The Pit Stop

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Stay Tuned All Year with These DIY Car Maintenance Tasks

May 9, 2019 11:17:00 AM / by Wes

Car maintenance tips can be helpful before you get under the hood.

Just like preparing your body for a new season, the same applies to your car. No matter whether it's hot out or winter is fast approaching, keeping your car well maintained is essential.

DIY car maintenance

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You’d be surprised what problems could arise during these warmer months, so I’ve decided to hit you with some education so you won’t be spending any time on the side of the road.


Car maintenance is necessary. Plain and simple.

There’s a lot more to prepping your car to go the distance than just a simple oil change and tire rotation. It’s very important to keep your car’s maintenance in stellar shape. In the winter, all of those months of blistering cold temperatures and wintry precipitation will do a number on your car even if you can’t physically notice anything. Unless you have X-ray vision just like Superman, you’re never going to know if any problems exist.

While you won’t have to worry about icy-road conditions or blizzard blackouts, there are other year-round road conditions that present dangers. In the warmer months, temperatures steadily climb, which leads to more drivers on the road, and a higher rate of accidents. Taking care of your car and performing simple maintenance checks and repairs will help keep you safe this spring-driving season.


Make a DIY car maintenance checklist before it's too late.

Let’s get your car ready for winter, shall we? Heed the following basic car maintenance checklist before you take yours on the road full-time this season.

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  • Change the oil. This is the most important task. Just like summer and spring, winter is hard on your engine which can make your oil exceptionally dirty. Changing your oil will help the engine perform well as well as ensure its longevity.
  • Check all fluids. A car engine is comprised of many different fluids, and they all need to be checked once winter is over. Power steering, brake, transmission, windshield, and antifreeze fluid needs to be changed. Think of it as giving your car a detox.
  • Give those tires the ol’ once-over.  You may not realize it, but your tires took a beating during the winter. Now that temperatures are warming, it will do a number on the tire pressure and could cause unseen cracks and additional damage. Some tire retailers will check your pressure for zero dollars.
  • Brake check! Your brakes take a pounding throughout the year. The extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum can affect drums, rotors, and more important components to your braking system that will need to be checked. Have you heard grinding? It’s time to get those brakes replaced.
  • Is the air conditioner functioning properly? The best way to test the functionality is by running it for 15 minutes. Running it will keep the system fresh and highly active. Once those hot temperatures come around, you’ll be wishing you had tested it sooner.
  • Replace the wiper blades. Spring is a stormy season, which means you’re going to experience a lot of rain during your work commute, road trip, or wherever else you’re headed. Damaged blades can leave streaks, which can be dangerous during highway driving. Replace them immediately before things get stormy.
  • Replace the cabin air filter. Funny smells are a sign of a poor cabin air filter. Usually found in the glove box, it’s easy to remove and replace. Pro tip: don’t let an auto shop charge you for this service when it’s a simple 5-minute DIY task.
  • Check the battery output. One of the most important parts of vehicle maintenance, the battery is the life-blood of a car. You’re not going anywhere on a dead battery. Many national-chain auto care shops will test your battery for free.

Taking care of your car requires more work than just a car wash and checking your tire pressure. After the beating it took over the winter, it could use some TLC. Heed my car maintenance advice and have a good spring season.

 


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Topics: Articles, The Pit Stop, Cars, Trucks

Wes

Written by Wes

As a veteran motorcycle rider and garage gearhead, I'm no spring chicken. I'm here to give tips for beginner motorcycle riders and car enthusiasts, and teach the ways of the road.

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