While your new car might seem indestructible, around one in three drivers will have their car break down every year, which adds up to a whopping 69 million car breakdowns annually! Don’t get stuck on the side of the road, and learn how to do these simple car maintenance tips for a stress-free lifestyle!
1. Checking and Refilling Your Fluids
Your car’s fluids are essential to its performance and longevity. Every car owner should know how to check and refill their engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant levels. You can find where these fluids go by consulting your car’s manual, and it is usually a good idea to keep a spare quart of each type of fluid in your trunk in case.
In addition, keep in mind your make and model of car and what the best choice of oil is. For instance, some Mercedes Benz owners switch to synthetic oils and change their oil about every 7,500 miles or six months, while changing traditional oil every 5,000 miles.
2. Windshield Wiper Replacement
Your windshield wipers are crucial for keeping your vision clear while driving in inclement weather, so it is important to know how to replace them when they get worn out. If your lifestyle involves driving in wet conditions, you’ll need to replace your wipers sooner.
To replace your wipers, first consult your car’s manual to find the right size for your make and model. You can also bring in the old wiper to an auto parts store for help. Once you have the new wipers, simply line up the plastic part of the wiper with the hook on your car’s windshield, and snap it into place.
3. Tire Rotation and Pressure Check
Your tires are another crucial aspect of your car, as they provide traction and stability while driving. Over time, however, they can become worn down and lose air pressure. Checking your tire pressure and rotating your tires regularly can help reduce the chances of a tire blowout. Most modern cars will need oil changes between 5,000 to 7,500 miles. When you bring your car in for an oil change, ask the mechanic to check your tire pressure and rotate your tires if necessary.
If you have a spare tire, it is also important to know how to change a flat tire. Many newer cars come with a jack and lug wrench, but you may need to purchase these tools separately if they are not included. You’ll need to use a car jack to lift the car up, remove the lug nuts with a wrench, take off the old tire, put on the new tire, and then reverse the process to lower the car back down.
4. Battery Check and Replacement
Your car’s battery is what provides power to start the engine, so it is important to keep it in good condition. The average life expectancy of a car battery is three to five years, but this can vary depending on the make and model of your car. You can check the condition of your battery by looking at the battery itself for any cracks or leaks, as well as checking the terminals to make sure they are clean and free of corrosion.
If your battery is starting to fail, you may notice that your car is slow to start or that the lights are dim. If you think your battery needs to be replaced, take it to a mechanic or auto parts store for help. They will be able to test the battery and install a new one if necessary.
Even if you are not mechanically inclined, learning these simple car maintenance tasks can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. By being proactive and keeping up with routine maintenance, you can help ensure that your car stays in good condition for years to come and live a traveling lifestyle!