Quick tips for maintaining your vehicle

August 7, 2014 12:00 AM

Scheduled maintenance for your vehicle is an important aspect of being a car owner that many drivers often forget about. Aside from making sure the gas tank is full and the vehicle is clean, there are areas of your car that need to be serviced every so often to make sure that it is running as efficiently as possible. Above all, keeping up with regular tune ups will actually save you money down the line by preventing a small problem from turning into a bigger one. If you don't already regularly service your car, do your wallet and your automobile a favor and try to check up more often. 

MSN Auto Blog recommended checking tires at least twice a year, though monthly check-ins are ideal. Tires will naturally leak, but when they are too under-inflated it will ruin your gas mileage. In addition to checking pressure, have your local car service check the wheel alignment and rotate your tires if necessary. Keep in mind that tires also age out, so if they've been on your car for five to seven years, think about replacing them with a new set. 

Though in the past it was common to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles, now the recommended rate depends on the manufacturer and model. Some vehicles need to be serviced every 5,000 where certain models can last up to 15,000 miles, according to MSN Auto Blog. Knowing how often you should change the oil and staying on top of doing so will save you from experiencing an seized engine because the oil turned into sludge, according Real Simple. 

Anytime there is any issue with your brakes, seek out brake service immediately. Some common indicators that your brakes may be are wearing down include a screeching noise, reduced responsiveness, pulling to one side, grinding and vibration, according to JD Power and Associates. 

Air filter
One part of the car many drivers may not think about is the air filter. It can become dirty when exposed to dusty roads or grimy surfaces. There should be a schedule for your specific vehicle regarding how often this part needs to be cleaned, but depending on how dirty your environment is you may need to increase the frequency to make sure your vehicle is operating efficiently, according to the MSN Auto Blog. 

Windshield wipers
Drivers may forget about their wipers until it's too late and they can't see out of their windshield. Do yourself a favor and replace them in the fall, suggested the MSN Auto Blog. That way, you are past the sun damage that occurs in the summer and your new wipers will be ready to tackle the harsh weather of fall and winter. Progressive noted that anytime your wipers have cracks and are streaking you should get a new set. 

Checking all liquids in your car will also prevent future headaches at the repair shop. Progressive's car maintenance tips suggested checking brake, power steering, transmission, transaxle, windshield washer and antifreeze fluids as often as your manufacturer recommends. 

Servicing your vehicle more frequently can potentially extend your car's lifespan, so keeping up with these basic car maintenance areas will save you a lot of time, money and worry in the long run. 

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