You’ve just bought a new vehicle. It’s got that new car smell, the paint is shining and the interior is pristine. Now it’s time to drive it off the lot and into the world (or road). That perfect car won’t be so perfect anymore.
Well, maybe it won’t be perfect—but there are things you can do to take care of your new vehicle and maintain it as best as you can.
Let’s go over five vehicle maintenance tips that will keep you and your car happy for years to come.
1. Get routine oil changes
To keep your vehicle running as smooth as can be, you should be changing your oil every 5,000 kilometres. You can visit a mechanic and they’ll do an oil change for you. Or if you’re up for the challenge and want to save a few bucks, you can change it yourself (though it’s really not as hard as it may seem). Check out Edmunds’ oil change article and video tutorial and give it a try!
2. Keep an eye on the tire pressure
Your tires need enough air to drive properly and keep you safe, so this tip is an important one. When your tires aren’t properly inflated, they won’t handle as well and are at an increased risk of blowing out.
Make sure you check your tire pressure when your tires are cold, or before you’ve driven on them. You can use a tire pressure gauge (or one at the gas station if it’s not too far away) and make sure you know the recommended tire pressure for your car. You can usually find that in the owner’s manual. If your tires are running a little low on air, fill ‘em up! It’s a good idea to check your tires once a month and before any road trips or extended travel.
3. Wash your car frequently
This tip may seem obvious but it’s one that’s easily put to the side. The more you wash your car, the less chance for dirt to build up and eventually cause rust. Try to wash your car every few weeks—though you may want to wash it more during the winter months when the roads are filled with salt. You can drive through a wash at a gas station or take it to a wand wash and hose it down yourself. If you’re doing it manually, be sure to wash the body then hose out the fender walls and undercarriage to get rid of road salt. The more you wash your car, the more you can keep its cleanliness under control and prevent future rust.
4. Replace the air filters
Your car has two air filters: one for the cabin and one for the engine. You should change both filters every 15,000 to 30,000 kilometres, or around once a year. Your cabin air filter is responsible for cleaning the air you breathe inside your vehicle. You don’t want to be breathing in dirt and other unwanted particles so if the filter is looking black, it’s probably time for a change.
The same goes for your engine air filter—if it’s looking black or you can’t see through it when you hold it up to light, it’s time to replace it. Your engine air filter affects the quality and quantity of air going into your engine. When it’s filled with dirt, your engine has to work harder which can increase fuel consumption and harmful emissions. It’s important to check and change both air filters regularly for optimum safety and performance.
5. Change your tires with the seasons
If you live in a place with tricky terrain, you may want to invest in a set of winter tires for the snowy months. Use them while there’s snow on the ground but make sure you change them up when the temperatures rise. You can make the switch to your all-seasons when the temperature consistently stays above seven degrees celsius. Your snow tires wear faster once you’re hitting those double-digit temperatures so it’s best to switch them out when the weather gets nicer.
Buying a new vehicle is a big deal and you want to keep it as new as you can for as long as you can! With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your vehicle clean and running smoothly for years to come.