It’s always a good idea to periodically check your car over for signs that things need repair or replacement. This can sound intimidating, especially if you’re not really sure what to look for. While some repairs are too complicated without really knowing what you’re doing, there are things the average person can do on their own. Taking care of some of the little things is a great way to save yourself some cash.
Here are a few examples:
- Top off fluids. Checking your fluids is one of the ways you can prevent a larger problem in the future. Anything that isn’t full should be topped off with a similar formula to what’s already in there. You’ll want to check the oil, coolant, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. This is a great opportunity to notice if something is leaking as well.
- Clean it up. Especially if you think you’ll be selling your car at some point, detailing your it is a good way to up its value. Not only will keeping it clean extend the life of the interior, it will simply look better. Clean the mats, the dashboard, and the seats. Don’t forget the trunk! Wash the exterior and wax it if you haven’t done so lately.
- Check your lights. Take a few minutes to check that all of your lights are working. Test the headlights, taillights, and brake lights, as well as your turn signals. You will most likely need another person to help you since it’s hard to see your brake lights while you’re sitting in the car. If any of the lights are burned out, replacing them is easy.
- Touch up the paint. If you have small scratches or chips in your paint, they may not stay small for long. In fact, a deterioration of the paint can lead to a deterioration of the car’s body.
- Change your filters. Consult your manual for details on how often you should change the engine filter and cabin air filters. This is an easy and inexpensive fix and can keep your car running well for much longer.
- Give the windows a once over. Look for cracks or chips in your windshield so you can have them repaired before the spread.
- Check your tire pressure. Tires that are not inflated properly can decrease fuel efficiency. They are also less safe. Check the pressure, but also look at the tires to inspect for wear or bubbles and bulges in the sidewalls, a sure sign they need to be replaced. Don’t forget to inspect the spare!
Having a mechanic you can trust is essential, but you still need to do some inspections yourself. This can save money and time down the road, preventing larger problems from occurring.
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