Although our cars are an immensely valuable asset, there’s no denying that they require a tremendous amount of maintenance. All of these small tasks can quickly mount up, leading us to push them aside and focus on other areas of our lives, like family or work. But if we don’t take good care of our vehicles in the short term, over time they can suffer extreme levels of decay and deterioration. Luckily, there are a variety of resources available to help us keep our precious cars in good condition. As such, this article will discuss the significance of using a standard auto service to help keep your car up and running for many years to come.
7 Essential Ways to Keep Your Car in Good Condition
1. Knowing the Proper Fuel to Use
You’re probably fully aware that your car runs on fuel, but depending on the make and model of your vehicle, it may require a more unique type. When you visit your local gas station, you’ll likely come across three main types: Regular, Midgrade, and Premium. All of these options contain varying levels of octane, which helps to measure the fuel’s ability to handle high levels of compression. Therefore, the higher the octane number, the more your fuel tank will be able to withstand before it combusts. Although you may believe that using high octane fuel will improve the performance of your car, this isn’t always the case. In fact, if you use the wrong fuel in your car, it could lead to a series of harmful complications because your engine will not be able to process it correctly. The same process applies if you accidentally put petrol in a diesel car or vice versa. In order to reverse these issues, you may have to reach out to an emergency contractor who can help flush out your fuel tank. Fleet Care notes that this service can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $17,000, with the median average sitting at around $4,000. Although accidents like these happen all the time, it’s best to double-check the needs of your fuel tank, before causing a crisis at the gas station. More information about your fuel tank can usually be found on the inside of your fuel flap cover. However, if this section is blank, always consult your owner’s manual for more advice.
2. Fixing the HVAC
After spending the day in cold conditions, there’s simply nothing better than warming yourself up in a cozy car. The same goes for air conditioning. Being able to cool yourself off after a sweltering day in the sun can feel like a real luxury. So, if your car’s HVAC system is all out of sorts, you may be forced to suffer through a plethora of uncomfortable weather conditions. As such, if you start to notice damp spots appearing on top of your dashboard or feel like your system is suffering from weak air pressure, you should get in touch with some experienced AC services as soon as possible. There are a number of different reasons why your HVAC system may be playing up, such as limited levels of refrigerant or issues with your vents. In turn, it’s good practice to take your car to a professional so that they can diagnose the root cause of your problem as well as offer a standard auto service. According to Synchrony, an average AC repair costs $430-$520. However, the source also states that if your car requires a selection of key replacements such as a new compressor, you could expect to pay up to $2,500. Admittedly, this is a pretty steep expense for many drivers, but the AC unit is an essential standard auto service as it helps to keep both the driver and the vehicle comfortable whatever the weather.
3. Repairing Window Damage
A car’s windows can sometimes be viewed as its greatest asset. Not only do these windows allow us to gaze out at the amazing landscapes that surround us, they also give us a clear view of the road ahead, ensuring that we can avoid any accidents or crashes. So, if your window is showing prominent signs of wear and tear, it may be time to look into some effective cracked window repairs. This standard auto service is also useful for those who have suffered a break-in and are keen to restore their beloved cars back to their usual state. Depending on the extent of the damage as well as the overall size of the affected window, Magic Glass Repair explains that drivers could expect to pay $200 to $400 for a new window. In turn, for a reasonably affordable price, you can get your car back to its normal condition, which is important for those who rely on their cars to get them from point A to Point B on a daily basis.
Windshields are also vulnerable to several cracks and dents, especially if you are prone to traveling along treacherous roads. Since these surfaces often contain large amounts of gravel, rocks, and hail, these pieces of debris can often hit our windshield at incredible speed and force. Driving with a cracked windshield can also limit your depth perception and reaction time, making it a deeply unsafe practice. Therefore, it’s paramount that you fix this issue immediately. Caliber Collisions explains that the cost of replacement windshields is around $200 to $400. Thus, this is a small price to pay to ensure that you can travel safely along rugged terrain. Plus, if you repair these annoying cracks early on, you lessen the risk of worsening the damage even more. Thus, you have the chance to nip these problems in the bud and avoid earning a hefty fine.
4. Recognizing When Something is Wrong
Your car is an extremely advanced machine and can easily demonstrate when something is going awry. For example, you may see a warning light pop up on your dashboard, signifying that you need to take your vehicle to a local mechanic as soon as possible. However, not every standard auto service is as simple as a check engine light, and you might be required to use your intuition to check if something’s not quite right. Take for example your muffler. If you’re bombarded by disturbing noises and groans coming from the back of your vehicle, this is a key sign that you need to consult an expert about a car muffler repair service. Mufflers work to reduce the amount of harmful emissions coming out of your car, so if you don’t get it sorted, you could risk pumping a wealth of damaging pollutants throughout your local neighborhood. Not to mention, a damaged muffler can also cause your engine to malfunction, putting you at risk of frequent breakdowns and accidents. AutoZone informs us that a branded muffler costs up to $1,000, but aftermarket counterparts range from $50 to $400. So if you’re not fussed by high-end names, there is a wealth of affordable standard auto services for those who are looking to repair their car on a budget.
5. Knowing What to Do After an Accident
Amaro Law Firm informs us that an average of 19,938 car accidents occur in the US every day. Although we may not like to admit it, this statistic proves that they are very common, so you must know what to do if the worst were to happen. If you’ve suffered a pretty serious accident, be sure to contact the local authorities and seek medical assistance. From there, the medical team will help you get to safety and remedy any ailments. If you’ve suffered a minor collision, it’s best to swap insurance details with the other driver and remain in contact until the issue is completely settled. In the meantime, be sure to take your car to a nearby auto garage so that the mechanic can carry out any vital collision repairs. During this process, a mechanic will assess the overall condition of your car, removing any broken panels or parts to get a closer look at any internal damage that may have occurred. Obviously, the cost of these repairs depends on the severity of the damage, but Key Collisions notes that small issues like dents start at $50, whereas larger problems like extensive paint damage could reach costs of up to $7,500. As such, you may benefit from paying for small repairs out-of-pocket and saving your insurance premiums for a much more problematic issue.
6. Taking Your Vehicle to a Mechanic Regularly
Just like you, your car requires regular checkups. But, instead of visiting a doctor, you must take your car to a registered mechanic. Firestone Complete Auto Care explains that drivers should follow a 30-60-90 rule when building a car maintenance routine. So, you’re advised to take your car for a service every 30,000 miles, so that a mechanic can complete essential assessments such as conducting an oil change, reviewing your tires, and analyzing the conditions of your wiperblades. However, the source notes that if you notice any prominent issues like your car pulling to one side or issues with your gearbox, you should book an advanced service as soon as possible. Regardless of whether you need conventional auto repairs or a more niche truck repair service, it’s vital that you select a mechanic that best suits the needs of your vehicle and budget. For example, ensure that your desired mechanic has the correct certifications and is qualified to work on your type of car or truck. It’s also good practice to ask about the shop’s warranties. This ensures that you can return your car to the mechanic if any problems were to occur after your initial repairs are complete. Thus, by keeping a standard auto service in mind, you are sure to find a qualified mechanic who works in your favor.
7. Protecting Your Vehicle at Home
Even if you live in the safest neighborhood on earth, you could still benefit from protecting your car whilst it sits in your driveway. Though you could install a high-end security system, these devices can be difficult to set up, and they may not stop criminals from trespassing on your property. A good way to protect your vehicle at home is to store it in a secure garage. So, if you’re prone to treating your garage like a dumping ground, you should strive to clear out the junk and make it a more functional space. For those who are dealing with a very ramshackle garage, consider reaching out to a local garage door company. These businesses will typically put you in contact with an experienced contractor who will be able to conduct a series of comprehensive repairs. If your garage is just showing simple signs of old age or decay, the contractor can work to repair key parts of the structure such as the springs or the hinges. Yet, if the unit is too far gone, it may require a complete garage door replacement. Angi explains that the cost of this service varies greatly depending on the size of your garage and the type of door you desire. However, they estimate that drivers could expect to pay as low as $500 and as high as $2,000, with the national average standing at $1,250. Thus, this standard auto service offers you the chance to invest in both your car and your home, allowing you to experience an increase in value for both assets.
Owning a nice car can feel like a real privilege in this day and age, so owners must continue to monitor and maintain the quality of their vehicles. This is because not only can a damaged vehicle potentially cause you to experience a wealth of harmful accidents, but it can also significantly reduce the value of your car. Therefore, if you’re eager to take better care of your cherished car, be sure to focus on the importance of using a standard auto service.