Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Simply put, Old Ben was saying that it is easier to prevent a thing from happening than to have to fix or repair it. Performing regularly scheduled maintenance of your vehicle will extend the life of your car and allow it to perform at its highest capacity.
By the way, it is also a great idea to fully insure your car. Make sure to get car insurance quotes. No one wants to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket because of underinsured vehicles.
What is preventive maintenance?
- Fresh oil
For starters, making sure the oil is changed every three thousand miles is one of the best ways to prolong the life of your car. It’s best to get into a habit if it means storing it in your phone or putting it on a visible calendar that you refer to often. Keeping the oil changed is what keeps the engine from wearing down quickly and gives you extra years to enjoy driving your car.
- Tire trouble
Making sure your tires are in good condition is a crucial part of vehicle maintenance. Poor tires can jeopardize the safety of you, your loved ones, and everyone you come in contact with on the road. First, check your tire’s pressures. Low tire pressure can decrease fuel efficiency, costing you lots of money in gas, and can also wear your tires out faster.
Another important thing to check is your tire’s rotation. Keeping tires rotated ensures that they wear evenly and offer balanced traction and handling.
Having your car’s front end aligned each year is another great way to keep the tires from wearing down from uneven tread loss, which causes you to have to replace the tires often. Make sure all tires are lined up, and your steering wheel isn’t veering off when you let go of it.
- Bring your A-game
When putting fuel in your car, never skimp. You may think you are saving money by buying the cheapest gas at the cheapest price, but you will pay more in the long term because the cheaper gas will destroy the engine, and the car’s performance will suffer.
Always buy a high-quality grade of fuel from a reputable gas station that is well-established. Your car will thank you.
- Let it flow
Very few things are as integral to proper vehicle maintenance as checking your car’s fluids. It is the various fluids throughout your car that allow it to run efficiently. We already spoke of oil and fuel, but there is transmission fluid in addition to these fluids, without which your car wouldn’t shift into the next gear. Then there is brake fluid which permits your car’s brakes to work. Coolant is crucial in keeping the car from running too hot. In short, there are many fluids that your car needs to work at all. These fluids should be flowing smoothly but not leaking. It is wise to check these fluids regularly, at least when you get your oil changed, so that your car performs at its optimal best.
- Put on the brakes!
Brakes are one of the most important car parts because they enable a car travelling at high speed to stop before impact. It is vital to have your car’s brakes working well at all times. No matter the car’s age, its brakes must work to keep you, your fellow occupant, and other drivers on the road safe.
- Give me a jump
Nothing is more frustrating than being stranded in the cold with no battery. Your car can provide heat, and you could be in danger if temperatures drop in the dead of winter. Checking your battery and keeping it operating at full capacity is a very big priority in preventive vehicle maintenance. You can do this in a couple of ways. You can have your mechanic check it when you are getting scheduled maintenance and just as the weather is about to turn cold. The second way is a good fallback option. Keep a battery tester handy.
- Happy birthday to your car
A great rule of thumb is to mark the date you purchased your car on a calendar, and a year from then, on your car’s first birthday, give it a complete maintenance check. Make sure that everything is running smoothly and there are no kinks, bugs, or defective parts. Every year after that, make sure to have regularly scheduled maintenance throughout the life of the car. It will prevent you from having to keep spending money on costly repairs as your car ages. In fact, it will greatly extend both the life and performance of your car and allow you to get a higher resale value.