Car maintenance can be complicated. It may seem easier to ignore it, but that can lead to even bigger problems down the road. Regular maintenance will save your car from breaking down and save you cash, as well. Here’s what to do, and when to do it.
Because every car is unique and different oils have varying lifespans, it is always best to refer to your vehicle’s manual to see when your oil should be changed to avoid wear and contamination in the engine.
We recommend getting your tires rotated when you get your oil changed so that the tire treads wear evenly all around. Otherwise, too much wear and tear will lead to a burst or flat tire. We recommend referencing our post on ways to check your tire for wear and tear so you’re always prepared. Finally, check the tire pressure every month or so, especially as it gets warmer in the summer, and don’t forget to check the spare, too.
Car batteries last about five years, but you can prepare by shopping for a new one early. San Diego’s mild weather shouldn’t wreak havoc on your battery, but every six months, it’s a good idea to schedule car maintenance and check the battery connection for dirt buildup, which could shorten the battery’s life.
You should get your brakes checked roughly every time you have your tires rotated. How much your brakes wear will depend on the kind of driving you do, as city driving is often more severe on brakes than open highway driving. If your brakes are wearing out, you’ll hear screeching, squeaking, or grinding when you use them.
The drive belt keeps your alternator, water pump, power steering, and air conditioning running. Check the belt for wear during your six-month car maintenance. Listen for squealing in the engine, or watch the belt to see if it’s loose or sagging.
Coolant hoses, which are used to circulate coolant throughout your engine, run hot and are under a lot of pressure. Check all hoses, including radiator and water pump hoses, every six months for softness, swelling, or cracks. The upper radiator hose runs from the radiator to the motor, and the lower radiator hose can be found underneath the car. Look for a smaller diameter hose leading from the radiator into the heat wall of the car. You can observe cracks in the water pump by checking for leaks under the car or around the water pump and gasket.
Wash and Wax
We’re lucky to live in a region where our cars can look shiny all year round. Get your car washed every month, and every six months, wax it with a soft terry cloth to keep the paint like new.
By following these simple car maintenance steps, you can keep your car in good shape for a long time.