When it comes to your car, performing regular preventive maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to keep your family vehicle running like new for longer. Just like regular checkups at the doctor are needed to maintain your health, the same is true when it comes to the basics of your automobile. Here’s 199ride’s list of simple tips to keep your family car in great shape and save you money along the way.
Schedule routine oil changes
Just as water is needed for human survival, oil is essential in cooling and cleaning your engine, both of which help to keep your vehicle in great shape and running smoothly. When your vehicle is low on oil, or the oil is dirty, the performance of your engine will begin to deteriorate. If ignored for too long, your car will begin to overheat and the engine will eventually fail.
When it comes to transporting your family back and forth, having a reliable vehicle is important. Keeping up-to-date with oil changes helps prolong the life of your vehicle and cuts down on expensive repair costs associated with engine failure.
Ideally, you should check the oil in your car once a month. To do this, simply open the hood of your car, remove the oil dipstick and wipe with a lint-free cloth. Insert the dipstick back into the pipe and look at the film of oil at the bottom of the stick. If the color is dark or dirty looking or the film is below the level marker, it may be time to have your oil changed or add clean oil to your car.
If you prefer to go the handy route, you can add motor oil yourself, but be careful not to overfill your engine, as this can cause the oil pump pressure to build and eventually burst. No experience with cars? No problem! Give your local shop a call to schedule an oil change and keep your car running smoothly.
Rotate your tires
No matter what type of car you drive, rotating your tires helps to keep the wear of your tires balanced for longer. Most makes and models recommend tire rotations every six months or 5,000 to 6,000 miles. This task is simple to do and only requires a jack, spare tire, and lug wrench.
If you’re short on time, take your vehicle into a shop to have your tires rotated. Auto centers typically include tire rotation during routine oil changes.
Pay attention to your tire tread depth
As a parent, there is nothing more important than keeping your family safe on the road. Whether you’re preparing for a cross-country road trip, or gearing up for a drive on wet or icy roads, knowing the condition of your tires is essential in ensuring the safety of your vehicle.
Most new tires typically come with 10/32” or 11/32” tread depths. Depending on driving conditions, frequency, and average distance, your tires should last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. It’s recommended that after 5 years of use, you inspect your tires at least once every year.
Checking the tread depth on your tires doesn’t require a trip to an auto shop. One simple way to test your tire’s tread depth is with a tread depth gauge. These handheld gauges are inexpensive and can be found at most auto parts stores. To get an accurate reading, all you have to do is insert the probe of the gauge into the center of the tread groove. When you remove the gauge, you will see the reading for that tire. It’s best to check each tire separately and run an average of the four readings, as tread imbalance can occur if your car is out of alignment, or the air pressure in your tires is incorrect.
Another easy to way to determine the wear of your treads is by inserting a penny into the groove of your tire’s tread with Lincoln’s head upside down facing out. If most of Lincoln’s head is visible, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch. This means the treads have worn thin and it is time to replace your tires. For more information on testing tire tread depth, click here.
Replace windshield wipers twice yearly
Wisconsin winters are known to bring on heavy snowfalls. There’s nothing more inconvenient than getting caught in a snowstorm with wiper blades that fail to clear your windshield and cause limited visibility. To prevent this, it is recommended that you replace your wipers every six months to keep your blades from causing streaks on your windshield.
Quality Care Begins with a Quality Vehicle from 199ride.com
The best way to increase the life of your car is to invest in a quality family vehicle from 199ride.com. Come see us at any of our four locations to find a nicer, newer™, worry-free vehicle your whole family can depend on. Visit our dealerships: Green Bay Auto, Appleton Auto, Wausau Auto, and Antigo Auto today to find a high quality, safe, and dependable vehicle that will take your family the extra mile.