The time of year most people hit the open road has just about passed and most of us are settled back in and getting ready for fall. Knowledge and preparation regarding proper vehicle maintenance can save time and money, and protect from the hassle of the unexpected.
The following are seven tips to ensure your vehicle is ready as the days shorten and the temperatures cool.
- Check your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires lower fuel costs and reduce engine wear. Check the inside of the driver’s door for recommended pressure.
- You know to change your car’s oil regularly, but check whether it’s also time to replace your transmission fluids. Do so while the engine is running and warmed.
- If your car pulls to one side, the steering wheel shakes, or your tire tread shows uneven wear, have the alignment checked and wheels balanced to improve handling and safety. An upside down penny that still shows the top of Lincoln’s head means it is time for new tires!
- The hoses and belts power the engine and other critical parts. Check them regularly for wear and tear. Are they excessively soft or hard? Brittle or mishaped? If so, replace immediately. Change the air filter every 20,000 miles or three years; whichever comes first.
- Excessive brake-pad wear symptoms include: high-pitched squealing, pulling to one side under braking, brakes vibrating, and a soft brake pedal. A grinding sound means replacement is overdue and rotor damage is possible.
- Use the cruise control when you’re cruising flat highways to maintain optimal gas mileage. Adding Body Gloss to your favorite Kwik Car Wash streamlines your vehicle and helps with visibility when driving in wet weather.
- Try to keep the following on hand at all times: cell phone car charger; flashlight with fresh batteries; basic tool kit; jumper cables; first aid kit and a gallon of water.
BONUS TIP: Remember that dirt and debris can be a vehicular nuisance, inside and out. The longer dirt and debris sits, the more deeply embedded it can become in floor mats, carpets, and fabrics. All Kwik Car Wash full service packages include a thorough interior vacuuming and air freshener, as well as an underbody chassis bath to remove those out of sight particles. For extra benefit, add the Wheel Deal to clean and shine your rims and tires.