If you take care of your car it will do a better job of taking care of you. Few realize how easy it is to keep your car in tip-top shape. Maybe someone else has always taken care of these things for you or perhaps you’re diligent about having your car professionally serviced on a regular schedule. In any case, scan the boldface headers below and if it’s not a part of your routine, consider making it so!
Motor Oil – Your car’s oil is the single most important thing in your car. The oil lubricates all your internal engine parts. If your car is low on oil this can lead to extremely costly repairs. To check your oil, run your car for about 30 seconds then shut it off. Pop the hood and look for a dipstick (often yellow). Remove the dipstick and wipe the tip clean and then reinsert it making sure it’s all the way in. Then remove it again and find the line where the oil is on the dipstick. Use the picture as a reference. The oil should be within the hash marks. If it’s low, add a half quart of manufacturer-recommended oil and repeat the above check until the oil on the dipstick is within the normal range. Also, be sure to change your oil as recommended in your user manual.
Tire pressure – Check your tire pressure often. Proper inflation is important for safety and can save you big bucks in fuel economy. You only need one simple tool: a tire gauge which can be seen in the picture below. You should inflate your tires to the manufacturer’s specification which can be found on the side walls of your tire and generally on a sticker on the drivers-side door jamb.
Tire rotation – Rotating your tires is something you don’t have to do but it will get you a few more miles out of your tires. First check your tires to see if they are rotational (an arrow on the side of the tire). If they are not rotational then rotate them front-to-back and from side-to-side.
Tire tread wear – Tire tread is very important and often overlooked. Your tread affects how the car handles in wet and dry conditions. You should always keep a close eye on your tread depth. To check the tread depth, grab a penny and place it upside down in the grooves of your tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s very likely time for new tires.
Windshield washer fluid – Top off your windshield washer fluid whenever you think of it and add it to your calendar reminders say every 4 months.
Wiper blades – When a piece of rubber blade is flapping in the wind it’s clearly time for new wiper blades. But why wait? Consider replacing your blades annually as part of your scheduled maintenance. You’ll appreciate it during the next big downpour.
Don’t forget – If you have a smartphone or use a computer on a regular basis, consider scheduling reminder notifications on a calendar app like Google Calendar.