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Automobiles are often more than just the means to get you where you need to go. For many people, their car is deeply tied to their identity and represent who they are as an individual. If you’re one of these people, you know that keeping your vehicle in good condition and running smoothly can sometimes be as important as keeping yourself in good shape and practicing preventative medicine to keep health problems from cropping up.

Keeping your car in tip-top shape requires maintenance and regular upkeep, but it also depends on how you use your vehicle and how you drive. Taking good care of your car will help prevent breakdowns, keep you safe on the road, and keep your auto insurance affordable. Here are some ways to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape this year!

man checking car engines

1) Have Regular Checkups

While you do your best to keep up with regular maintenance, it can be tough for anyone to remember when an oil change is due. Schedule a service checkup with your mechanic every six months. While there, ask your mechanic what other issues they recommend you watch out for and how often they should be checked. If you’re looking for some extra TLC, ask about other simple things you can do yourself that’ll extend your car’s life and keep your engine running smoothly. For example: add coolant every two years, use motor oil conditioner regularly, have air filters changed annually, have tires rotated twice per year, and so on.

2) Get Fluids Replaced

Keeping your car well-hydrated is essential for various reasons, but mostly because it helps keep it working well. It’s also a good idea to check on your coolant levels from time to time. If you do notice that something seems off, be sure to get it checked out ASAP! You don’t want an issue to develop into a larger problem while you wait and figure things out. Don’t forget about washing, either; regular maintenance can help protect it against corrosion and rust.

3) Record Your Maintenance History

Keeping track of your car’s maintenance is vital—not only can it help you spot any concerns or issues with your vehicle, but it also gives you a useful point of reference when your mechanic had trouble with a past issue. Plus, knowing what work you’ve done on your car makes it easier to explain exactly how far along you are (and how much more work might be needed) should something need repairs.

4) Check Tire Tread

The easiest way to ensure your car is always in tip-top shape is to inspect its tires for the tread. The best way to check your tire tread? Use a quarter! Insert it into a groove and make sure that you can see at least two full heads and two full tails of George Washington. If you can, your tires require replacing.

5) Be Gentle on the Pedals

Flooring it when you don’t need to or driving over bumps or potholes can damage your engine and cause oil leaks. If you notice that your car is consuming more oil than usual, bring it into a shop for inspection. It may need an oil change or other tune-up services. Keeping up with these maintenance needs can help extend the life of your vehicle.

6) Check Your Auto Glass

If you drive around with a cracked windshield, you’re doing your car and yourself a disservice. Cracks can lead to more serious problems like more expensive windshield replacements or even cracks that spread further along with your window, potentially causing damage elsewhere. It’s always better to prevent small issues from becoming big ones by keeping an eye on what’s happening under your hood. That’s why you might need an auto glass replacement service sooner rather than later. This way, any imperfections can be spotted before they lead to bigger breakdowns—which could mean higher costs down the road. Whether it’s a rock hitting your windshield when driving on an open highway or general wear and tear, regular inspections will ensure these difficulties are kept at bay.

7) Take Good Care of Leather Seats

Leather seats are a nice touch, but they also require extra maintenance. The leather soaks up oil and other liquids and is prone to stains, cracks, and fading. Leather doesn’t tend to respond well to harsh cleaning chemicals, either—you can end up removing leather’s natural oils if you’re not careful.

8) Get an Oil Change at Least Every Six Months

Getting an oil change at least every six months is a good idea for your car’s health. Not only will it keep your engine running smoothly, but regular maintenance can also help catch major problems before they have a chance to impact your ride or be more costly down the road. Additionally, you should also inspect your tires regularly—most experts recommend rotating tires every 6,000 to 10,000 miles depending on how much you drive.

The auto industry is as big as it has ever been. With so many new technologies and advancements, cars have become more complicated than ever before. Many people may not realize that caring for your vehicle doesn’t just mean taking it in for an oil change; there are many things you can do to make sure your car runs smoothly for years to come.

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