In case you missed the memo, April is National Car Care Month. In terms of cost savings and realized gains, properly taking care of your vehicle is important whether you plan to sell it later on, trade it in for a new model, or even keep it until the engine dies.
What follows is the Einspahr Auto Plaza, “Car Care Top Ten List.”
1. Read the manual. You know who you are – the person that never touches or opens the vehicle manual. Don’t be that person. A quick Google search might give you a general idea about how often to care for various maintenance items in your engine, but often one website will contradict another. The best way to determine how often to change your oil, engine filters, hoses, etc. is to read your manual.
2. Change your oil. Some mechanics say that if you change your oil often and regularly, you can make your car last forever. Well, unfortunately, nothing lasts forever; however, changing your oil regularly is good for your car. Although some cars manufactures don’t require frequent changes, dirt builds up, and the more dirt in your oil means more dirt in your engine, shortening the life of the engine. Clean oil keeps your engine lubricated and running smoothly.
3. Address all scheduled maintenance items. Yes, oil is important, but so are a lot of other items. Coolant, transmission fluid, belts, hoses, filters, brakes, spark plugs—everything needs to be inspected and/or replaced at a certain point. Act in a timely fashion to avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
4. Care for the appearance. Although caring for the appearance of your car doesn’t necessarily make it last longer, it allows you to get much more out of a resale than you would get if you had rust and torn up upholstery. Hopefully, the snow is over, but if not, washing the salt of your car is important to prevent rust. Park in the shade to avoid damage to the paint. Wash and wax your car when you can, and wipe down the inside of your car regularly. Besides, who doesn’t love driving around in a clean vehicle. If you don’t have the equipment or the time, our Recondition Department can help make your vehicle look its best.
5. Don’t drive recklessly. You have probably heard enough of this when you were a teenager learning to drive. But not only will it prevent accidents, but avoiding quick starts and stops also prevents stress and wear on the engine. Just because your car can go 0-60 in 6 seconds doesn’t mean it should.
6. Don’t ignore noises/engine light. If you hear strange noises in your car or your check engine light is on, you may be right in thinking that it’s probably nothing major. But many times what’s small now can turn into a larger and more costly repair later. If you think something is not right, the sooner you get the problem checked, the better.
7. Check your tires. Make sure your tires have proper air pressure. Inflated tires prevent uneven wear, get better gas mileage, and prevent bad braking. Also, be sure to rotate your tires as recommended in your manual. Rotating tires prevents uneven wear, saving you money on tire replacement and creating safer driving conditions.
8. Start slow. Don’t go full speed ahead immediately after starting your car. Start at slower speeds and give the engine time to warm up and circulate oil.
9. Add a little extra to your oil for a boost. Most oils come with additives in them, however, if you have an old car or a high-mileage car, adding a good oil additive might put just a couple more years on your car and get you to your next mileage milestone.
10. Work with the right mechanic. Most people have lived through a bad service experience at some point in their lives. To avoid one in the auto industry, consider an experienced provider who is certified as an expert on the type of vehicle you drive. Beyond expertise, choose someone who communicates clearly, conducts a vehicle diagnostic, is efficient, offers a clean and comfortable waiting area and has the resources to service whatever need may arise related to your vehicle.
So, what do you think of our top 10 list? Anything missing that you would add? Let us know in the comments below.
For almost 50 years, Einspahr Auto Plaza has been the choice in the Brookings area for quality service on Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. We invite you to check us out and start experiencing the Einspahr difference.