The automotive industry loves people that only put gas in their vehicle and go. We call those people gas and goers. They neglect their vehicle and wonder why it cost so much to have it fixed when it breaks down. There are some small items that can help you save money in the long run of vehicle ownership and keep you safe.
1. Keep your tires properly inflated. A tire pressure gage is about 4 dollars at any automotive parts store and about once a month check the air pressure in your tires to be sure that they are at manufacturer specifications. This information can be found normally on the inside of the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. While checking the tire pressure note any odd wear patterns on your tires. If you see any thing that you might think is odd, get it checked out by a professional. The earlier a wear problem is fixed the cheaper the repair. If tire wear gets too bad then they might have to get replaced. If it is done early they could just need to be aligned, balanced and rotated. 2. Inspect you air filter regularly. Just as we need air to keep our bodies running, the vehicle engine does also. The more debris that is in an air filter the less air an engine has to work with to be able to keep running. This means more gas is added to the combustion chamber to compensate for the lack of air in the ignition process. When you inspect an air filter you should be able to see light on the other side when held to a light. Mice and other rodents love to make this area a home to store food. This regular inspection will keep them out and your vehicle breathing properly. 3. Change your wiper blades twice a year. Wiper blades need to be firm and not streak when they are run across your windshield. They are there for safety to help keep your windshield clear of rain, snow, dirt, and anything else that might stick to it. The purpose of twice a year is for installing winter blades in the fall and spring blades in the spring. Winter wiper blades have a cover over the hinges to keep out the snow and prevent water from freezing and allowing them to streak. 4. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. The schedule is set up for the fluids that break down over time and need to be replaced. If the fluids in all the different systems on the vehicle are replaced according to the recommended schedule then the probability of early failure on any major component drops significantly. You can plan on spending about $100 a month for every 10,000 dollars that the vehicle is worth in maintenance. So if a new vehicle is worth $20,000 then you would look at $200 a month in vehicle maintenance for proper care.
These small items can keep you from big headaches in the life of your vehicle. It also allows you the opportunity to understand the items that can affect how your vehicle operates at peak performance and you will know when it is not. The more you know the better off you are.