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Essential Car Maintenance: 4 Tasks Every Driver Should Know

12/03/2023

Too few drivers understand their car’s systems or its resources, and how often they need to be maintained. Poor car maintenance can lead to accidents as well as breakdowns. It’s important to learn essential things about cars before driving to ensure a safe journey. For those who are novices when it comes to car maintenance, check out this list of the four most important car maintenance tasks. You may find that some of these could help you to keep your car moving and driving safely.

A sports car on the road

Photo by Erik Mclean

Wheel Alignment

Without question, one of the most important aspects of driving is where the rubber meets the road. Your wheel alignment affects how efficiently your car accelerates and, more importantly, brakes. This is the angle at which your car’s tire contacts the road beneath them. Incorrect wheel alignment can make your vehicle handle unpredictably, increase your braking distance, and cause you to burn more fuel when accelerating. Your wheel alignment can be affected by your parking. If one side of your car is up on a curb, it can put excess pressure on the roadside of your vehicle and put your wheels into poor alignment over time.

Getting your wheel alignment checked and corrected regularly is important, especially if you want to keep your vehicle in the best possible condition and drive safely. Unfortunately, undertaking this job is almost impossible to do on your own. Consider having it completed by a qualified and experienced mechanic who knows what they are doing. You can have your wheels aligned at Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center and drive your car away with confidence. They have the know-how and the equipment to get the job done and give you a safer handling car.

Checking Your Fluids

Cars need more than petrol to run. Your engine relies on oil to keep it lubricated and operating efficiently. Likewise, your brakes and transmission need lubrication to ensure they are working correctly, and no excess wear is caused as you drive your vehicle. On top of these lubricants, your radiator needs coolant to function properly, and you also need screen wash to make sure you can clean your windows. All of these fluids need to be monitored and topped up or changed regularly.

Although oil changes can be done at home, it is best if they are completed by an experienced car mechanic. As you expect, not all motor oils are the same. Adding the incorrect oil to your engine could be doing more harm than good. It is not only the oil that needs to be replaced in your car, your car’s oil system will use at least one filter that needs to be changed too. Changing the oil in an engine is a messy job that is best left to the professionals as part of a regular maintenance check-up.

car maintenance, close up of vehicle engine

Photo by George Sultan

The Importance of Car Lights

Your car is ringed by lights. The headlights on the front of your car are probably the most important, and any issues you have with your car’s front lights need to be addressed immediately. Replacing a bulb or a headlight assembly can be done at home. However, it is worth taking your car to a professional to get the job done right. On high-end exotic vehicles, this is highly recommended. The bulbs and headlight assemblies that these cars use are incredibly expensive and need to be treated with care. If you drive a sports car or exotic vehicle, leave the job to a mechanic you trust that has experience with your model of vehicle.

There are lights at the rear, sides, and the interior of your car that may also require maintenance. Over time, they might also need replacing. Your brake lights are just as important as your headlights. Any issues that occur should be addressed quickly. Other drivers need to be able to see that you are braking to avoid causing an accident on the roads. Make sure your turning lights, or blinkers, at the side of the car, are working correctly too.

Fiat 500 white car

Update Your Windshield Wipers

This is by far the most common problem to plague drivers. Fortunately, is an easy fix that can be completed in minutes, even if you are not very experienced in car maintenance! Poor quality and worn wipers can make it difficult to drive in the rain, especially if it is a particularly heavy rainstorm. This can cause accidents by reducing your vision when driving. Replacing wiper blades is easy to do, and only takes a few minutes. Once the job is done, you will be able to maintain complete vision on the road whatever the weather.

Not all wiper blades are the same, and you need to find out which is right for your car. You can do this by searching online or by consulting the staff at an auto parts retailer. They have access to databases to find the right parts for your vehicle. Follow the instructions on the box to remove your existing wipers and replace them. Most wipers simply click into the wiper arms to attach or detach, and swapping them can be done in just a few minutes.

Car maintenance is an important part of driving and ensuring you have a smooth road trip. You need all of your car’s systems and resources to be operating at their peak to ensure you are driving safely. Ensure you complete these maintenance tasks at least once a year to drive your vehicle with confidence.

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