Today a car is not just an incredibly useful tool that makes us mobile and independent – for many, it is an important extension of themselves, something without which they cannot imagine their life at all. Yet with all their advantages, cars are unfortunately prone to breaking down at the least opportune moments, turning into just that much dead weight. However, such things usually don’t happen out of the blue: they are either preceded by telltale signs or can be averted altogether if you take time to do proper maintenance on your car. In this article, we will cover some of the most important tips you have to do to avoid getting stranded when you least need it.
1. Check your air filter
More car problems than you expect are connected with faulty air filters. The general rule of the thumb concerning them is to replace them between 15,000 and 30,000 miles, depending on driving conditions. If you don’t often drive, replace it at least once every three years. It doesn’t mean that your car will break down immediately if you miss a replacement, but it will be likely to start playing up when you least expect it. In addition to that, a worn-out filter interferes with the work of your AC, which means that in addition to being unsafe for the car it causes you to breathe unhealthy air.
2. Replace your fob battery regularly
It may seem like a minor issue, but Intelligent Access Keys and fobs for keyless ignition systems do tend to run out of battery eventually, which can cause significant trouble if you find yourself incapable of either entering your vehicle or starting it up. You can just go to a mechanic and say that you need, for example, a ford explorer key battery. Or you can just replace the battery yourself – there is nothing particularly difficult about it. The best course of action is to do it as soon as you notice that your fob behaves unusually: e.g., you have to press buttons multiple times to get it to work.
3. Check tire pressure
Maintaining the right air pressure is useful for many reasons: it saves fuel and makes the car easier to handle which, in turn, makes you less likely to lose control of it. Read your car’s manual – it most likely has a recommended tire pressure mentioned there. Ideally, you should check it at least once a week, although more determined motorists often make it a part of their daily routine.
4. Check tread depth
Tire treads are there not for decoration but because they perform a very important function – they help channel the water away from the tires and guarantee that they will maintain proper contact with the ground irrespectively of the weather conditions. However, with wear and tear, they gradually lose their qualities until finally, it becomes merely dangerous to keep using them. Fortunately, most tire manufacturers today integrate tread wear bars into their compounds, so that you don’t have to be an expert to understand if your tires need replacing. Simply take a look at them every now and then and make it your business to prepare a replacement when they start wearing thin.
5. Check your battery
Having a car battery run out on you leaving you stranded in the middle of the night miles from nowhere is not a very nice situation – and you can prevent it from happening by just paying attention to low battery signal and having it checked regularly. Make sure there are no leaks or mineral buildup on it and give it a clean with a battery cleaning brush every now and then.
6. Replace spark plugs regularly
If you notice that your engine doesn’t always start up quickly, one of the most common reasons for it is a faulty spark plug. In the course of their lifespan, they naturally get covered with buildup and stop working properly. The rule of the thumb is to check them regularly and replace every 30,000 miles; if you want to know a more precise value, check the car owner’s manual for further details.
7. Rotate and align your tires
Tires don’t wear out at the same rate: this is why to keep their wear balanced, you have to rotate front and rear tires every now and then. In addition to that, when you reinstall them, you have to make sure to get them properly aligned. If tires are misaligned, you will be likely to lose control of your car and get into an accident.
Of course, car maintenance is not limited to these things; but if you keep track of these factors and make them a part of your routine, you are very likely to save yourself from the majority of car accidents that are most likely to ruin your day.