Life would become exponentially more difficult if we did not have a car. We depend heavily on our vehicles to get to work, to school, and to run our errands. Just imagine doing simple tasks like getting your groceries while having to take the bus. The mere fact that we depend so heavily on our cars underscores the importance of keeping them in excellent condition.
Sadly though, most people believe that keeping their car in excellent condition requires a lot of money. That is a lie promoted by expensive repair shops and sneaky automotive commercials. As you are about to see, this could not be farther from the truth. You end up saving money and time when you regularly maintain your vehicle. In some cases, keeping your car in good condition could mean life or death.
Benefits of Keeping Your Car in Excellent Condition
Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your car in excellent condition. There are many benefits to regularly maintaining our vehicles. Firstly, we extend the life of our vehicles. This means that you reduce the likelihood of having to fork out a lot of money for expensive repairs. Expensive repairs usually take a very long time, so you are also reducing the possibility of having to make do without your car for a very long time while it sits in a repair shop.
Secondly, regular maintenance also ensures that our cars retain their value so that we can get top dollar when it’s time to sell the car and upgrade to a newer model. You are also likely to notice that it costs less to insure a well-maintained vehicle. Who of us would not welcome the opportunity to pay less for our motor insurance?
Above all else, keeping your vehicle in excellent condition ensures that your vehicle is both roadworthy and safe. Just imagine how many fatal accidents could have been avoided if the driver did not have faulty tires or worn out brakes. Let us examine four simple, inexpensive steps to keeping your car in tiptop shape.
Step One – Keep Your Car Clean
It is evident that we all lead hectic lives and are constantly struggling to keep up with all the things we need to do each day. Some of us may even be working two or three jobs to make ends meet. It is easy to see why you would feel that cleaning your car might not seem like a worthwhile pursuit. You can rest assured that it is well worth your time. Be warned though, if you skip this vital step dirt and grime builds up on your seats over time and leave permanent stains.
Dirt buildup can also cause damage to the exterior paint on your vehicle. Not only is this unsightly, but it also significantly reduces the value of your car. A simple solution, if you are short on time, is to take just 10 minutes to clean your car each week. You could also find an affordable car wash in your area. It is also highly recommended that you avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in your car.
Step Two – Keep an Eye on Your Tires
As mentioned before, worn tires are a recipe for disaster. Be sure to inspect your tires at least once a month. This includes examining your spare tire as well. Check your tire pressure regularly especially if you drive through rough and bumpy terrain. Don’t be intimidated if you do not know much about the correct pressure for your tires. You can always find useful information in your vehicle manual or on reputable automotive websites.
When examining your tires, be on the lookout for cuts or slits in the tire. Tires are expensive and often have to be purchased in pairs. Replacing your tires can cost as much as $600 in some areas. If you regularly inspect your tires and spot the damage early, you may be able to save money by having the tires patched instead of having to replace them. Please also note that all tires are built with small, hair-like protrusions to keep you safe, so smooth, shiny tires need to be replaced immediately.
Step Three – Learn When and How to Change Your Oil
Keeping an eye on your oil levels and regularly changing your engine oil is the second most important thing your car needs. The only thing more important than oil is fuel. Again, you are not expected to have this kind of knowledge innately. Don’t be shy about reading your vehicle manual. This specifies the best type of fuel for your vehicle, makes recommendations about optimum oil levels, and even explains how often the oil should be changed. A general rule of thumb is that your oil should be replaced after every 7000 miles.
If you learn how to change your oil yourself, this can cost less than $30. Failing to change your oil on time or allowing your oil levels to get too low could ruin your vehicle’s engine. Just imagine how much it costs to replace your car’s engine! It should be noted that you may need to have your oil filter replaced once or twice each year by a trained mechanic.
Step Four – Take Care of Your Brakes
Once you have driven a vehicle, you should understand how important it is to have reliable brakes. We, however, often forget to have our brakes replaced or even inspected on a regular basis. This is a dangerous practice that could cost you your life. Most mechanics often recommend that your brakes be changed after every 25,000 miles.
By now, you should be able to appreciate that the cost of not keeping your vehicle in excellent condition is far higher than the price you are likely to pay for ignoring the signs of danger. All you need to do is spend a little time researching what works best for your vehicle. You are bound to save a lot of time, money, and even your life if you invest a few minutes and a couple of bucks to keep your vehicle in tiptop shape.