Cars are complex mechanical marvels. However, they do eventually breakdown. The best way to prevent car breakdowns is preventative maintenance. You can do many of the steps of preventative maintenance at home. For those that can’t, these can be quick stops at your local oil change shop. These tips can help, especially if planning a road trip.
What is Preventative Maintenance?
Preventative maintenance is much like it sounds. It’s regular servicing of equipment to prevent future failure. With cars, this means having a routine check-up to regularly. This ensures that all of the moving parts are in tip-top form.
Here are five of the most important maintenance projects that will keep your car on the road:
1. Maintain Regular Services
For some, especially those with older cars, these services are easy enough to do from home with the tools you have in your garage. But for those with newer cars, or those who are less mechanically inclined, you may want to hire a professional for these services:
2. Non-aggressive Driving
Sometimes, aggressive driving is necessary, but most of the time, it’s not. Developing healthy driving habits will extend the life of your car by reducing the heavy wear on the mechanical workings.
Some examples of how aggressive driving can damage your car’s engine, and promote car breakdowns are below:
3. Avoid Hauling Extra Weight
In winter weather, having excess weight in the back of your car can help with traction, but it’s unnecessary for the rest of the year to haul around sandbags, bricks, and random excess. When you haul extra weight, your car has to work harder to maintain its operation. Extra weight can also reduce your gas mileage, making your car less efficient than it could be.
4. Don’t Ignore the Warning Lights on Your Instrument Panel
Every one of those lights is there for a reason. When a light pops on in your dash, it’s a warning that something isn’t right. If you’re unfamiliar with what the light is telling you, take a look at the user manual for your car. Each light is outlined in it and there are also solutions mentioned for troubleshooting the problem.
You can also go to any local parts store and ask them to run a diagnostics scan on your car. They have tools to plug into your car’s system and read the warning light triggers. Jot down the codes you get and take them to a mechanic for repairs.
5. Learn to Listen to Your Car
Your car will always have road-noise, the pedals will always have a vibration, and the steering wheel will always have a certain feel as you drive. Pay close attention to these things, and be aware of any change in them as you drive.
Especially in older model cars, you’ll often hear or feel a change before a warning light will ping. For example, a brake pad that has worn unevenly will shimmy before it squeals in most cases. Low tire pressure in one or more tires may cause a drift in the steering that isn’t usually there. A leak in the oil may cause a burning smell as it drips on the hot engine block, or a bubbling sound may alert you to an overheating radiator before the temperature spikes.
Tow Truck Services RI
Your car will talk to you if you listen to it. Taking care of your vehicle, learning basic maintenance, and discovering your car’s quirks are the best defense against car breakdowns. When you can’t avoid a breakdown, we’re here to help. From running out of gas to lockouts, and side of the road breakdowns, give us a call for a tow and we’ll be on our way.