For most of us our cars are the second most expensive item we own. This should make it one of the most important to maintain properly, but all too often many of us put off the necessary maintenance because of the inconvenience that would be encountered when addressing maintenance needs. Certainly none of us wants to be stuck on the side of the road with no car to drive, that would be a much bigger problem than taking care of the proper maintenance the first time, but time and again we see plenty of cars that have not been properly maintained during their lives.
In order to give your car the best chance of taking you past the 200,000 mile marker with ease and with no major repair costs, here are five items you need to take care of on a regular basis, or avoid in order to have your car take care of you. It is truly a symbiotic relationship the car will take care of you as long as you take care of it and make sure the maintenance schedule is followed.
Don’t put off an oil change, it’s a necessary. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s suggestion as to when you need an oil change and with improvements in oil technology over the years you may not need to change it as often as you used to, but it still needs to be done. The oil in your engine breaks down over time and miles which is why you need to change in and have fresh oil, unless the idea of replacing your entire engine sounds attractive to you.
Tires and Alignment
This is a matter of a little now or a lot later. When you have new tires put on your car its best to go ahead and pay for the alignment to be done. Having tires aligned allows them to wear properly and at the right duration. An auto repair shop in Lyndhurst, NJ tells us that misaligned tires will not wear correctly and you may find yourself buying a new set of tires much sooner than you wanted to; pay a little now for the alignment or you will be stuck needing a whole new set of tires later on.
The manufacturer of your car carefully engineered the suspension to work best with the wheels they offer and the tire sizes recommended. While some aftermarket wheels are designed properly to fit your car, many times we see drivers who have put on oversized wheels and end up damaging their fenders, wheel wells or worse, the suspension. Replacing a suspension can cost thousands of dollars, leaving you unable to drive around on the wheels with the spinners you love so much but didn’t fit your car properly.
This is another area where the manufacturer of your car took some time to make sure the right item was in place. When your battery goes dead it can be a hassle, but having the wrong battery installed just to save a few dollars up front will damage your electrical system and cause you to spend even more later. Make sure the battery is the right one and you will be able to avoid more expensive electrical problems later.
Even though it might seem simple, the body of your car protects many of the inner workings, helping to keep weather away from components. If you have an amateur fix the body of your car you can be certain you will have to get the work redone. Damage can end up deforming the body panel which may have to be entirely replaced if not correctly repaired.
While these five items are not everything that you need to be aware of to maintain your car, they are certainly a good start and give you five items to make sure are done right. The basic rule for proper vehicle maintenance is to spend a little now to avoid having to spend a lot later.