Essential Vehicle Maintenance Tips

As I write this, I’m looking out the windows at my truck knowing that before too long it’s going to have to go into the shop for some work.

Not necessarily from misuse or abuse, but just from the simple fact that it is on the road frequently.

Vehicles need upkeep, and procrastinating with preventative maintenance almost always ends up hurting more down the road, especially in the wallet.

A few simple steps here and there along the way can make your life a lot easier and save you big bucks in the long run.

Check and Change Your Oil on Time

Oil changes frequently get pushed back. Sometimes out of neglect, but more often its an honest oversight as a result of the busy and often stressful lives we tend to lead. The process really is simple…. You pull the drain plug and filter, drain engine, replace plug and install a new filter (already filled with oil), fill the engine with specified quantity and type of oil, start engine, verify proper level and that there are no leaks.0

It’s that simple. Or take it to a lube shop if you are traveling without the proper tools or simply don’t have the time or inclination to do it yourself. An engine that has had the oil changed at the proper intervals is going run for a surprising number of years.

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated and Rotated

Improperly inflated tires wear poorly at best, and at worst can make driving downright dangerous. Every car is designed with different handling characteristics and specific tire pressures. Operating with air pressures outside of those parameters can decrease the responsiveness of your steering and suspension which can lead to loss of control during poor driving conditions.

Checking your tire pressures every two weeks as well as before any significant road trip will increase the life of the tire, your gas mileage, and your driving experience. Additionally, having your tires rotated every 5,000 miles will increase the longevity of the tire drastically. And if you take it to the same shop that installed the tires they will usually do the rotation at no charge.

Don’t Forget to Let the Engine Breathe

Your vehicle’s engine needs air to run properly. A lot of it. Most technicians will check your air filter for you anytime you take your vehicle vehicle in for service, but if you are like me and do your own oil changes, you need to remember to check it at least every time you change the oil. Most of the time it will need changing at about the same time interval.

If you do a lot of driving in dusty conditions you should check it even more frequently. A dirty air filter will slowly reduce your horsepower, your gas mileage will drop, and you run the risk of dirt getting through the filter which will then end up in the engine itself grinding on the metal surfaces. It’s a cheap and simple way to make your rig run happier for many years and adventures.

Remember, a little bit of TLC a long way will pay big dividends down the road!

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