Car maintenance tips are a dime a dozen, but which ones will actually help keep you and your family safe on the road? Many drivers believe that as long as no warning lights come on, their car is running fine. Unfortunately, failure to properly maintain your vehicle could leave you stranded. Here are some quick and easy car care tips to help keep you safe on the road.
Keep Your Tires and Wheels in Good Condition
Keeping your tires in good shape not only improves your gas mileage, it makes your tires last longer too. More important, it can help prevent blow-outs on the road or unexpected flat tires that leave you marooned in potentially dangerous situations. Consult your manufacturer’s recommendation for tire pressure, and check all five (yes, even your spare) every time you fuel up. It takes less than five minutes. Once each month, check for tire wear. Have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles and have your alignment checked annually.
Use the Right Type and Grade of Fuel
More and more car manufacturers are recommending the use of mid- or high-grade fuel. Yes, it costs more at the pump, but you may make up that difference in improved gas mileage… but maybe not. Higher grade fuels are advertised to provide better performance and reduce engine build-up, but the experts disagree on its merits. Most experts recommend that you use the fuel that your car requires. If your manufacturer only recommends premium, you’re likely safe to use the mid-grade gasoline but check with your mechanic to make sure.
The Importance of Fluids
If you don’t know how to check all the important fluids in your car, now is the time to learn. You need to know how (and when) to check your oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, washer fluid, and power steering fluid. Check fluids every other month and before embarking on a long drive trip. Consult your manual for specific directions on how to do this, or ask your professional auto care specialist to show you how. Most auto repair shops will check all your fluids when you have an oil change and top off any that are running low.
If you wait until a warning light comes on or a gauge registers in the red, you may already have done damage to your vehicle. Take a proactive stance for keeping your car in good shape and you will improve your safety on the road and a long life for your car. For greater peace of mind when you get behind the wheel, try following the simple car maintenance tips. Salt Lake City’s Emission Time is a great place to obtain your regular automotive maintenance checks.