Here at Johnston’s Automotive, we want your vehicles to be well taken care of. Because of this, we thought it would be fitting to explain a bit about the steps you can take by yourself to ensure that your vehicle is in the best shape possible.
Preventative maintenance is the name of the game! Though there are things that most people simply cannot do at home, there are quite a few things that can be done that only take a few moments and extend the life of your vehicle by years. Checking fluid levels on a regular basis is a huge help to maintaining the health of your engine, and can help you identify a problem in the early stages. With early detection of small vehicle problems, we can correct them before the small problems become big problems.
Easily forgotten, but extremely important to your vehicle is your engine oil. If your vehicle is running low, fill it up! If the oil appears dirty or has a foul smell, you should have it changed. Changing the oil filter is another important step in maintaining your vehicle’s health.
Checking your tires for uneven wear is another great way to notice if something is amiss. Odd and uneven tire wear is an indication that your alignment or suspension calibrations are incorrect. At this point it is prudent to let the professionals take a look at the problem and have it solved immediately. Allowing your tires to wear down unnaturally can cause a tire’s strength to become compromised and increase the danger of a blow out. Additionally, spending money on new tires more often than you need to is just a waste of cash.
One thing that many folks often pass over is the coolant in their radiator. Running your car without engine coolant is like trying to run a triathlon while dehydrated; you may start off just fine but it’s only a matter of time before you overheat and need to stop entirely. To check your engine coolant, take a look at the levels in the reserve tank. Don’t remove the cap to the radiator! Unless the car has been sitting for several hours and is completely cooled down. Otherwise you could have scalding hot water gushing all over yourself and the car.
Inspecting your battery’s health is another quick process you can do at your leisure. Checking the terminals or posts is a good idea; if corrosion has built up on these terminals, it may have been caused by a leak of acid around the terminal and you may not even be able to start your vehicle.
Automatic and manual transmission fluid should also be checked for level and condition on a regular basis. Inspecting these fluid levels is necessary when it comes to identifying a possible leaking transmission and poor fluid condition will cause rapid wear. As we all know, transmission problems quickly rack up a painful bill. There are several other checks that are important to increasing the life cycle of your vehicle.
Most of these steps should be taken on a monthly basis at the very least. Performing these checks before you take a long trip is definitely advisable; and letting a professional mechanic at Johnston’s Automotive go through the whole process will save you time. Let us be the ones to ensure that your driving experience is rewarding and pleasurable. After all, we love your cars as much as you do.