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Car Maintenance Tips

Preventative maintenance is extremely important for your vehicle. Adhering to the car maintenance schedule will prolong the life of your vehicle, as well as lessen the chances of an unexpected breakdown during a time of need.

These basic car maintenance tips will help guide you when it comes to preventative maintenance so you can get the most out of your car and prevent car trouble.

Six Do-It-Yourself Car Maintenance Tips

Before you take the first step to preventative maintenance for your car, you should take the time to read through your owner's manual. This will allow you to become familiar with your car as a whole, and learn about the things your car needs to function properly. Once you're a little more familiar with your vehicle, you can take care of it by following our car maintenance tips.

Tip #1: Check your tires

Making sure that your tire pressure is set to factory specifications will increase their life span. To find out how much tire pressure you should have, check your owner's manual or call the dealership directly.

Be sure to check the tire's tread as well. If you can see a solid bar of rubber across the width of the tread, it's time for a replacement.

You should also have your car tires rotated. A good rule of thumb is to have your tires rotated every six to eight thousand miles.

Tip #2: Fluids, belts and hoses

In most cases, fluids, belts and hoses can be checked easily. A lot of times, all it takes is a quick check under the hood to see if the fluids are low or if there's wear and tear on your belts and hoses.

Tip #3: Windshield wipers

If your windshield wipers aren't performing very well, then it might be a good time to replace them. It's quick and easy to replace them, so doing it yourself isn't a problem. Just make sure to look in your owner's manual so the right model of blades is purchased.

Tip #4: Brakes

It's important to have good brakes, and there are a number of ways to check what needs to be done.

&bull If your brakes squeal or grind when stopping, the brakes need to be cleaned or the pads need to be replaced.
&bull If your car pulls to one side when braking, you may be lacking sufficient hydraulic pressure.
&bull If the pedal goes all the way down, it usually means that the rear brake lining is wearing thin. If the pedal just feels soft when braking, you may be low on brake fluid.

And, of course, if your car has a brake light that glows, don't ignore it when it lights up. Filling the brake fluid might resolve the problem, but if not, take it in to get looked at.

Tip #5: Car battery maintenance

It's almost probable that you'll have to replace your car's battery at some point, but there are ways to prevent it from happening too quickly.

&bull Clean the cables with a wire brush and a mixture of one tablespoon baking soda and one cup water. Be sure to disconnect the cables from the battery before cleaning. Adding some petroleum jelly to the posts will make reapplying the cables easier.
&bull Check the connections. If the cables are loose, tighten them. If your car comes with a bar that holds the battery down, be sure it's secure.

Both of these car battery maintenance tips will help when it comes to prolonging the life of the battery.

Tip #6: Car maintenance schedule

Every vehicle has a car maintenance schedule that should be followed. In most cases, scheduled maintenance is required at 30,000 miles, 45,000 miles, 60,000 miles and so on. Adhering to your car maintenance schedule will ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition.

The Bottom Line

Following the above car maintenance tips will ensure proper functionality of your vehicle. Preventative maintenance is easy to do and will save you from the stresses of premature repair costs and vehicle breakdowns. In other words, it will help you get the most out of your car.

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