In today’s economy, many people struggle just to keep a car insured and on the road, let alone to have money for repairs as they are needed. Did you know that a great number of repairs can actually be avoided with just a few common sense tips on maintenance checks you can do at home in just a few minutes? If you discover a problem, you may need a service station to do the repair but there are some you can do yourself at much less the cost. Here are five auto maintenance checks you can’t afford to miss.
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Before everything comes safety. One blowout on the interstate could send your car careening out of control across the median into oncoming traffic. Blowouts are one of leading causes of accidents on the interstate so remember to check your tires regularly.
Many people do a quick spot check each and every time they are about to enter their car. If any look as though they need air, it’s time to have them checked for leaks, which you can do yourself if needed with a bucket of water. Keep them rotated and balanced as well. It should go without saying that bald tires need to be changed immediately.
2) Windshield Wipers and Blades
In some areas of the country, torrential downpours come on in a flash. Poor visibility is dangerous so remember to check your windshield wipers from time to time in the rainy seasons. Blades can be bought at any auto parts store or online if you are looking for a discount, and modern windshield wiper blades are so easy to snap on that you may not even need any special tools.
3) All Vehicle Fluids
Altogether too many motorists don’t check their vehicle fluids in between oil changes. This is especially important on older model cars as they tend to burn oil, have leaks and generally need a little extra TLC. Why not look at your oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and radiator overflow tank while filling up? It only takes a few minutes but can avoid a disaster while on the road. One thing you may want to keep in mind is that radiator coolant can become corrosive if not changed periodically. That is never good for your engine.
4) Belts and Hoses
You may not know how to change belts and hoses, but it is a good idea to give them a quick inspection while checking the fluids. Radiator hoses will certainly show if there is a leak as you’ll see water and green coolant under your car. Belts, on the other hand, can be a bit tricky. Look for warn and frayed spots on the belt. If you see any, take your car in as soon as possible to have it replaced if you don’t have the know-how or tools for a DIY belt change.
5) Fuel Injectors
Modern vehicles all have fuel injection systems which require a bit of regular maintenance. The reason for this is because many gas stations sell inferior petroleum products. Cheap gas can quickly clog up fuel injector heads but an occasional addition of high quality fuel system cleaner to your gas can keep them from gunking up.
Always remember to check those elements which can pose a safety risk first. Some maintenance checks protect your vehicle which is a costly replacement expense if you blow an engine or drop the transmission. However, when it comes to safety that should be your number one priority. Take a few minutes now for that added bit of protection.