Many car owners spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars having their car professionally serviced for its entire working lifespan. When you add up the money you spend on professional car care services, you could buy a fairly decent second-hand car. While your car does need professional auto maintenance services from time to time, you can save a lot of money if you perform some basic maintenance tasks on your car at home.
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Some people will only fix their vehicles, or have their cars fixed, when something goes wrong. Cars, like all machines, need to be maintained to keep them efficient. Maintaining a car takes a bit of time, and you’ll need to fit routine car maintenance into your weekly schedule. Your car maintenance schedule will depend on how frequently you drive, how fast you drive, and what you use your car for. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow:
- Weekly maintenance for sports cars, high-performance vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles like trucks, SUVs, and pickups.
- Monthly maintenance for passenger cars, collectible vintages and classic cars, and daily driving vehicles.
Interior and Exterior Detailing
Cleaning or auto detailing takes a lot of time and effort. While you can save time by giving your car a good hose-down after a day of driving, you should still pay attention to how your car looks. Detailing jobs can be done at home, provided that you have the proper equipment and tools.
- Car washes are the simplest and easiest maintenance tasks you can do for your car. You can either wash your car yourself once a week, or pay a few dollars for a trip to an automated car wash.
- Waxing and buffing should be done at least twice a month. Waxing and buffing tasks are meant to keep your car exterior looking shiny and clean. The task is made so much easier if you use an electric buffing tool, buffing pads, and the best waxes and buffing cloths you can afford.
- Exterior detailing involves tasks like repainting, claying, and car polishes. Exterior detailing gets rid of contaminants and pollutants embedded in the clear coat of new cars, and even restores the original finish of older cars.
- Interior detailing involves tasks like fixing upholstery, refreshing the nap of car carpeting, and restoring vinyl and leather surfaces.
Engine and Drivetrain Maintenance
For passenger cars and daily driving vehicles, you don’t need to tinker with the engine and the drivetrain as much. For customized cars and high-performance vehicles, maintaining these sophisticated machines is absolutely necessary unless you want to break down and need to have your car towed. If you do need a tow, use a professional and fully licensed and insured company like omahatowing.org or call triple AAA. Most repair and maintenance tasks for the engine and the transmission should only be performed by professional auto mechanics:
- Engine tuning modifies the parts and the build of the engine to increase performance and improve stability.
- Cleaning and degreasing is a task you can do in your own garage. Keeping the exterior of your engine clean can help reduce stress and damage due to excessive heat. Keeping the interior of the engine clean with additives like fuel injection cleaners means less break downs and better gas mileage.
- Transmission repair is often performed on vehicles with misaligned gear shifts, or if the transmission system sustained damage during driving.
- Parts replacement needs to be performed when a certain part of your engine does not work, or if your engine is heavily damaged or worn.
Maintaining Safety Features
Even the simplest maintenance tasks can save your life, and save you thousands of dollars in repair and restoration jobs. Maintaining your car’s safety features and equipment should be top priority for your routine maintenance tasks:
- Fuel and oil checks are as simple as checking the oil and fuel dipsticks. While you can rely on your gauge to determine fuel and oil levels, you still need to check the dipstick to check the quality of the oil that circulates through your engine.
- Liquid checks like making sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid, or enough antifreeze make sure that you can drive in safe circumstances and you don’t have any problems in extreme heat or cold.
- Tire inflating and vulcanizing should be done regularly, not just when you feel like you’re close to having a flat tire. Make sure that your tires have the recommended tread depth and air pressure.
- Checking lights and signals is very important not just for night driving, but for daily driving as well. It’s very dangerous to drive a car with broken head lamps or warning signals.
Maintaining your car may seem like a chore, but auto maintenance is especially useful to protect your investment. Auto maintenance is also an important part of keeping yourself and your passengers safe on the road. With these tasks to guide you, maintaining your car should be as easy as driving it.