Did you know that just a few minutes a week spent looking over your vehicle can save time and money? As a car owner, knowing basic maintenance is a good skill to possess, so here are some of the top preventative maintenance tips to help you avoid repeat visits to an auto repair shop in Norwalk, OH:
- Inspect the tires: Checking your tire pressure every week is good practice to ensure that you’re not driving on under- or overinflated tires. This is especially important when the weather is wonky—like when one day it’s warm and sunny, and the next brings cold winds and chilly temperatures. Tire tread is another thing to watch. Normal use means the tread will wear down a little with each drive, so check for bald spots and uneven wear on your tires and plan on getting a tire rotation at least a couple times a year.
- Replace windshield wipers: Windshield wiper blades are made of rubber, which is a material that will break down over time when exposed to the outdoor elements. The summer heat dries them up, making blades brittle, and they can fall apart from overuse during the heavy rain season. Replace wipers even if you don’t feel like you had to use them very often in recent months, because they are useless when tattered and ripped.
- Change the oil: You don’t have to wait 3,000 to 6,000 miles to check your motor oil. In fact, you should regularly check the oil dipstick to see that the fluid level is good and the oil is clean. Start with a paper towel in one hand and the removed dipstick in the other. Wipe the oil off. Now, reinsert and remove again. A light brown color is good, while dark brown or black is a sure sign of a needed oil change. Change the car’s oil yourself or take it to a shop—just make sure it gets done so you don’t end up with engine troubles.
- Learn about car fluids: Aside from motor oil, there are other fluids that make your car run efficiently, like fluids for your transmission, coolant system and power steering, as well as antifreeze and windshield cleaning solution. Many of these fluids you can top off yourself, but if you are unsure whether a fluid needs to be flushed before replacing it, schedule an appointment with your auto mechanic.
- Perform regular inspections: Regular professional inspections as well as the ones you do yourself are critical for proper vehicle upkeep, and can help you avoid costly repairs. Check basics like the tire pressure, oil and windshield wipers, but remember that there are other necessary items to check, too. This includes inspecting interior and exterior lights and window glass for damage, and listening for unusual noises.
Although you may not be a professional mechanic, there are indeed a lot of basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself. For more complicated maintenance or needed parts repairs or replacements, contact the expert team at Hy-Tek Truck & Auto Center, Ltd. We are your trusted auto repair shop in Norwalk, OH!