While many drivers know how important having professional maintenance performed on their car is, some may not know how to take care of their car while at home. This can be especially important for those who will be spending a significant amount of time at home, such as during a pandemic. Putting off car maintenance can lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road, so it is important to be proactive and do what you can to keep your car in good condition.
The following are the top 10 things drivers can do to take care of their car while at home:
1. Park in a Garage if Possible.
Parking in a garage can help protect your car from the elements and extend its life. A surprising number of drivers don’t have a garage, so if you can, try to find a spot to park your car that is covered. Many damages to vehicles, such as rust and faded paint, can be prevented by parking in a garage. If you don’t have a garage, try to park in the shade as much as possible.
2. Keep the Interior Clean.
It is important to keep your car’s interior clean, as dirt and dust can damage the surfaces over time. Make sure to vacuum and clean all the surfaces on a regular basis. In addition, make sure to change your air filter every few months. A dirty air filter will not only reduce the air quality in your car, but it can also damage the engine over time.
3. Check the Oil and Fluid Levels.
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your car is to check the oil and fluid levels on a regular basis. Running low on oil or fluid can damage the engine or other parts of the car. You should also check the tire pressure and alignment and the brakes and transmission.
4. Change the Oil and Spark Plugs.
Another important task that should be done regularly is changing the oil and spark plugs. Old oil can damage the engine, while old spark plugs can cause performance and fuel economy problems. Most of these tasks can be done yourself, but you can always take your car to a professional if you are not comfortable doing them.
5. Check the Battery and Windshield.
Another important thing to check is the battery and windshield. The battery should be checked for corrosion and leaks, and the windshield should be checked for cracks and chips. If there are any problems with either of these items, they should be fixed as soon as possible.
6. Preserve the Battery.
In addition to checking the battery, it is also important to preserve it. One way to do this is by making sure the terminals are clean and free of corrosion. You can also buy a battery charger to keep in your car so that you can keep the battery charged when not in use! These devices are especially important in cold weather climates.
7. Keep the Tires in Good Shape.
It is also important to keep the tires in good shape. You can do this by checking the tread depth and inflating them to the correct pressure. You should also rotate the tires every 6,000 miles. Ignoring the tires can lead to decreased fuel economy and premature wear. It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your car in case of a flat tire.
8. Use a Car Cover.
If you are not able to park in a garage or under a tree, you can protect your car from the elements by using a car cover. This will help keep the paint from fading and the interior from becoming too dusty. Most car covers are inexpensive and can be found at most stores.
9. Maintain Proper Levels of Fluids.
It is also important to maintain proper levels of fluids in other parts of the car, such as the washer fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Low levels of these fluids can lead to problems with the car’s performance or even damage it over time. You can easily check the levels of these fluids by looking in your car’s owner’s manual.
10. Get Regular Maintenance.
The best way to take care of your car is to get regular maintenance from a professional. This will ensure that all the important parts of the car are properly taken care of and that any potential problems are caught early. You should also have your car inspected before long road trips or winter weather hits. This can prevent any problems from occurring while you are on the road or in the middle of a snowstorm.
The Risks of Putting Off Maintenance
While it is important to take care of your car at home, it is also important to remember that there are some tasks that should only be done by a professional. Putting off regular maintenance can lead to more expensive problems down the road. It can also be dangerous to drive a car that has not been properly maintained.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started on taking care of your car today! Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will also help keep your car running smoothly and safely.
Hire a Professional When Needed
While most of the tasks in this guide can be done by the average driver, some tasks should only be done by a professional. These tasks include significant repairs, such as engine work or brake repair, and routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tune-ups. If you are not comfortable doing these tasks yourself, it is best to take your car to a professional. This will help ensure that the car is adequately taken care of and that any potential problems are caught early.
Auto maintenance is an essential part of car ownership, no matter how often you drive your vehicle. By following some simple tips, you can keep your car in good condition and avoid expensive repairs down the road!