Your car is so much more than a box of metal on wheels. For thousands of people in America, their car is a home and a source of refuge from the elements. For others, it’s an old friend with whom they have countless memories. The bond between man and machine radiates in the way some people take care of their vehicles.
The relationship between man and automobile is a two-way street. You get what you give. If you leave your car dirty, unmaintained and drive it without caution, it’s going to break down on you. Or even worse, lead you into an accident. To prevent either scenario, we’ve listed a few maintenance tips for you to follow diligently. Let’s drive straight into them.
Don’t Ignore The “Check Engine” Light
Your car tells you what’s wrong with it. The check engine light lighting up is a good indication that it’s time to head over to the mechanic. The light may be a warning for something as trivial as the fluids being low or as complicated as a problem with the engine valves. If it lights up when you’re on the go, it would be best to find the nearest auto repair shop and have someone take a look.
Leaving a faulty engine running or ignored for too long could cause irreparable damage to the car. If you don’t act quickly, you may end up paying more than you initially anticipated. What could have been a few hundred dollars can soon burn a hole in your wallet. So if you want it firing on all cylinders (literally) and doing what it needs to do, ensure you tend to whatever issues it throws your way.
Check The Radiator
An overheating car should raise alarm bells. If you see the temperature gauge going up, you might want to pull over immediately and check the radiator. Wait for the car to cool down, and then open the radiator cap unless you want a geyser of hot water splurging out of the hood. Also, it’s best to be careful when removing the lid- you also don’t want to burn yourself with hot steam while trying to fix your car. Overheating can pretty much set your car on fire if you’re not too careful.
Your car could be overheating because of issues with the radiator. The radiator is the part of the car that regulates the temperature of the engine. If you live in a cold climate, fill it with water. If you live in a warmer city, consider pouring in a bottle of coolant to help maintain the internal temperature.
Keep An Eye On The Tires
There are a bunch of things that you need to look at when it comes to the tires. First, ensure you have enough air in the wheels. Low air can create drag and even reduce your fuel efficiency. After that, you want to check the tire alignment. Older cars have tires jutting out in different directions, which can cause them to sway.
Finally, take a look at the state of the tires. If you notice that they are beginning to bald and lose tread, head on over to the local dealership and buy a new set of five- one’s a spare. Balding tires means that the car will skid and slide once you hit the brakes. The less traction you have on the road, the more unsafe the ride is going to be. Loss of tire tread can spell disaster for cars and motorcycles. Road grip is essential and needs to be taken seriously.
We cannot stress how important it is to have working lights on your car. You need to ensure your safety at night by traveling with adequate lighting. A dim pair can be troublesome, especially if you live in an area where wildlife comes onto the road out of nowhere. A strong pair of headlamps pierces through the darkness and gives you the visibility you need to drive safely.
Other than that, ensure your vehicle has functional fog lights for visibility through the thick fog during winters. Choose a warm color instead of white. Warm colors cut through the fog and increase visibility considerably more than a pair of white lights.
Also, do not invest in an overpowered set of headlights. Not only do they drain your battery faster, but the person on the other side of the road gets temporarily blinded. This could potentially cause a severe accident.
If you’ve spent thousands of dollars in buying a car, you might as well ensure its longevity with regular maintenance. If the “check engine” light glows, that’s your cue to visit your mechanic. Never continue driving the car if it starts to heat up and fill it with an appropriate coolant. You might also want to check the tires regularly to prevent skidding on the road. Also, ensure your lights are functional in order to drive safely and prevent accidents, especially when it’s foggy.