Being a car owner is both a great privilege and responsibility. This vehicle is your means of transportation, but it’s much, much more than that. It is a vessel in charge of transporting your family, friends, and yourself, which makes it directly responsible for your on-road safety. A car that malfunctions can put others in danger, as well, which is why a proper checkup is not just smart but also an ethical thing to do. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top five most common vehicle checkups worth keeping in mind.
Fluid levels determine the functionality and operational ability of your car. However, apart from fuel and oil, not a lot of people tend to this matter in the right way. Coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid are also important, but they’re still not on the complete list. A windshield wiper fluid is also incredibly important in keeping your car functional and operational. It will determine your visibility under the harshest of conditions.
Tires are a part of your vehicle that gets worn out the most. Therefore, it needs the most regular checkup and maintenance. Tires should be replaced every six years, but those who drive between 12,000 and 15,000 miles annually might want to replace them more frequently. Other than this, tires should also be regularly checked for pressure, inflated, and even rotated. Because not every vehicle model has the same drive and tires come in standard series, front or rear tires might get worn out unevenly. This is why you should rotate your car tires every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
3. Complete service
Taking your car to a regular checkup at a local mechanical shop is something that needs to find a place in your schedule. First, you need someone you can trust. This is someone who isn’t afraid of showing you old car parts or receipts for a new part. This fear can also be averted by buying your own parts. For instance, if you’re currently driving a Ford, you can ask about the part you need and look for retailers of Ford parts online. This is also a way for you to save a couple of bucks. Also, keep in mind that a trusted mechanic is someone you’ll deed with several times per year, this is why establishing trust is so important.
The safety of your entire vehicle depends on the condition that your brakes are in. Therefore, you need to learn a couple of things regarding their maintenance. First, you should check them on an annual basis. To do this, take them to a mechanic and have them inspect them thoroughly. Other than this, you should check brake fluids regularly. Most importantly, you should pay attention to how your brakes react while you’re using them. Strange noises, dubious responsiveness, and similar issues are a reason for concern and should definitely move your schedule.
5. All your lights
Your ability to see while driving and the likelihood that your car will be seen by others on the road is determined by the condition of your lights. While a malfunctioning front light is easy to spot, in some countries and regions (in Europe, for instance), lights need to be on even during the day. This is a situation where spotting a problem will be somewhat harder. The same goes for problems with your rear lights. This is why you need to independently check them and pay attention if those who are driving by are signaling you something.
At the end of the day, keeping your vehicle safe and functional is your responsibility and a measure that is in your own best interest. The majority of the above-listed ideas are also quite frugal and smart from the perspective of your own budget. First, they increase the fuel economy of the vehicle in question. Second, by spotting a problem early on, you can make an inexpensive replacement that will make a subsequent expensive replacement completely unnecessary. In other words, it’s an investment in the future of your vehicle.