Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape is important if you want to extend its lifespan and avoid expensive repairs. It’s also the most important thing you can do if you want to stay safe and avoid accidents while you drive.
Most people get nervous about vehicle maintenance, thinking that it’s too expensive or takes a lot of time. The majority of important vehicle maintenance is actually inexpensive, however. Here are three ways you can keep your vehicle running smoothly without breaking the bank:
Keeping Tires Inflated
Few things are more dangerous or terrifying than blowing a tire out while driving your vehicle. Blown tires can easily lead to structural damage, car accidents, and serious injuries. Protecting yourself and your vehicle means that you have to keep an eye on your tires.
As you drive your vehicle, your tires will naturally leak a small bit of air out. Over time this adds up and leaves you with underinflated tires. Not only does this lead to blow outs, but it also gives you less control over steering and braking. All you need to do to avoid this is simply check your air pressure and inflate your tires every month or two. You can buy a pump to store in your garage for less than $20, or you can simply go to a local gas station, where air is usually the cost of two or three quarters.
Beyond keeping your vehicle safe, keeping your tires inflated also has some bonus benefits. Underinflated tires cause your vehicle to work harder, diminishing fuel economy. They also cause unnecessary wear and tear on your tires, significantly decreasing their lifespan. Simply inflating them periodically will save you a lot of money over the long haul.
Replacing Windshield Wipers
Weather is one of the most important factors in how dangerous a road is. Rain and snow take simple driving conditions and turn them into something much more sinister. To make sure you’re always ready to drive defensively, you need to make sure your car is ready to handle any conditions.
The easiest way to take care of that is by simply replacing your windshield wipers periodically. Even if you don’t use your wipers very often, they will wear down by simply being exposed to the rain and sun. You need to replace them at least once per year, or as soon as they start working as well. A top-notch set of wiper blades will only set you back about $20, so there’s no need to buy the cheapest set you can find.
You’ll also need to check your wiper fluid levels every month or so. Wiper fluid is extremely inexpensive, so you can buy some to stick in your trunk or garage easily. Water is a poor substitute for wiper fluid as it freezes easily and can cause harm to your windshield wiper system.
Checking Fluid Levels
Fluids are the blood of your car. Your car uses fluid to stop from overheating, lubricate the engine, and assist you with steering and braking. If your fluid isn’t carefully maintained you’ll end up damaging your car and putting you in danger of getting into an accident. By the time your warning light indicates fluid is low, you could already be at risk.
Luckily, fluid is easy to change even if you aren’t mechanically inclined. Every car uses fluids slightly differently, so you need to make sure to read your manual carefully to find out how often fluid needs to be replaced and how you can do it. If you’re nervous about changing fluids yourself, you can always take your car to a mechanic and watch how they do it the first time.
Here are the fluid levels that you’ll want to maintain to keep your vehicle operating smoothly:
- Motor oil.
- Transmission fluid.
- Brake fluid.
- Power steering fluid.
Maintaining Your Driving Skills
Having a vehicle that’s running great won’t help you avoid accidents and tickets if you aren’t doing the same with your driving skills. Attending a defensive driving course is a great way to learn how to drive safely, keeping yourself and your vehicle safe. Best of all, you’ll save money on your insurance premiums and might be able to toss out any outstanding traffic violations – giving you even more money to put back into your car!