10 Vehicle Maintenance Tips For Everyone!
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Taking care of your New Vehicle is like taking care of your personal health. While it is important to take your vehicle to the repair shop for regular maintenance, as well as emergencies, it is also important to create a few basic habits for keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape.
Here are 10 maintenance tips for everyone from Creedon’s Transmissions in Salem MA. Call us: (978) 744-0647
Warning Before Getting Started - Your vehicle has moving parts, hot parts, hot fluids, fluids under pressure and high voltage. Serious injury or death can occur when working on or around your vehicle. Do not attempt any repairs without proper training or supervision. You, the reader assumes all liability for your own safety.
1. Keep an Eye on Your Fluids - Keeping the motor oil, power steering fluid, and coolant filled is an easy way to maintain your car’s performance. Please refer to your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic to show you how to check your fluid levels and where to pour in more if needed. Fluids are the lifeblood of cars. Without certain fluids – expensive things happen. If you are consistently adding fluid to your car there is a reason for it and you should discuss the situation with your trusted auto care person.
2. Owner’s Manual - Periodic references to your owner’s manual are extremely valuable. There is so much going on with our vehicles that no one can be expected to remember all of it. Crazy stuff like child seat installation or airbag safety might seem intuitive but it actually gets fairly complicated. Never be afraid to ask your trusted repair shop questions about something you don’t understand in the owner's manual if they really care they will explain it to you without hesitation.
3. Watch Your Warning Lights - New Vehicles have complicated computer warning systems and codes including sensors and warning lights that will tell you anything and everything from whether you forgot to replace the gas cap to the fact that one of your tires is low on air. Learn what each of your warning lights means and how to resolve it. Your owner’s manual can be your friend and you should keep it close by in the glove box. If any light comes on and you cannot immediately pinpoint and fix the problem, take your vehicle to a trusted repair shop immediately.
4. Check Your Tire Pressure - Correct tire pressure is absolutely essential for proper vehicle handling, and to minimize the risk for premature wear and even complete tire failure (blowouts). Yet tires lose air every day. Your car might have a tire pressure warning system, but it will engage only when a tire drops down to a dangerously low-pressure level.
To keep your tires in top shape, check the pressure once per month and add air if needed. Check your owner’s manual or look for a placard attached to the inside of the driver’s door to determine the correct pressure. Never overinflate your tires, which can be just as dangerous as under inflating them.
5. Feel Your Vehicle's Operation - Pay attention to the way your car feels when it is operating normally. Once you understand this, you can begin to notice when something is wrong. When a new vibration, jerk, bump, shudder or hesitation begins that is usually a sign that something has changed or something may be beginning to go bad or go out. Make a specific note of the times and conditions when the abnormal symptom occurs and carefully communicate this information to your trusted repair shop when you take it in for diagnostics.
6. Listen to Your Vehicle - Vehicles do communicate through sounds – they make all kinds of “Normal” sounds so when abnormal sounds begin to appear this is your car speaking to you to take it to your trusted automotive vehicle repair center. Pay close attention to conditions, temperatures and times the abnormal sounds appear – your mechanic is going to ask you these questions. Accurate information is very helpful in getting to the root cause of the noises.
7. Lighting Check - Inspect the interior and exterior lighting once a month. Also, refer to your owner's manual for a proper understanding of all lighting systems used in your car. This might seem simple and intuitive but some lighting systems only come on under certain conditions. For example, Daytime Running Lamps have become common so understanding when and how they work is important. Replace bulbs as needed of course but some are difficult and involve a mechanics help.
8. Do a Monthly Walk Around - Driving is a serious business, therefore, it’s a good idea to walk around your vehicle at least once per month. In fact, once a week is better but we know how busy life can get.
Look for scratches dents or dings and check your wiper blades to ensure that they are still in good shape. Inspect your tires for abnormal wear, punctures or cuts. Test all the locks, windows, and even the sunroof (if equipped) to make sure they operate easily without sticking.
9. Keep Your Vehicle Clean - Taking care of your vehicle cosmetically, like washing and waxing it helps to improve the life of your vehicle’s paint, and can prevent the loss of glossiness in the paint.
There is no reason for mechanically washing your car – it is always better to hand wash your vehicle. Hand washing your vehicle allows you the opportunity to inspect your vehicle up close while removing the film that makes the paint appear dull and remove the dirt in the crevices which can cause rust.
Wash your wheels and tires and Wash all the glass – inside and out (including mirrors).
Keep the interior free from dirt and debris that can obstruct your feet while using the foot pedals and finally vacuum the floors. Remove any leaves or debris from vents. Not only will your car look better but it will also make it easier to sell when its time to change vehicles and it will probably hold a better value because people see you have taken care of your vehicle meticulously.
10. Find a Trusted Auto Repair Shop - It is absolutely critical to your vehicle’s health as well as your financial well being for you to start a relationship with a good honest repair shop and or mechanic, one that you trust. Working with the same repair shop and mechanic throughout your vehicle’s life lets them get to know your vehicle and its history, along with its individual quirks. This can make troubleshooting any new problems easier and help your regular mechanic quickly zoom in on just the right repair solution.
Vehicle maintenance can seem tricky for many vehicle owners, but getting familiar with your vehicle can help to ensure that your vehicle remains in tip-top shape. Never hesitate to ask us for help if you have any questions about your vehicle and its transmission.
If you are tired of getting the runaround and/or taken advantage of, we invite you to come visit Creedon's Transmissions. Give us a call at (978) 744-0647 for all of your automotive and transmission needs!