The Long-Term Benefits of Car Maintenance
Those two words are not something that most car owners want to hear or think about. Most of the time, car owners associate maintenance with taking their cars to the mechanics to fix things. At a bare minimum, maintenance means some sort of extra cost, whether that equates to a full mechanic’s visit or $5 spent on some air freshener to get the funk out of your car’s upholstery.
The short-term monetary investment is something to consider, for sure. Many people would rather spend that money on a new pair of shoes, a video game, or gas money for a weekend trip. But essential car maintenance doesn’t take very long to complete, and it’s not very much money when it comes down to it. Best of all? It can have lasting benefits that can save you even more time and money down the road.
Long Term Benefits of Car Maintenance
Your Car Will Last Longer
Regular maintenance is like going to the doctor for a checkup, getting regular exercise, taking your multivitamin, and eating healthy foods. You don’t always need medication or special treatment after every routine visit. Still, by doing little preventative steps toward keeping your body healthy, you’ll be staving off more significant medical issues further on down the road. If you maintain a sedentary lifestyle or eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, your body might thank you today, but it might begin to revolt as you age.
The same goes for your car. Making sure to change your oil regularly, change your air filter, and even keep it clean will boost its resale value as well as making sure its more prominent components stave off expensive repairs.
You’ll Have Fewer “Whoops” Moments
Have you ever postponed replacing your windshield wipers over and over until you hit a massive rainstorm and realize how necessary that change was?
Car owners will undoubtedly have whoops moments. Perhaps it’s forgetting to restock the first aid kit and realizing you need a bandaid on the road. Or, maybe it’s forgetting to put your new insurance card in the car after you receive it in the mail. In the midwest, and especially during snowstorms in the winter in Kansas and Oklahoma, you’re in trouble if you get stranded on the side of the road. But you can prevent big “whoops” moments, like a flat tire or a smoking engine, by doing little maintenance tasks over a short period.
You’ll Have the Reassurance That Your Car Is Safe to Travel In
Think back to your first car. For many of us, it was probably a clunker. You might have even been scared to drive in it. The check engine light was always on, and you didn’t have the money to fix it. You went a little too long with your worn-out tires before you got them replaced. Or, maybe there was a continual clunk under the car that you never addressed. These were all things that worried you – and that worry stemmed out of safety.
When you perform regular maintenance, you do two things. First, you rule out issues caused by the most fundamental problems – like failing to add oil to your car. But it also gives you a chance to really get acquainted with your vehicle and notice when things look or sound off. This will help you catch issues before they become huge problems.
Regular Car Checkups Will Cost Less
Finally, the more preventative maintenance you do on a car, the less prominent maintenance you’ll have to do down the line. For instance, regularly changing your air filter keeps your gas consumption down, your engine running smoothly, and it even keeps it on the road. An air filter doesn’t cost much money – but replacing an engine does.
What Should My Regular Maintenance List Look Like?
Everyone maintains their cars differently, but there are a few key things all car owners should do every once and awhile.
- Take a peek at the owner’s manual. Every car comes with one, but it’s rare that car owners will actually take the time to read their manual. However, each manual gives detailed instructions on how to properly maintain your car. Each car will have different guidelines for maintenance, so use the manual for your guide.
- Check the pressure on your tires at least once per month. You will find the correct pressure for your tires listed in your manual. Buy a tire pressure gauge and learn to do it yourself. If you’re running low on air, take your car to an air filling station as soon as you can.
- Check the fluids under your hood and make sure you are well-stocked. Do this every time you get gas, or check the manual for a specific schedule for your car.
- Change your wiper blades once every six months. If you notice they stop working or streak before then, replace them. This will ensure your visibility is always safe.
- Check your air filter and keep a record of the times you change it. Your filter should be white or mostly white if it is still working well. If it is dark, or if it has been a maximum of 15,000 miles since the last time you changed your air filter, then change it.
- Maintain a clean battery. Every two months or so, check your battery for signs of corrosion. If you notice any, carefully disconnect the cables from the terminals and clean the terminals with a baking soda solution and a wire brush. From there, use a terminal lubricant to keep the terminals clean and replace the cables.
- Get your oil changed according to your manual. Consult your car’s specific manual for how often you need to change your oil. Typically it is at least once a year for even the least-driven cars. If you drive your vehicle frequently and for long distances, you will need to change it more often.
Do these necessary maintenance steps, and you’ll notice your car runs a lot more smoothly. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to skip a visit to the mechanic once a year, but essential maintenance will ensure that your truck is healthier and has to have fewer emergency visits.
Have car maintenance issues you’re unsure you can fix yourself? Schedule to meet with one of our skilled mechanics today. Either stop by one of our Oklahoma locations in Purcell, or our Leavenworth, Kansas location. Or, click here and schedule maintenance using our online form.