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A Guide To Basic Car Maintenance

Jul 6, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, a good car maintenance routine does not start and end with biweekly visits to the car wash and a trip to Jiffy Lube every 3,000 miles or so. Instead, you should have a more hands on approach to basic car maintenance. You should regularly monitor everything from fluid levels to belts and hoses, basic car maintenance kind of stuff that you can easily do on your own without having to pay a mechanic a lot of money.

Did you know that you should check your oil every single time you fill up your gas tank? Not many people do, and instead opt to only have their mechanic perform this very basic car maintenance every few thousand miles. The reason why it is so crucial to do so frequently is because of how important a proper oil level is to the smooth operation of your vehicle. If the oil is too low or too dirty, the performance of your car will suffer. Basic car maintenance really revolves around oil inspection.

Another part of basic car maintenance is keeping your windshield wipers and fluid in tip top condition. Some windshield washer fluids go a little further than average car maintenance requires, dissipating a chemical that help the wipers work more effectively by dispersing water.

It costs about the same as regular windshield washer fluid, so you should definitely look into getting some the next time you find yourself in need. Also, you want to make sure that you never put plain water in the windshield washer reservoir, as it would be counterproductive to the keeping up the overall car maintenance. Unlike water, the fluid is specially formulated not to freeze and crack the plastic reservoir when it gets cold outside.

Replacing windshield wiper blades are one of the easiest components of basic car maintenance, from start to finish the whole job should take you less than 10 minutes. This should be done at least once a year, as old windshield wiper blades tend to get brittle and cracked, which can then scratch your windshield when in use.

Keeping the proper tire pressure is also a relatively easy, yet very important, part of basic car maintenance. When your tires are properly inflated, you get much better gas mileage, and the likelihood of blowing out a tire while driving is decreased. So, always keep a pressure gauge in your vehicle!
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