my experience and love finding yourself standing stranded on a busy freeway shoulder.
Taking the Tire Pressure Monthly
Tire pressure changes with the weather, which is why we check it far more often then anything else on our car outside of the gas gauge. Because air expands in the heat and contracts in the cold, tire pressure that was just fine in the early warm days of autumn may not be the same on the first day of a cold snap.
Just as you would check the water in your radiator when it gets hot, it is a good idea to check your tire pressure when the weather changes if you don’t do it every month. Since poor tire pressure can result in either a blow-out while driving or a flat tire the next time you head for your car to go somewhere, it is a good idea to keep an eye on both the pressure and the depth of your treads.
Air Filters Need Annual Changing
Unless you have one of those cars where everything in the engine area is completely locked off, you can change your air filter yourself. Truth is, it is one of the easiest things to change yourself, isn’t messy in the least and can help your car to last longer and be worth more when you trade it in for a new model. The general rule is to change it every year but you should also check it regularly to see if the filter is getting clogged up and needs changing.