Taking care of your automobile just makes good sense. Sure, you can save money by skipping maintenance, but you are likely to pay for it in the long run. Research has shown that neglecting vehicles costs the U.S. economy more than $2 billion a year. Here are some of the most important maintenance tasks that will help keep your vehicle on the road and out of the shop.
One of the most important maintenance items is taking care of your tires. Tires that are overly worn or improperly inflated can reduce your gas mileage and also present a safety hazard. Experts recommend having your tire alignment checked every 6,000 miles or so, or about every time you get your oil changed. You also should have your tires rotated every 7,500 miles or sooner if your tire company or auto manufacturer recommends it. Not having your tires rotated can lead to uneven wear that causes them to wear out faster. You also need to keep sure your tires are properly inflated. Follow the directions the tire company puts on your tires for proper inflation. Tires that have too much or too little air can be more prone to blowouts and also may reduce your fuel economy. You also should get the tires replaced once they have reached their mileage limit. Since new tires are expensive, you can save money by buying quality used tires.
Another common car maintenance task that owners need to do is to have oil and other fluids changed regularly. Most cars need the oil changed about every 3,000-5,000 miles. To find out what is recommended, check your car’s owners manual. Other fluids that periodically need to be changed include your brake fluid and your transmission fluid.
There are many other car maintenance tasks to take care of. Replacing windshield wipers when they are worn is important. So is getting your battery checked and your air filter replaced. You also want to take care of small problems before they become big ones, such as a chip in your windshield or a slow leak in a tire. This kind of maintenance will save you money in the long run.
Taking care of your car costs a little money, but it will save you a lot of money down the road. On the other hand, skipping regular maintenance might save you a few dollars now, but it can cost you dearly later on.