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Regular car maintenance is the best way to maximize your vehicle’s lifespan and ensure a smooth driving experience at all times.

Though car breakdowns can happen regardless of how cautious or prepared you are, there is still a number of things you can do to keep your vehicle components and internal parts in working order.

So here’s some basic car maintenance anyone should know.

Change That Oil

The first step to good car maintenance is regular oil changes. Motor oil is what keeps your car engine lubricated and what ensures your vehicle operates smoothly. If your motor oil is running low or if it gets contaminated with outside debris, this could end up causing irreversible damage.

You can always check your owner’s manual to find out how often you should be changing your oil, but it’s usually every 5,000 to 10,000 miles.

Replacing The Air Filter

Over time, air filters tend to collect dirt and accumulate leaves, dust, or other particles. This can easily clog your air filter and prevent it from providing proper clean airflow your engine needs. When your engine doesn’t get sufficient air to supply the combustion process, your horsepower will decrease along with your fuel economy. This is often one of the most neglected aspects of car maintenance, so make sure you regularly check and replace your vehicle’s air filter.

Engine Coolant

Similarly to your vehicle’s motor oil, coolant can also get contaminated from a build-up of dirt and grime.  This causes the engine to run hotter than it would under normal conditions.  The engine, as a result, wears down prematurely.

So the next time you pop the hood to examine motor oil, make sure to also clear out and replace the old coolant from your vehicle’s cooling system.

Transmission Fluid

Unlike coolant and motor oil, transmission fluid doesn’t require that you change it all too often. In fact, most car manufacturers recommend that you only replace your transmission fluid after 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Some more technologically advanced vehicles are said to not even require a transmission fluid change. So always check your owner’s manual to make sure you’re going about it the right way.

Brake Pads

Having a functional brake system is crucial to your safety since brake pads are what stand between you and a bad car crash. So you should always make sure that your brake pads are in perfect condition. The procedure of changing your brake pads is not that complicated. In fact, it’s very similar to changing your tires, and while you’re at it, you should also check your brake fluid and your brake rotors to ensure everything is in working order.

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are one of the most overlooked parts of car maintenance. But imagine what could happen if you find yourself driving in the middle of a rainstorm with a compromised vision of your surroundings. This is why it’s important that your windshield wipers are always in great condition. So if the rubber is worn out that it starts cracking, consider replacing the wipers at your earliest convenience.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are those small devices that power your vehicle by generating sparks that ignite the gasoline for internal combustion. They do wear out eventually and in most cases, you need to get them replaced every 30,000 miles to make sure they don’t fail. A yearly inspection would be ideal so you’re able to keep track of the spark plugs’ condition and anticipate how soon they would need to be replaced.\

Testing Battery

You should always check your car battery’s levels to make sure it doesn’t die out on you at the most inconvenient time or when you least expect it. Granted, if it happens to you in the middle of nowhere, you are obliged to call a towing service or roadside assistance for a jumpstart, but there are ways to avoid getting stranded on the side of the road.

You can invest in a battery tester or charger to regularly check your car battery’s condition. It’s highly recommended that you test your battery twice a year. This can save you so much time, effort, money, and frustration in the future.

Washing The Exterior

This one is a no-brainer, but if you’ve done all the steps above, why not keep your car looking good too!  When you wash your vehicle’s exterior, you’re getting rid of grime, bugs, and outside contaminants that could potentially cause your paint to deteriorate. You’re also less likely to scratch your car if you wash it yourself rather than if you take it to an automatic car wash.  Plus, it doesn’t take much to do it yourself; a bucket, a hose, car wash soap, and a wash mitt will do the job.

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