It’s getting dark and starting to rain. You’re running late for a dinner party with friends and on the way there your car dies and won’t start. The problem turns out to be a bad battery connection caused by corrosion that has built up over time. While this may be a rare occurrence it has happened, to me! OK, maybe not the dark and rain part but it did happen and it could have easily been avoided had I just taken the time to check the battery cables.
That’s just one story that could have been avoided by simple and regular vehicle maintenance. Some of the items that should be inspected on a regular basis are:
- Battery Cables
- Windshield Wipers
- Drive belt Condition
- Radiator Hoses
- Air Filter
- All Fluid Levels
- Tire Pressure
- Headlights / Turn Signals / Tail Lights
It is a good practice to do these checks on at least a monthly basis. Doing these checks can potentially keep you from being stranded on the side of the road. A complete visual inspection of the vehicle including everything under the hood as well as underneath the vehicle is an important step as well. Look for oil or water leaks, check the CV joint boots (if applicable) and any other rubber parts such as the ball joint boots that could tear or deteriorate over time. If you find any leaks or potential problems, get them fixed as soon as possible. Leaving items in disrepair can cause further damage, possibly to other components, leading to a more expensive repair.
Proper maintenance of your vehicle is an important step in keeping the resale value high and providing you with a lifetime of dependable service. The owners manual for your vehicle includes a maintenance schedule that is designed to allow you to keep your vehicle running and looking it’s best for a very long time. The maintenance schedule includes things like when to change your oil and what kind of oil to use, when to flush your radiator, when to change transmission fluid, and all other normal maintenance tasks. It also includes the correct type and amount of fluids your vehicle uses. Some of the benefits of proper vehicle maintenance include:
- Protect the investment you have in your vehicle.
- Increase your vehicles resale value.
- Catch problems before they leave you stranded
- Vehicle runs better, more efficient.
- Reduce harmful emissions
- Provides better fuel economy
With more and more people keeping their vehicles for 10+ years, regularly scheduled maintenance is more important than ever. Newer vehicles are built much better than ever, and with simple maintenance can give you many years of reliable transportation and will allow you bring top dollar when you go to sell it.