They say owning a car is exciting, especially if this is your first car and you bought it out of your own sweat and hard work. Apparently, a car is only good for three to five years. Once it starts to break down, regardless if it is a minor or major issue, you need to prepare your wallet to reverse the damage done.
There is a simpler issue: make sure your car is well maintained to keep it in tiptop condition, regardless of the season.
Winter Car Maintenance Tips
- Schedule a car check-up. This is a must. Winter can be a problematic season for cars, so make sure it is in tiptop condition in case you decide to use it. One way to ensure that is by scheduling a checkup. Have a legitimate mechanic check the condition of your car from the outside to the smallest details in the engine.
- Antifreeze is your new best friend. Winter can wreck your car in more ways that you can imagine. Water freezes during the cold weather, which could lead to overheating of the engine – and a huge repair bill. To prevent that, make sure you fill your engine coolant with antifreeze, which is a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. This way, antifreeze doesn’t get over-diluted and you get to preserve your car’s engine.
- Change to winter tires to keep you safe. This is a must. All-season tires will help you save money since you will stick to just one set. When it comes to safety, winter tires are advisable because their tread patterns are specifically designed to grip snow and ice; hence better traction. Since you already changed your tires, ensure that these are properly inflated. The cold weather decreases tire pressure, so make sure the tires are properly inflated.
- Clean your lights. Visibility is important when driving during the winter season to avoid accidents. To do this, make sure that your headlights, fog lights, rear reflectors, and indicators are clean. Cracked lenses or blown bulbs must be replaced before you drive around. This way, you are sure that you can see the road wherever you go.
- Look for leaks. The cold weather could trigger lines and hoses in the engine to crack that could lead to leaks. When this happens, your car won’t be able to function properly because the engine’s oils are not where they are supposed to be. This could cause your car to break down while you’re in the middle of the road.
Summer Car Maintenance Tips
- Check your car’s coolant. Keeping your car cool is one of your top priorities during the summer. Therefore, perform a coolant flush by draining the old coolant from the radiator, flush it with water, and replace it with clean coolant. Go the extra mile by inspecting the coolant reservoir and checking possible leaks in the hoses.
- Two words: air-condition. The car’s air-conditioning system is crucial during the summer. You don’t want to step out of the car perspiring, so make sure your air-conditioning system has enough Freon. Check for possible leaks as well. If the air-conditioning is not cool enough, then there are leak-sealing products available to address the leaks.
- Change your tires. Winter is out, which means winter tires have served its purpose and you no longer need them. It’s time for summer tires or all-season tires to take its place in your car since you won’t need added traction anymore.
- Don’t forget the battery. Yes, car batteries are most likely to fail during the winter season. Still, don’t be too complacent. Before you head out for your ultimate summer road trip, perform a volt test to ensure that the battery is in good condition and has enough voltage. Check the terminals as well to make sure they are clear of dried battery fluid.
- Rotate the tires. Summer is the best season to schedule a tire rotation. This ensures that the tread will wear evenly, thereby making your tires last longer. Consequently, check tire pressure and treads must be free from stray nails, stones, and other debris that could compromise the tires.
- Give some shade. In case you’re not using your car, don’t let it stay under the sun. The sun’s UV rays can be harmful even on your car’s paint, making it fade faster than usual. Invest in a car cover to keep it protected against the sun’s harmful rays. Besides, you don’t want a monthly paint job, do you?
- Replenish your Emergency Kit. Now that winter is out, you need to switch winter items in your emergency kit with tools for the summer. Flashlight, flares, food and water, and a first-aid kit will always be staples. Still, make sure you have sunscreen, battery-powered fan, summer clothes, and other items to keep you cool in case you got stranded. Don’t forget your vehicle cover since this might come in handy.
They say prevention is better than cure. That’s true. Maintenance expenses may be heavy on the pocket, but you’d rather take this can pay for expenses when your car breaks down. Take note of these tips and your car will surely give you optimum service for a very long time.