Every vehicle needs regular maintenance and routine servicing. How often you bring it to the mechanic depends on the type of vehicle, how old it is, and whether it is still under warranty or not. An automobile that is under warranty usually has very specific maintenance milestones that must be met if you don't want to void the warranty, but here are some general guidelines for caring for your vehicle:
Read Your Owner's Manual
Your owner's manual will spell out exactly what kind of maintenance they recommend for your vehicle and how often it should be performed. If you have bought your car used and the owner's manual wasn't included with the purchase, you can find most vehicle manuals online. Follow this maintenance schedule. If you can't find your manual, ask your mechanic what schedule they recommend.
Perform A Pre-Trip Inspection
Professional semi-truck drivers check over their rig before every trip. You don't necessarily need to inspect your vehicle before a trip to the grocery store, but it is a good idea to get into the habit of checking over your vehicle at least once a month. You will also want to check it before going on a road trip. Use a tire gauge to check the air pressure in your tires and add air if necessary. Inspect the tires for any cracks or bulges and examine the remaining tread. Open the hood and check the fluid levels of the engine oil, transmission, brakes, radiator, and windshield wipers. Turn on your wipers, blinkers, and emergency hazard lights. Have someone help you to check your brake lights are working properly.
Pack An Emergency Kit
Emergencies happen on the road all the time, and roadside assistance won't always be available. Prepare for the worst by gathering useful items and placing in a bag or box in the trunk. A fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, battery jumper cables, duct tape, replacement windshield wipers, a snow shovel, a bag of cat litter for tires stuck in the snow or on ice, a spare pair of gloves, a raincoat, a couple of gallons of water, emergency flares, and a warm blanket should all be included in every vehicle you own.
Keep A Service Record
Servicing your vehicle regularly and as scheduled will not only help you get the best out of your vehicle, it will help you get the maximum return on your investment when it comes time to sell it. Save your receipts and keep a log of what is done when and where.
For more information, contact a local auto servicing shop.