Cars are essential to our everyday lives. When you need to head to work or the market, you walk out to your car and expect it to start right up. To keep your car running and avoid potentially costly breakdowns, you should get into the habit of conducting these regular vehicle maintenance tasks.
- Change the oil and oil filter. Oil lubricates the engine keeping important parts from grinding against each other. If not changed regularly, oil can also damage your engine by accumulating contaminants and causing friction.
- Check your tires monthly. The only thing separating your car from the road is your tires. They must be properly inflated to do their job. To find out how much air pressure your tires should have, find the placard located on the driver’s door jam or look in the owner’s manual.
- Regularly inspect all other fluids. Motor oil isn’t the only fluid your car uses to help run properly. Your car has brakefluid, transmission fluid, coolant, washer fluid, and power steering fluid. You can check the transmission fluid with the dip stick and the all other fluids should be able to be inspected manually by removing the related covers and visually inspecting the levels. (CAUTION: Never remove the radiator cap! You risk being scalded. Check the coolant in the nearby transparent refill container.)
- Don’t forget the windshield wipers, the battery, and the air filter! If the windows streak or the wipers screech when they are used, replace them. If the battery terminals are showing some corrosion, use a wire brush with a solution of water and baking soda to remove it. Your air filter may need replaced once or twice a year. Check your air filter every time you change the oil.
This is just a short list of vehicle maintenance items. If you are uncomfortable performing these tasks, visit your local auto mechanic. They will be happy to assist you! One last item that should be inspected regularly, your auto insurance policy! Give American Insurance Center a call at (301) 729-1201 to review your auto insurance policy.