Owning an automobile is a big responsibility. You know that if you want to keep everything in perfect working order, you must maintain your vehicle. Sadly, many of the repairs we service in our garage at Cloverdale Auto can be avoided. There are many things car owners do that can shorten the lifespan of their vehicles, and they don’t even realize it.
Preventive Maintenance Musts
There are some things on your vehicle that you can let slide, such as filling up that windshield wiper fluid. However, there are other things that you can’t ignore, as it can mean everything to the health and safety of your car and those that ride in it. Here are a few items you should add to your preventative maintenance checklist, and if you can’t do these things for yourself, stop by, and let us help you out.
1. Cleaning the Undercarriage
While we don’t have as much problem here in North Carolina with snow and ice as in other states, any storm or traveling to another place can cause a buildup. Many municipalities use brine to treat the roads and prevent accidents. Sadly, this mixture can build up and attach to your exhaust, muffler, and braking system.
It would help if you washed your undercarriage after driving through any inclement weather where the road was treated. Getting a car wash is more cost-effective than paying for a new exhaust system.
2. Check Tire Pressure
Tires are costly, so you must ensure your tires are in good shape. One blowout on the freeway can cause a significant accident. However, most incidents can be avoided by simply monitoring your tire pressure.
One thing many people do is try to go by visualizing to see if they look right. You can’t go by what you see, as you need to go by the specifications of your specific vehicle.
Every time the temperature drops a mere 10 degrees, it can cause your tires to lose 1-2 pounds of pressure. This is why you often see your tire light come on after a cold night. Driving on tires that aren’t adequately inflated can cost you more money at the gas pump, and it can cause uneven wear and tear on them.
3. Change The Windshield Wipers
The price of windshield wipers has increased substantially but remember that you always get what you pay for when it comes to parts like this. The economic sets won’t last long or might not properly clean your windows.
Your wipers must be replaced when you have any issues with your visual field. For instance, you should change them if the wipers won’t clear the window or it leaves streaks. The rule of thumb is these should be replaced every six months. Indeed, please don’t wait until they drag or make noise as they glide across the windshield, or they can scratch the glass.
4. Clean the Windows
Do you rely on a carwash or the rain to clean your windows? The windows of your car are essential, as they allow you to see the things around you. Have you ever tried driving at night with your front windshield dirty? It can certainly impact how well you can see the road, especially when bright lights are shining at you.
Using an ammonia-based window cleaner is essential to cut through the grime and dirt. Remember also to clean the inside of the windows. Even though they’re not exposed to the elements like the other side, they still can get filthy from the passengers and debris in the cabin.
5. Replace The Battery Every 3 Years
The life span of your battery is around three years. If you get more use out of it, you’re lucky. You’re probably running on a cheaper cell if you get less out of it. Batteries are available in all price ranges; some are better than others.
Read the reviews before you buy, just like you would do anything else. The most common time for your battery to act up is during the cold months. Remember that even though your battery seems to be doing well, it can stop and leave you stranded without warning. Though they often do give some indication of an issue, it’s not always the case.
6. Change the Oil
Your motor oil may be synthetic or traditional but must be changed periodically. The longer the oil is in your engine, the more gunky deposits will build up. When motor oil sits for long periods, it becomes thick like sludge.
Can you imagine going 10,000 miles without changing your oil? Sometimes we get people in our shop that say they keep up with their oil changes, but when we pull the drain plug, it tells another story. Oil should be a hue of amber or brown, and when the oil is black, we know it’s not been changed in a while.
While you don’t need to fear your friendly mechanic, keeping your oil changed ensures your car keeps running. An engine that doesn’t have the oil changed regularly can cease and blow a gasket from the lack of oxygen and abundance of debris.
Getting an Appointment for Preventative Maintenance
Have you kept up with all the regular maintenance items listed above? Some people are okay with changing the oil, checking the tires, and cleaning the windows, while others struggle to do these things. We’re a full-service shop that helps you with your automotive needs. At Cloverdale Auto, we want your car to keep you safe on the busy highways. We can do an inspection, fix anything wrong, and get you safely back on the road.