While you’re busy preparing for another holiday season, don’t let car care take a back seat. Neglected auto care almost always means much higher costs down the road in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. It is recommended that you be car care aware to ensure your car doesn’t gobble up your hard-earned money.
If you’re like most of us, you’re busier than ever this time of year and may find yourself putting off vehicle maintenance. It’s important to remember that routine auto care means big savings by improving fuel economy, extending vehicle life and reducing the chance of costly car trouble.
A quick vehicle check helps avoid the unplanned expense of a breakdown when traveling by car this holiday season.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
- Check lighting to identify any problems with exterior and interior lighting, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen.
- Check wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months. Make sure the windshield wipers are working properly and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.
It is also recommended that motorists restock their emergency kit. To save on fuel costs during the trip, avoid aggressive driving, observe the speed limit and avoid excessive idling. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing should be replaced to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.