Most of us depend on our vehicles for so many things. Thus, it’s very important that we give our car the TLC it deserves.
When it comes to car care and maintenance, little things can make a huge difference. Below are 12 simple tips to keep your car running smoothly and safely; these 12 simple tips are very useful also when you have to rent a car, in order to check that everything’s fine before renting and driving to your destinations.
1. Keep An Eye On Your Fuels
The first and most important tip of all is to ensure that your car’s fluid levels are always full. These include everything from the brake fluid to the engine coolant.
Letting the fluid levels go down at extremely low levels is dangerous and can cause serious problems in your engine. You should also have your oil changed after every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
2. Inspect And Maintain Wheels
A flat tire is a hazard, so make it a habit to regularly check your tires. Check for pressure monthly and inspect wheels regularly especially before long road trips.
You must also rotate your tires every 6,000 or 8,000 miles and never install mismatched tires.
If you’re always traveling offroad or in extreme conditions with your car (not a rented one), consider installing custom wheels suitable to the road conditions you always travel on.
🔎 Read also: Rented Cars and Tyres – few rules to follow
3. Keep an Eye on Spark Plugs
Faulty spark plugs are a common issue. In general, it’s best to replace spark plugs as part of preventative maintenance as provided in your user manual.
Signs that your spark plug needs replacement include rough idling, increase in exhaust emissions, and uneven power when accelerating.
4. Test the Lights
A broken or burn-out bulb is a safety hazard. Learn how to thoroughly inspect the bulbs on your car and take a few extra steps to keep them in top shape by cleaning the lenses and replacing them when they start to dim.
5. Maintain Your Brakes
Regularly check your brake fluids and change them as needed.
Brake fluid attracts moisture, which can lead to various problems like corrosion and rust.
Furthermore, it’s important to get your brakes and brake pad checked and replaced if they are already worn out. Listen or watch out for warning signs like strange brake response, unusual noises, or weird feelings when you press on the brakes.
6. Clean Your Vehicle
Many people think that washing their car is only necessary for its appearance, but there are many other benefits to it.
Washing your car regularly can prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris that can lead to corrosion. Once rust forms, it grows quickly and can cause serious damage to your car’s exterior paint and even your car’s engine. Don’t forget to keep your car interior clean as well.
7. Maintain the Air Filter
You need to replace the air filter in your car every 12 months or after 12,000 miles. A clogged filter can decrease the efficiency of your car and affect its acceleration. It can also affect the airflow into your car’s engine, making it work harder and utilize more fuel.
8. Maintain Your Batteries
A good battery connection can keep your car running smoothly and efficiently. A simple visual check on your battery will let you know if it needs some TLC.
Often, it only needs some cleaning. If you see specks of crunchy white residue on the posts, you have to clear them up using baking soda and water or some cleaning solutions you can buy from local auto parts stores.
9. Check Belts and Hoses
Every time you change oil, make it a habit to check your car’s belts and hoses. If your serpentine belt breaks while you’re driving, it can cause your engine to fail.
Signs that you need belt and hose replacement include strange noises coming from the engine, fluid leaks, and cracks on the hoses and belts.
10. Replace Windshield Wipers
Worn-out wipers can reduce your visibility during heavy rain or snowstorm. Thus, it’s essential to inspect your wiper blades often and replace them when necessary.
11. Lubricate Moving Parts
All moving parts in your vehicle need to be lubricated often to keep them working efficiently. Start with the chassis of your car, including the steering arms and suspension systems. Don’t forget your door hinges, door locks and seals, window tracks, and more.
12. Change Coolants
Getting a coolant flush can prevent the old anti-free from becoming acidic and damaging your car’s engine, the rubber hoses, and the bearing in the water pump.
Check your car’s manual to see when is the right time to receive a coolant flush. Typically, it’s performed once a year.
Doing these 12 simple car care strategies is a great way to keep your vehicle running safely and ensure your safety on the road. However, it’s also important to take your car to an auto shop for regular maintenance every six months, depending on how often you use it.
Nathan Barnes is a managing editor at BlaqueDiamond. He became a car enthusiast at the age of four when his father taught him the difference between Chevy and Ford. In 2012 Nathan put his knowledge into practice and started reporting on cars, races, and the auto industry on different social media platforms. Currently, he’s a happy owner of a 1967 Alfa Romeo and a Lancer GSR and a person who still has lots of topics to cover.