Know your maintenance schedule
No matter what kind of vehicle you purchase, there is a particular schedule you must comply with to ensure the car remains in top shape. You can find information specific to your vehicle within the owner’s manual. Parts that will regularly need changing include the oil, filter, brakes, tires and car fluids. The first two are most important as it will ensure the engine keeps running properly.
Take care of the tires
Just like the engine, tires play a huge role in safety and fuel efficiency. As such, it makes sense to ensure they’re always in good shape. Make sure you properly inflate the tires and replace them when they wear down too much. If you don’t fill the tires enough, serious damage can occur while driving.
Pay attention to warning lights
The warning lights exist for a reason; they are there to notify you that something could be wrong or unsafe with the automobile. Such lights include the brake light, temperature light, oil light, as well as the check engine light. Again, the owner’s manual will have information with regard to each of the lights and any actions you should take.
If the check engine light begins to blink while on the road, pull over right away to avoid further system failure. If the light appears but stays, and if nothing appears to immediately be wrong with the car, it will be fine to drive yourself to a mechanic or at least back home. Blinking lights can indicate a severe problem that can break the engine if driving continues.
Always keep the gas tank filled
In the same way that human beings need to eat food regularly in order to perform optimally at work and school, it is just as important that the car is regularly fed gasoline. This also extends to ensuring it doesn’t completely run out or even get too low; the car will not run well while low on gas.
The majority of vehicles made today use fuel-injected engines that need gas to help lubricate and cool down the engine and its parts. By driving with insufficient fuel on a regular basis, damage can build up on the engine over time and become very costly in repairs, not to mention you may end up stranded on the road when it refuses to keep driving. To help avoid an empty gas tank, get a refill before dropping to less than a quarter of a tank.
Keep the windshield clear and safe
The windshield is your window to the road when you are behind the wheel. As such, it’s a good idea to consider it like the car’s eyes, which should be kept as clean as possible. This includes ensuring the wiper blades are functioning properly; replace any that leave streaks or smears or present cracks in the blades.
It’s also wise to monitor the nozzles; if they are clogged, use a needle to clean a path for the washer fluid. Ensure you only use washer fluid for windshields in this tank to ensure corrosion does not occur. It is also the only fluid designed to help scrub away insects, grime and other kinds of dirt that end up across your windshield. To help ensure they work properly, use your washer fluid and wipers every so often regardless of rainfall.
Stick to the speed limit
Of course, one of the most efficient and easiest ways to ensure the car remains in top shape, as well as the best way to ensure you remain safe on the road, is to ensure you stick to the speed limit. It’s possible to go very fast, and it can seem fun or convenient when you’re in a hurry, but the limits exist for a reason; exceeding them is both extremely dangerous for your safety and damaging to your car.
When you drive at a more conservative speed, the engine and transmission carry less burden and won’t use as much gas since the engine doesn’t get as hot. Speeding and all similar poor driving habits, like hitting curbs or driving off road without the appropriate wheels, place unnecessary strain on your car.