5 Basic Car Maintenance Tips People Often Overlook

If your idea of car maintenance merely involves routine oil changes, perhaps it's time you considered these important services before your car's lifespan deteriorates.

Your car is perhaps the most costly and important item you own besides your home. While oil change is an important aspect of your car's maintenance, drivers often ignore these issues.

Here are some commonly overlooked services that you must keep in mind the next time you change your car's oil.

1. Wheel Alignment

Maintaining proper wheel alignment can make your vehicle easier to drive. Additionally, proper alignment helps prolong your tires' lifespan, improve the efficiency of your brakes, and enhance overall safety.

While it's advisable to consult the maintenance schedule proposed by your vehicle's manufacturer, most vehicle manufacturers recommend this service every 20,000-30,000 miles.

You'll discover that costs differ depending on the vehicle's size and whether you'll need a two or four-wheel alignment.

Bear in mind that this service will at times reveal other issues, for instance problems with the braking or steering systems. For this reason, paying close attention to the signs of poor alignment is vital to your vehicle's overall roadworthiness and safety.

2. Rotating Tires and Examining Pressure

Your tires are your vehicle's most vital safety component; they play an important role in moving a car and maintaining it on the road. However, numerous people seem to ignore this major item during car maintenance.

There are two major maintenance items when it comes to tires. The first is tire rotation and nothing causes tires to wear faster than disregarding rotation.

Most mechanics recommend tire rotation every six months or 50,000 miles. Depending on the kind of drivetrain your car has, (front, rear, or four-wheel drive etc), auto manufacturers recommend how tire rotation should occur-you can find this in a service or owner's manual.

The second neglected item is tire pressure, which offers improved road traction and enhances your fuel economy. Most mechanics and tire manufacturers recommend you check your tire pressure monthly.

3. Power Steering

Drivers rarely consider this service until it's too late. The malfunction of a part or leak in the hydraulics could make steering extremely difficult while simultaneously causing costly damage to your vehicle's pinion and rack components.

It's advisable you have the power steering fluid examined whenever you take your car for an oil change. If this isn't part of your maintenance package, you can access the service at a small cost.

The most apparent sign of power steering issues is a whining sound whenever you turn the steering wheel, particularly during sharp turns. The noise may increase in severity or frequency as fluid loss occurs or as the pump starts failing.

4. Replacement of Wiper Blades

Do you constantly have a hard time looking out the windshield because of streaks and precipitation patches? This is a good indication that you need to replace your wipers. While it sounds simple, people often overlook this issue.

Wipers play a vital safety role as they clear the windshield of snow or rain to allow for improved visibility. You'll notice that poorly performing wipers can limit vision throughout inclement weather considerably, particularly at night.

According to mechanics, you should change wipers every six months on average. However, you should access this service more frequently if you reside in an area that's extremely hot or experiences lengthy winters.

5. Transmission

Your car's transmission enables the engine to "get in gear" while driving. Whether you have a manual or automatic transmission, you must beware of the manufacturer's recommendations and have it serviced appropriately.

For most cars, routine maintenance involves cleaning or replacing the filter, cleaning and checking the pan as well as fluid replacement.

At times, routine maintenance may reveal larger problems, which could save you money if fixed instantly. Your car's manual will specify the manufacturer's proposed frequency for service.

Final Thoughts

Although numerous major automotive systems and components need occasional maintenance, drivers often neglect them. However, it's important you have them examined regularly to help avoid unsafe conditions or mechanical breakdowns.

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