April is National Car Care Month. Does your vehicle need a little TLC? A preventative maintenance routine will extend the life of your vehicle, keeping it reliable and ready for those summer road trips.
Follow this simple checklist to make certain your automobile is in tip-top shape!
Tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Check the PSI regularly and pay attention to tire recalls. Brad Parker says, “Don’t skimp when it comes to tires. Never by cheap retreads or used tires. When you notice the tread is getting worn, spend the extra money to get a quality set.”
Check Your Brakes
“If you’re hearing squeaking when you brake, don’t ignore it. Be sure to consult a service center as soon as possible,” Brad says. Brake pads and rotors wear gradually over time and require regular inspection.
Change the Oil
Car owners should check their car owner’s manual to see what oil is recommended for their car. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the oil gauge and check your oil once a month and before a long journey. A car’s oil is one of the best indicators of an engine’s health.
Check the Fluids
At least once a year, have your mechanic check your engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid.
Replace Windshield Wipers
Pop-up storms are common in North Texas in the spring, and windshield wipers are a driver’s first defense against diminished visibility. “It’s important to have properly functioning windshield wipers for front and/or back windows, otherwise you are a danger to others and yourself,” Brad says.
Check Belts and Hoses
If certain belts break while driving, they can cause many of a car’s systems to fail. Keeping belts and hoses in good shape could help you avoid a breakdown on the road.
Test the Lights
Headlights are key safety features on your vehicle. Regularly clean the lenses and replace bulbs as they begin to dim. Quickly replace any bulbs that may have burned out.
Change Your Air Filter
An air filter should be inspected once a year and replaced as needed. A dirty engine air filter allows dirt particles into a car’s engine and reduces its efficiency.
Don’t Ignore Warning Lights
If the check engine light goes on, take your car to a trained technician to diagnose the problem. By scheduling regular tune-ups, drivers will ensure that their cars get other maintenance items repaired as needed.
Review Your Insurance Policy
By reviewing your car insurance policy from time to time, you will be aware of your policy’s coverages, limits and deductibles and make sure they are suitable for your driving needs. We are happy to review your insurance policy free of charge , if you’d like a second set of eyes on it. Just give us a call or fill out our contact form and we can arrange to have you come by the office or email it in!
Additional Things to Consider
- Check for recalls related to your vehicle, child seats, tires and more.
- Look for refinancing deals offered by your lending partners.
- Evaluate the trade-in value of your vehicle and test drive newer or different car models.
- Repack your emergency kit for spring and summer.
- Practice changing a tire.
- Clean the vehicle inside and out or get it professionally detailed.
Following this simple checklist won’t completely protect you from the dangers of driving, but it will help give you peace of mind that you and your vehicle are safe for driving the roads!