Have you recently purchased your very first vehicle? Are you feeling confused and overwhelmed about how to properly maintain your new mode of transportation? Taking good care of your automobile is obviously essential to keeping it running. But if you're having trouble figuring out what needs to be done and when, here are some of the most common maintenance tasks that need to be performed and when they should be done:
Check oil: Your favorite automotive repair shop will tell you how often your oil needs to be changed. Many shops will even give you a sticker to put on your windshield that indicates the upcoming date the oil change should be. But between oil changes, you should check on your oil at least monthly. Try to memorize what your oil looks like when your vehicle is running smoothly, so that you know when things go wrong. Oil that is thicker, contains visible metal flecks, or is otherwise different than usual could indicate a huge problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. For example, metal flakes could be the result of various engine parts rubbing against each other. If you let the issue go for too long, you could eventually be forced to replace your entire engine. Having a mechanic check out your vehicle as soon as possible maximizes the chances that you'll only need to have a single part adjusted or replaced.
Rotate tires: Tire rotation seems, at first glance, like a waste of time and energy. After all, don't you use all four tires at once? However, without rotation, your front tires will wear out faster than your back tires and need to be replaced sooner. A lack of tire rotation may also void any warranties that your tires may have on them. In order to avoid having to memorize another schedule, ask your automotive repair shop if you should simply have your tires rotated while they are changing your oil. Depending on the type of oil your vehicle uses and the kind of tires you have installed, this timing may be perfect.
Check and add coolant: In order to perform properly, your engine needs to be kept as cool as possible. This task is performed by your radiator, which requires an adequate amount of coolant to do its job. You should check on coolant levels every week. While slightly low coolant levels are common, because the water and coolant can evaporate when the engine is running, coolant levels that are significantly lower than the last time that you checked or where the coolant has changed color could indicate a leak or other serious issue. Ask your mechanic about what type of coolant or antifreeze mixture is best for your vehicle and climate.