Automobiles are intricate machines, and caring for them is a must. Taking just a few minutes each month to look over your vehicle, inside and outside, can save you irritation and money in the long run. Here are some preventative maintenance tips every vehicle owner can use to avoid costly auto repair in Lansing, MI:
- Do your own inspections: There’s probably a bit of time in between your annual mechanic visits, which makes it important that you do your own simple inspections at home. Start by measuring your tire pressure using a pressure gauge at the beginning and end of each season. Then check that all of your interior lights and exterior lights (brake lights, turn signal lights, headlights) are in good working order. Also, turn the ignition on to listen for strange sounds inside and outside your vehicle.
- Inspect your tires: In conjunction with measuring your tire pressure, you will also want to inspect the condition of the tread on each tire, as well as look for any damage associated with normal wear and tear. Since it’s a known fact that bald tires are unsafe to drive on, make sure your tires get rotated and the alignment checked every time you take your vehicle in for an oil change. Tires that are bald down to the fibers must be replaced as soon as possible.
- Check the oil: Anyone can check the oil dipstick. Simply pull the stick out of the oil, wipe clean with a paper towel then insert it back into the oil. The fluid color should be a light brown—not dark brown or black, which means the oil is dirty and needs changing. So, while the “change your vehicle’s oil every 3,000 to 6,000 miles” rule is a good guideline to follow, what you might do instead is check the dipstick often and change the oil as needed. If you don’t change the oil yourself, schedule a time with an auto shop to get it done.
- Learn to check other car fluids: There are a few other fluids in your car you will want to check, in addition to the oil. This includes checking the coolant, antifreeze, windshield cleaner and power steering levels—and if you want to learn, you can change these fluids yourself at home. But just like with oil changes, don’t let anyone but a trusted mechanic change your vehicle’s fluids. A good mechanic will flush all remaining old fluids from each tank before filling with a fresh supply.
- Replace your windshield wipers: Did you know that it’s recommended that you replace windshield wipers at least every six months? Do so no matter if you actually used them or not, like during the drier summer months as the heat will make wiper blades crack and fall apart. And depending on the area where you live, you may need to replace wipers more often during the rainy season.
Preventative maintenance is important if you want to keep your vehicle running smoothly year-round. For the best auto repair in Lansing, MI, contact the team at PFS Auto Repair today!