We all want our cars to last as long as possible and in order to do that, they need their check-ups. In the case of car maintenance, prevention is most definitely better than cure!
Ag Workers Insurance put together this guide about the who, why, where, and what of car care, to help all of you keep your car working well. Read on to find out all you need to know about how car care can keep your vehicle on the road!
Why Car Maintenance Is a Must
Taking good care of your car doesn’t just ensure your safety on the road (we will cover safety next) it also saves you money by fixing potential problems before they begin. There are a few necessary car safety checks that should be performed before you go on any long journey to make sure your vehicle is safe to travel.
Likewise, it would help if you had your car serviced either every year or every twelve thousand miles (Arnold Clark), whichever comes soonest. Performing a full service will replace the parts of your engine likely to have become worn over time, reducing your fuel consumption and diminishing engine performance. All of these things will keep your car running for longer and is just another way in which car maintenance saves you some cash.
Car Care: Safety First
First and foremost: car maintenance is about safety. If your tires are balding or bulging, they may explode when hot. If your brakes are worn, they may fail to stop you. If there isn’t enough coolant in your engine it might overheat and leave you pouring smoke all over the road and unable to see. Car care is about safety as much as it is about saving you money down the line.
With this in mind, let’s talk about car care safety. Before you do a job on your car, consider whether you have the right tools, the right parts, or the right qualifications. If the answer is “no” then take it to a mechanic! You must also take care when using oils, solvents, or liquids to refill your engine as these can be hazardous and heat to high temperatures.
If you want more advice on safety measures, you can take before performing any car care tasks, then see this article, from Mobil Oils.
Essential Car Maintenance Tasks
Specific tasks need to be performed whenever you are about to undertake a long drive. These include:
- Checking your tires for proper tread depth, no cuts, no bulges, and no visible threading. You should also make sure your tires are fully inflated as improperly inflated tires cost fuel consumption.
- Oil levels need to be checked, more often in an old car than a newer one. Oil is your engines ‘blood’ if you don’t keep it topped up your motor can stop working entirely.
- Coolant levels need to be between the minimum and maximum levels. Not enough coolant and you may overheat.
- Lights should be checked often, especially if you travel at night.
- Brake and clutch fluid levels should be okay.
For long journeys or road trips, Wheels 24 have some excellent advice on what to check before you travel.
Routine Car Maintenance Tasks
There are also several routine tasks you can do to keep your car in good working order. Some of these are as follows:
- Lights – turn all your lights on, get out of the car and walk around it to make sure they all work.
- Windscreen Wipers – if they start to fall apart, replace them. Visibility is crucial for road safety.
- Brakes – if you notice your brakes seizing, skidding, juddering or not working as well as they used to then it might be time for new brake pads.
- Seat Belts – Check often to make sure they work correctly.
- Service – a mechanic will replace the oil, air, and fuel filters, the spark plugs and will do a full oil change.
- Engine Tracking – your engine gradually leans to one side with weight, driver positioning, and other factors. If you notice a particular amount of wear on one side of your car’s tires and not the other, then you may need your engine tracking adjusted.
- Exhaust – if you are noticing any gurgling coming when you rev your engine you may have exhaust issues. A fast weld should solve the problem if you respond quickly. If you neglect the car care at this point, a new exhaust can cost upwards of a hundred dollars!
- Cleaning – although not essential for keeping your car on the road, cleaning does help to preserve some of the value if you ever wish to sell the vehicle. Likewise, tears in the fabric can be fixed, alongside dents and scuffs to the paintwork. The Family Handyman goes into each of these car care DIY tasks individually.
All of these little car care tasks performed once in a while will be enough to keep your ride on the road. They might even be enough to preserve some of the resale value of your beloved family car. Remember; without regular maintenance, your vehicle will be much more prone to all the little malfunctions caused by improperly treated machinery. The more miles you do, the worse it will get. See this article from FMP Motors for more information.
Ag Workers Insurance
We are industry-leading specialists in providing first-rate insurance services for our clients in the farm and ranch industries. If you would like to know more or to access the full range of our services, please visit our page or get in touch today with any questions.
We aim to provide exemplary service by giving our clients the best information available. With that in mind; we sincerely hope that your efforts in car care leave you with a sparkling vehicle that still runs smoothly ten years from now!
Until the next time – Drive Safe Out There!