Automobiles are among the largest investments many of us will ever make. In light of how much time and money go into maintaining our vehicles, it’s only natural for us to want them to perform at peak efficiency. However, after the initial rush of having a brand-new car wears off, we often let maintenance fall by the wayside and fail to provide our vehicles with sufficient TLC. Fortunately, getting the best possible performance out of your vehicle isn’t nearly as costly or time-consuming as you may think. Anyone who wants to keep their car up and running for years to come will be well-served by the following pointers.
Regular Oil Changes
Even though regular oil changes are crucial to every vehicle’s health, a staggering number of car owners don’t get them as often as they should. The way these individuals figure it, if a vehicle isn’t exhibiting any noticeable problems, regular oil changes aren’t needed. While this line of thinking is somewhat understandable, it can also prove disastrous for even the most robust automobile. Oil is what keeps your engine’s various components running smoothly and performing their respective jobs with ease. Furthermore, oil plays an invaluable role in preventing excessive carbon buildup. In order for these tasks to be carried out efficiently, your vehicle needs to receive fresh oil on a consistent basis. The more heat, varnish and carbons oil collects, the less efficient it becomes. Over time, oil takes on more of a sludge-like appearance and becomes less of a liquid, thereby facilitating the need for oil changes. Just remember that no matter how good your preferred oil type is, it will eventually need to be changed.
Although they need to be carried out on a regular basis, oil changes typically don’t need to be performed that often. For example, most vehicles require oil changes every 3,000 miles, so unless you do an excessive amount of driving, your car should only need a few oil changes per year. If you’re unclear on how often your vehicle needs its oil changed, consult your owner’s manual, get in touch with the manufacturer or fire up your favorite search engine. Additionally, even if you’re not familiar with how to change your own oil, it isn’t hard to find businesses that will carry out this task for under $50. Given how inexpensive oil changes are and how infrequently they need to be performed, responsible vehicle owners have no excuse for not staying on top of them.
Essential Fluid Top-Offs
Oil isn’t the only fluid that keeps your vehicle running smoothly. In addition to having your oil changed consistently, you’ll need to regularly have various other fluids topped off. First off, there’s transmission fluid, which provides valuable lubrication to vehicle components and helps keep your transmission in prime condition, thus staving off pricey repairs down the road. Secondly, there’s power steering fluid, which is crucial to your vehicle’s steering accuracy. If you expect wheel movement to reflect steering wheel movement, make sure to keep this fluid topped off. Thirdly, there’s brake fluid, which provides your vehicle’s brakes with the pressure and power needed to make stops. Lastly, there’s coolant, which, as its name suggests, serves to keep things cool under the hood and prevents cars from overheating. So, the next time you go in for an oil change, make sure that these fluids are topped off.
No matter how reliable your vehicle is, the occasional battery replacement is unavoidable. Since your car’s battery provides the electricity the other components need to operate, saying that the battery performs a vital function would be an understatement. Luckily, replacement batteries and car battery installation are affordable on virtually any budget, so if your battery is on its last legs, don’t hesitate to have it replaced. Driving with a fault battery poses a danger to you, your vehicle and other motorists.
Dependable vehicles generally don’t come cheap. In light of how much money is spent purchasing and maintaining cars, it stands to reason that most of us would want to get the best possible performance out of our vehicles. After all, if an automobile isn’t operating at peak efficiency, you’re not getting your money’s worth. Unbeknownst to many vehicle owners, keeping a car running like new throughout its entire life doesn’t have to be a drain on one’s time or finances. Taking the previously discussed measures can go a long way toward helping your vehicle reach its full potential and extending its lifespan.