Keeping small things up to date on your vehicle is the easiest way to save money on your car in the long run. Small replacements here and there can prevent you from having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on car repairs due to neglect. Why wait and risk a large financial burden when you don’t have to? Here are five things you should be checking on your vehicle regularly.
This may be an obvious one, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Check your oil every three to six thousand miles to make sure it isn’t low or leaking. If it’s doing either of these, be sure to change it as soon as possible or take it in to your local auto shop. Not changing your oil can often void your warranty as well as shorten your engine’s life span.
2. Air Filter
Your air filter should be checked monthly for cleanliness. If the filter looks dirty or only lets less than 50 percent of light through when held up to a light bulb, then it’s time to replace the filter. Not keeping up with air filter replacement can both increase your fuel consumption and wear down your engine.
3. Brake Fluid
Of course, everyone wants working brakes. It’s suggested that you check your brake fluid every time you check your oil. Brake fluid is typically changed every two years or so, but if it’s low, something may be wrong with your brakes. Changing the fluid when it’s needed ensures that your brakes are working effectively and contributes to a longer life span for your brake pads.
Checking tire tread takes as little as a minute or two, but it can save you a lot of money later on. Once a month, pull out a penny and stick it head first in to your tire tread — if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then it is time for a new set of tires. Not checking your tires regularly could result in a tire blowout, which could cause significant damage to your vehicle and potentially endanger your life or others. It only takes a few seconds!
5. Engine Coolants and Antifreeze
Check these twice a year, preferably right before winter and right before summer. If your coolant has a brown tint or rust bits, it needs to be changed. If you don’t check your coolant and it runs out, you risk damaging the water pump or even your engine.
The items listed above are just a few of the many important things that must be checked to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible. Not staying up-to-date with these things can result in costly vehicle problems that could be easily prevented. Protect your investment by staying informed about your vehicle’s needs!
Written by Marc LaFerriere, owner of Dents Unlimited &Toalson Glass, an auto repair shop in Columbia, MO, where they specialize in auto glass repair and replacements.