If you know anything at all about cars, you already understand how important it is that they receive regular maintenance. Little problems can quickly turn into big problems when they are ignored, and a vehicle’s life expectancy is greatly increased when it’s treated with a little care.
Here are 5 ways to maintain your vehicle –and why it’s so important:
Keep your car clean: Cleaning the exterior of your car not only makes it look good; it helps prevent rust and corrosion. If you remember that the outside of your vehicle is protecting everything inside it, it’s easy to see why cleaning isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity! Rust and corrosion wreak havoc on your car’s body, but also on exterior systems like braking, exhaust, suspension and steering.
Get routine oil changes: Oil is your engine’s essential lubricant; without it, the metal components that make up your engine cannot function properly. If you look closely at the definition of the severe service schedule in your owner’s manual you will see that it mirrors that of the driving conditions we face in New England. Are you having your oil changed frequently enough? Dirty oil can also negatively affect the way your car runs and the fuel mileage it gets. Infrequent oil changes and lack of maintaining the correct oil level can cause adverse effects like worn internal engine components, stuck piston rings or worst of all, if your car runs too low on oil, the engine can ultimately fail.
Change filters regularly: Air filters prevent dust and dirt from getting into your engine and help ensure a proper ratio of air to fuel for efficient engine operation and maximum fuel economy. Air filters are typically inexpensive to replace and a worthwhile investment to maintain optimal engine performance. Modern vehicles may also utilize a cabin air filter designed to filter the air entering the passenger compartment. Have you inspected or replaced your filters recently? Have them checked with each oil change.
Maintain your car’s cooling system: Coolant also known as Antifreeze helps prevent icing in the winter and overheating in summer while maintaining proper operating temperature of the engine and providing a source of heat in the passenger compartment. It is vital to your engine’s proper operation. Most manufacturers recommend you flush the cooling system every 24,000 to 36,000 miles and replenish the system with fresh coolant. Flushing helps remove contaminants from the cooling system to keep your engine protected. The coolant should be checked for Electrolysis and its ability to provide proper freeze/boil protection during periodic maintenance inspections.
Check your tires: Keep your tires properly inflated to ensure safe travel, optimum fuel efficiency and proper wear. Be certain to rotate and balance your tires regularly and have them inspected for wear. Ignoring tire defects can lead to accidents that can be serious or even fatal.
Maintaining your vehicle will extend the life of your car and that can translate to big money savings. Every extra year you get from a vehicle’s life expectancy reduces your out-of-pocket costs for auto payments, insurance and taxes.
If you already knew how vitally important vehicle maintenance is, maybe you’re just the type of person who should be performing that maintenance and making those repairs. At Porter and Chester Institute, you can learn from ASE Certified Master Technicians the skills you need to become an Automotive Technician. Porter and Chester Institute has nine locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Classes for your automotive technician training start soon!