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You’re driving down the road, jamming out to your favorite song when you see it. The one thing all drivers dread: The check engine light.
If you’re like most people, you may feel tempted to ignore it and hope the light will turn off next time you crank up your car. But doing so puts your car — and wallet — at major risks.
The average driver already spends $817 per year on basic car maintenance and basic repairs. If you’re not careful, you’ll soon have to shell out even more money.
Save some cash by learning how to keep up with your car yourself. Here are five basic car maintenance tips to keep your vehicle running as smooth as ever.
In This Post:
1. Don’t Ignore Alerts And Signs
You wouldn’t ignore a home full of pests and other problems, so why treat your car any differently?
As intimidating as it can be to see that check engine light pop up or hear a strange whirring from your engine, ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
Address the issue as soon as it’s convenient. Waiting will only exasperate the situation and lead to more expensive repairs.
2. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
One the easiest but most important ways of maintaining a car is to keep your tires properly inflated.
An overinflated set of tires will wear out faster and result in a bumpier, rougher ride. On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure they’re not under-inflated, as less air pressure can result in a blowout.
Your best bet is to consult your vehicle’s manual and find your vehicle’s specifications. Then, check in every few weeks or so to make sure your tires have proper air pressure.
Need new tires, but not sure if you can afford them? Consider buying new tires with financing options including lease to own or Buy Now Pay Later.
3. Take Care of Fluids Yourself
To operate at an optimal level, your vehicle needs a variety of fluids. You’ll need to check the levels of your oil, radiator, coolant, brakes, steering, wipers and more.
Don’t let that intimidate you though, checking and refilling these fluids is easy.
Take your oil, for instance. There’s no need to pay someone $20 to $50 to do something you could do in minutes at home. A quick tutorial shows that virtually anyone can do it.
4. Winterize Your Vehicle
Admittedly, winter vehicle maintenance is a bit more complicated. Some steps you may not have previously considered.
For instance, some suggest winterizing your tires for better traction or adding sandbags to distribute your vehicle’s weight.
It may be a pain, but you’ll be glad you did it when you get on those icy roads.
5. Change Your Braking Habits
Putting the pedal to the metal is always fun, but it can shorten the lifespan of your brakes.
Make an effort to brake more gently and give yourself more time to slow down. You’ll end up saving a ton of money this way, and you’ll be a safer driver, to boot.
Don’t Get Stranded: Use These Basic Car Maintenance Tips
These basic car maintenance tips can help you save a ton of money and even extend the life of your vehicle. So use these tips and avoid paying more for expensive repairs.
Of course, you’ll need a place to store your car. Check out our guide on garage doors maintenance to see how you can improve your garage’s security and keep your car safe.