Taking Care of your Car

Many people buy themselves a new vehicle every few years, but they do not do so because they actually need a new car. Most often, these people are simply switching out one vehicle for a newer one because they have extra money to spare on a better car. In reality, vehicles can last for ten to twenty years without a major problem with proper care and maintenance. Most people can't afford to keep buying new cars in today's economy, so these people should be focused on keeping their car running for as long as possible to avoid spending money that they cannot spare.

The Basics of Maintaining Your Vehicle

There are plenty of simple things a person can take care of on their vehicle that will improve its lifetime by many years. First of all, all car fluids need to be changed at varying intervals, as many people already know. Oil should be changed every 3,000 to 6,000 miles, while antifreeze and brake fluid should be changed every 20,000 to 30,000 miles. Most other fluids in the vehicle should be changed every few years, except for ones that run empty, such as windshield wiper fluid. As a precaution, it's a smart idea for everyone to check all of their fluids on a somewhat regular basis. Any of the fluids running low in a vehicle can cause damage to the engine that may even be irreparable.

Maintaining the right air pressure in tires and a fair amount of fuel in the gas tank is important too. Obviously, deflated tired can cause handling issues with the vehicle and may even cause engine wear if a person let's the tires remain under aired. As for the gasoline, a vehicle should not constantly be run on a low amount of gas because this can cause more dirt and grime to enter the engine. It is a smart idea to keep the gasoline in the tank above a quarter of its capacity to avoid the buildup of grime throughout the fuel lines and engine.

Repairs for a Vehicle Later On

Aside from the simple upkeep that a person can do to their vehicle, there are certain things a person should be aware of longer down the line of the car's life. The timing belt of the engine, whether it is a V-belt or a serpentine, has a lifetime use of 60,000 to 90,000 miles, so it should be replaced within that range before any damage can occur. Also, spark plugs, tires, and air filters need to be replaced on a varying basis. Most parts of the vehicle and engine need to be replaced after some amount of time because no part is impervious to wear and tear over time. Of course, anytime the vehicle shows visible signs of needing repairs, the vehicle needs to be brought in and repaired right away. Nobody should be driving their car with smoke pouring out of it or all of the check engine lights blaring on the dashboard. It is surprising how many people simply let their car drive on when significant repairs need to be made.

The Bottom Line

On a regular basis, a vehicle needs to be inspected to ensure that there are no underlying problems under the hood. Fluids needs to be replaced regularly, as do parts of the engine on a less regular basis. Every part of the vehicle has a lifespan that is not infinite, so it is important to identify problems and have them repaired immediately. Obviously, taking care of a car involves paying close attention to the way the car drives and behaves on the road. A person paying careful attention to their vehicle will notice any problems that need to be fixed. Therefore, proper car maintenance involves completing regular maintenance, while also paying attention for any other problems that wouldn't always be caught by a checkup. Luckily, most vehicle problems are fairly obvious and straightforward, s a person shouldn't have too much trouble identifying a problem before it becomes irreparable.