Here Tips To Maintain Your New Car
Cars have changed so much over the last couple of decades. The entertainment systems are pretty cool, impressive, and great for keeping the kids quiet in the back. The safety features are wonderfully reassuring… especially with the kids in the back. But one of the best things about buying a new car today is how long that car can last you.
We’ve always known that the better care you take of your car, the longer life it will have, but caring for your car is easier now too, since they require less maintenance than before. Spark plugs used to need changing every year or two, but now can last 100,000 miles. We don’t have to worry about the points and condenser system anymore because of electronic ignitions. We’re also seeing suspensions, chassis, and even some transmissions that are now lubed for life. Even rust isn’t as big a problem as it used to be.
With all that said though, there are still a few things you can do to help extend the health and well-being of your vehicle. This article explores tips to maintain your new car.
CHECKING YOUR FLUIDS
Before exploring the list of fluids that need checking on a regular basis, we should remind you that if you feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t proceed with this maintenance on your own. Johnston Chrysler is always happy to help.
- OIL: While we don’t need to change our oil as often in today’s new vehicles, it’s recommended you check the oil level every month or two. When you become familiar with your vehicles’ oil usage, and are constantly keeping an eye on it, you’re more likely to spot leaks and get them taken care of sooner. Be sure your car is parked on a level surface, to get accurate readings each time.
- TRANSMISSION: Most newer cars seal the transmission, but some aren’t and allow you to keep an eye on things. Be sure to check the transmission dipstick when the engine is warmed up and running.
- POWER STEERING: The power steering pump dipstick is usually attached to the fluid-reservoir cap. It’s often overlooked until the pump starts making some whining noises, even though it’s very easy to keep an eye on.
- BRAKE FLUID: It’s really this simple; your bakes won’t work without brake fluid. They’re a hydraulic system, you push on the brakes, pushing fluid down where it’s needed to slow or stop your car. Even if you have no leaks in your system, brake fluid expires over time. It absorbs water from the air, causing gunk and grime to build up.
Most cars have built-in tire pressure sensors now, but their accuracy can wane in the winter. It’s particularly important to check your tire pressure before any long trips. It’s an easy process, especially since there are digital tire-pressure gauges available for about $20.
Use the inflation pressure that your manufacturer recommends, not the number that’s embossed on the sidewall of the tire. You’ll find it either in the owner’s manual, or on a placard in the glove compartment or front door jamb.
It’s also recommended that you keep an eye on the pressure in your spare tire. They can be higher than most tires, so you’ll want to buy a tire gauge that ranges from 0-90 pounds.
If your battery has removable caps, then the fluid level should be checked every few months. More so in the summer. It’s also important to ensure your battery is securely fastened. If not, it could vibrate, causing internal damage and short circuits. Cleaning your battery will also help extend its life; dip a toothbrush in baking soda and water to scrub away corrosion and then use cold water in a spray bottle to rinse.