Consistent automobile maintenance is an essential responsibility that’s unfortunately all too easy to forget. It’s increasingly important as a car ages, which matters more now than ever since according to statistics from Polk, the average American car nowadays is over a decade old. Whether their car is antique or brand new, every responsible car owner should go through the vehicle’s service guide and enter the next year’s auto care into their personal calendar.
In addition to oil changes and other regular maintenance, it’s also important that your car is prepared all year round. As the seasons change, so do the demands the weather and roads put on your vehicle. Appropriate upkeep depends on the time of year, so schedule your car’s maintenance accordingly, following these guidelines.
Fall is a great time to get your car ready for the coming winter. To plan for the coming cold, at your next oil change consider switching to synthetic oil, which is designed for a wider range of temperatures. Top off your windshield fluid and ready your wipers for rain or snow, and refill coolant and antifreeze as needed to reduce your chances of stalling out on a chilly night.
With its cold temperatures, icy or salty roads, and precipitation, winter can be the hardest season on an automobile. If you live in areas that fall below freezing, do the penny test to check that your tire tread hasn’t been worn down, and look into all-weather or winter tires. As well, make sure the tires are properly inflated, as the air pressure drops along with the thermometer, and underinflated tires don’t grip the street surface as well. Cold also can reduce the efficiency of a battery, so verify that your car battery is fully charged and replace it if needed.
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house; warming weather makes for a great chance to clean out your car, vacuum the interior and wash off the mud. Clearing any clutter from the trunk will also lighten your load to reduce your gas mileage. Get everything in order under the hood as well–bring the car in for spring tune-up from a Charleston auto care service, to inspect the brake system and all hoses and belts that the winter’s rigors may have strained, making certain they’re sound for the year to come.
Summer is the busiest time for many cars, with people taking vacations and day trips. To keep your engine from overheating, check the radiator system and cap for any leaks, and top off the coolant if it’s getting low. If you’re traveling a lot, consult your owner’s manual for the recommended oil change schedule based on mileage, or else manually check your oil after a long trip. Also confirm that you have a spare tire in case of emergencies.
When scheduled seasonally, car maintenance only takes a few hours out of a few days, and prevents much more costly and time-consuming problems from arising. Proper care will extend the life of your vehicle, and ensure it continues to run smoothly and safely throughout the changing year.