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9 Elements of a Sound Car Maintenance Routine

Do you have a car maintenance routine that you follow? 

Believe it or not, even the best car needs some work every now and then. If you don't get it fixed, your safe ride can become unsafe in a matter of hours.

If so, it's time to create your own car maintenance routine. Doing so can help you stay safe on the road for years.

To learn more about what makes for a solid routine, be sure to keep reading.

1. Regular Oil Changes

Regular oil changes are one of the most important components of a car maintenance routine for a vehicle. Over time, the oil will start to pick up dirt and particles, making it less effective at providing much-needed lubrication and heat transfer protection for engine components.

Regularly changing the oil helps reduce these deposits, ensuring the engine's performance is maintained, and the longevity of parts is maximized. Regular oil changes also prevent sludge buildup, which can block and corrode engine components and lead to bigger issues that prevent the breakdown of the line.

2. Care and Cleaning of Vehicle Exteriors

To help improve and protect the paint, you must wash the car regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Furthermore, wax can be applied to further protect the paint from UV rays and other elements. To cut scratches or oxidation, a rub mark polish can be used to buff out imperfections.

Lastly, to reduce insect buildup, tar deposits, and other forms of buildup on the exterior, special cleaning solutions and detailing products should be used. This maintenance routine can help support the vehicle's appearance and condition for many years.

3. Tire Rotation and Balancing

Tire rotation ensures better tire life and greatest tread performance by allowing all tires to wear evenly. It’s typically recommended to rotate every 5,000 miles or 6 months. Balancing your tires will help reduce vibrations and other indications that your tires are not balanced evenly.

Balancing should be done every 12,000 miles or once a year. If you want your vehicle to operate safely, and properly and last longer, these two processes will help ensure that your tires are well-maintained and are wearing evenly. Doing these things will also help to ensure a smooth riding experience and reduce fatigue on the road.

4. Regular Brake Inspections

Regular inspections should be done every 6,000 miles or as per the manufacturer's recommended schedule from the vehicle's owner manual. During each inspection, the brakes should be checked for wear and uneven brake pad replacement.

Brake fluid should also be checked for contamination, and fluid levels should be topped up as needed. A visual inspection should also be done to check for any signs of leaks or damage. If any repairs need to be done, they should be addressed right away. 

5. Keep Your Battery Checked

Keeping your battery checked is an important part of routine car maintenance and is a great way to make sure your vehicle is in top working condition. Check your battery for corrosion, clean it, so it doesn't accumulate more over time, and check the voltage and make sure it isn't lower than normal.

It's also important to make sure the clamps are firmly connected, the terminals are tight, and the corrosion is minimal. This is a vital part of car maintenance and will prevent any battery issues from arising. Furthermore, if you do find any corrosion or other issues, take your car to an automotive shop or replace the battery properly.

6. Check for Other Fluids in Your Car

One important part of servicing options is to check the other car's fluids. This involves checking the engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid levels. Accurately measuring the level of each fluid with a dipstick or refractometer allows you to top off any low levels and avoid potential mechanical damage.

All fluids, including transmission, power steering, and windshield wiper fluids, should also be checked regularly and refilled as necessary. It's important to inspect the hoses and belts, which hold the different fluids, as well, to make sure there are no pulling, cracking, or tears.

7. Looking at the Belts

Belts are essential for a car to function properly, so it is recommended to inspect them periodically. The most common kind of belt used is a V-belt, and these should be inspected for signs of wear and tear. Uneven or worn belts can cause noise and vibrations and can even cause the engine to fail.

Make sure to look for cracked, frayed, or oily belts, as any of these can cause problems. Keep an eye out for missing pulleys or loose pulley bolts, as these can also cause tension problems on the belt. If your belts need to be replaced, make sure to get a quality replacement and have it installed correctly. 

8. Replacing Windshield Wiper Blades

One of the tasks that might need to be done is replacing windshield wiper blades. For most vehicles, the blades should be replaced every 6-12 months. To get started, you'll need to purchase new blades and remove the old ones.

First, the arm holding the blade must be lifted and then gently pulled away from the windshield so the blade can be pulled off. When the new one is in place, you should align it correctly and make sure it's securely in place. 

9. Inspect Spark plugs

One of the most important maintenance items to inspect on a regular basis is spark plugs. Spark plugs are part of your car's engine that creates the spark necessary for combustion to occur. When working properly, spark plugs can promote the efficient production of combustion and maximize your car’s power output.

To properly inspect your spark plugs, you should remove them from the engine, clean off any debris and dirt, and check that they are not cracked. If any damage is found, spark plugs should be replaced as soon as possible. Other factors to consider when inspecting spark plugs include insulators, electrodes, and porcelain. 

Learn More About Car Maintenance Routine

Regular maintenance and inspection of your car are key to ensuring it's functioning and running properly. Following the basic elements of a sound car maintenance routine can help extend the life of your vehicle.

Take the time to keep your car in check and perform the needed maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Be sure to contact your local professional for any maintenance you are not sure of.

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