All too often we take our cars for granted. I hear stories all the time about major costly repairs that could have been avoided with basic maintenance from my husband who is a Master Technician for Chrysler. So, I thought it would be a good idea to share some things for both safety and for saving money. A well maintained vehicle will save you money in the long run and keep you on the road.
Do a walk around. This was taught to a lot of us in drivers education, it’s basically to check that all your tires are properly aired up. Once a week you should also turn on all the lights and do a walk around to make sure they are all working properly. Get someone to help you make sure your brake lights are working also, if you don’t have anyone you can do this at night by looking in the mirrors.
Monthly check the fluids like oil and antifreeze in your car. Make sure the engine is cool before checking fluids. If you have no clue how to do this, search for how to check your cars fluids on YouTube there are plenty of videos there to help you.
Brake squeal – This is a noise you get when the wear indicator on your brake pads reaches the point of hitting the rotor. This should be looked at as soon as possible. Letting it go to the point of “grinding” could add up to hundreds more dollars for repairs.
Have your tires rotated every 10,000 miles. This will help the wear and life of the tires and if there is a problem with any of them you’ll know about it. Many people take their tires for granted not realizing their safety is “riding on them”.
Engine temperature lights or gauges – If it looks as if your car is overheating, DON’T keep driving it! This can cause a blown head gasket or major engine damage, that will cost thousands of dollars to be repaired. Pull over and let the car cool down before trying to drive it again. If you are unsure call someone or a tow truck.
Clicking in the front end – One of the main causes of a clicking in the front end while turning is a CV joint. This applies to front wheel drive cars. This CV joint is part of the axle that makes your wheels go. Left unattended one of these joints can break leaving you stranded.
Thumping in the front end while turning – This could be cause by several things, it should be looked at as soon as possible as it can become a safety issue as well.
Basic maintenance – Check your owners manual for basic car maintenance. It tells what services should be done to your car in certain intervals, such as 30k, 60k, 90k, etc.
Safety isn’t all about how you drive; it’s also about taking care of what you drive.