You don’t have to be a mechanic or even be knowledgeable about automobiles to handle basic car maintenance tasks at home. In fact, some tasks are so easy that it doesn’t make sense to pay someone else to do them for you. Let’s go over some basic vehicle maintenance you can do at home. Then add these items to your to-do list so your car will stay in tip-top shape from one month to the next.
Keep the Battery Terminals Clean
Have you ever tried to fire up your car, only to realize your battery is dead? That only seems to happen when you’re in a hurry, and it’s quite frustrating. You can avoid this problem in the future by monitoring and maintaining the battery. Every six months to one year, pop the hood and inspect the battery terminals. If you noticed white battery acid on the terminals, remove the negative cable followed by the positive cable. Then clean the terminals with a corrosion removal fluid and wire brush. If you don’t have a corrosion removal fluid, you can mix water and baking soda. Then rinse the terminals and use a rag to dry them. Finally, reconnect them. This entire process takes about 15 minutes and can extend the life of your battery while preventing breakdowns.
Replace Worn Out Windshield Wiper Blades
If your windshield wiper blades are worn out, you’ll experience reduced visibility when driving in the rain. Thus, you need to replace them so you can stay safe on the road. You’ll know you need new blades if you notice streaks on your windshield when using them. In addition, you can inspect the rubber strips from time to time. If you see any cracks, it’s time for new blades. You can buy new wiper blades and replace them yourself. Simply find the section in your owner’s manual and follow the instructions to swap out the wiper blades. This simple task takes about 10 minutes.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Even if your car has a tire pressure monitoring system, you should still use a tire gauge to check the pressure. If your pressure is low, you’ll experience a reduction in fuel economy and poor handling. Also, driving on poorly inflated tires can lead to a blowout. It only takes about two minutes to check your tire pressure. If the tires are low, add some air. Also, if your tires are overinflated, take out some air.
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Check the Fluids
Checking the engine fluids is another simple yet vital task that you can perform at home. Your car’s dashboard likely lets you know when fluids are low, but you should still check them yourself from time to time. Make a point to check your engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant and add extra if needed. Also, if the fluids look discolored or dirty, you’ll need to replace them. As with the other tasks, you can check the fluids in a matter of minutes. However, if you need to replace your fluids, visit a local mechanic.
While you can handle these basic tasks at home, you will need a mechanic from time to time. You can extend the life of your car by taking it to the service center at Bob Brady Honda in Decatur, Illinois. We can inspect your vehicle and recommend maintenance tasks to extend the longevity of your vehicle.
No matter how well you maintain your car, you’ll eventually be ready for an upgrade. We can help you at that time as well. With new and pre-owned vehicles, it’s easy to find your next ride when shopping with us.