7 Car Hacks for Maintaining Your Family Car

Contemporary cars require less frequent service. You do not need to change spark plugs, breaker points, and condensers very often. Body rust is no longer an acceptable byproduct and many parts are lubed for life. Still, this is not to say that we are free from vehicle maintenance. In fact, it is the only way to keep it running well and have the most bang for your buck. You have a chance to increase the longevity, as well as performance and safety of the family vehicle. So, ready to roll up the sleeves?

Under pressure

Before any longer trips and preferably once a month, you need to check the inflation pressure in the tires (including the spare one). The best way to pull this off is with the help of an accurate tire-pressure gauge. The trick is to carry out the test when the tires are cold and to adhere to the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer (not the one displayed on the tire’s sidewall). Digital tire-pressure gauges do the trick just fine, although there are excellent pencil-type tools out there as well.

Boosting battery life

Car batteries are the heart and soul of our beloved four-wheeled vehicles. To make sure your car has enough zap to keep rolling, you can change the battery or increase its lifespan. To achieve the latter goal, take advantage of some of the following best practices. Limit short-term rides, control the corrosion, turn off the lights when not needed, test your battery often, and shop around for quality products such as Bosch driving lights

Checking engine oil

For a vehicle that is in good condition, the process of checking the engine oil should take place on a monthly basis. Just remember to park the car on a ground level for accurate dipstick reading. In addition, refrain from overfilling and react immediately if you notice a leak. Bear in mind that the engine oil filter has to be replaced periodically, at approximately every 7,500 miles or six months. Then again, specialized engines (turbocharged and diesel) may call for more frequent changes.

Taking a look at the brakes

Although many car owners rely on shop checks and servicing, you can take care of the brakes yourself. First, you need to remove all the tires and then inspect the brake system thoroughly. Keep a close eye on worn pads and linings that might need replacing as well as scratched rotors and drums. See which parts can be repaired and what are those that have fulfilled their duty. Do this twice per year and more often in case you are driving more miles.

Monitoring other fluids

Examining the fluid levels is one of the best ways to maintain your car’s health. Apart from engine oil, you also need to pay attention to transmission fluid, antifreeze, power steering fluid, brake fluid and wiper fluid. Keeping them in check will save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. Do not wait for the light on the dash to pop up because that way, you are putting yourself and your family at an unnecessary, perilous risk.

Rim cleaning

Cleaning your rims is more than an effort to get that gleaming set of wheels and make your car look new. This maintenance task also keeps highly-corrosive substances like brake dust at bay and prevents permanent damage. You must utilize the right cleaning techniques and pick a cleaner made from the same materials your wheels are made of. Opt for a natural sea sponge because they provide an unparalleled softness and flexibility.  Spray, rub and scrub until you see the sparkles and do not neglect any hard-to-reach areas.

Replacing air filters

Air filters do not only keep the air inside fresh and clean but also enhance vehicle performance significantly. Namely, replacing them is a quick and simple DIY effort, which pays dividends by prolonging engine life and giving you better gas mileage. So, remove the air filter element and inspect it against strong light. If you cannot see the light coming through, a replacement is needed. Typically, new filters are added once a year or at every 12,000 miles.

Like clockwork

There are many things you can do to make your car last longer and perform better. Each car and driver has its own maintenance schedule. Nevertheless, give more thought to what is happening under the hood. Conduct periodic checks and procedures to ensure your car is working like a charm. Educate yourself and read the owner’s manual if you haven’t by now. Most of the maintenance can be tackled without calling a mechanic, so make an effort to get the best value and longest life out of your family car.

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