<b>Even Vin Diesel would be proud of you and your ride.</b>
2. Change your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles and use a reliable brand.
Why It’s Important: Every car maker has different things to say when it comes to oil, but most experts agree that it’s good to change it out regularly. If you’re confused on what to use, most cars work well with synthetic oil like Mobil 1, and it’s usually easier to get your oil replaced at a shop versus doing it yourself.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Your car needs oil to lubricate your engine and stop detergents, so make sure you follow these steps to check your oil every other month or so. If your car doesn’t have fresh oil, dirt will build up and eventually kill your engine, which will cost thousands of dollars and your happiness.
3. Check your tire pressure every month and rotate your tires every 7,500 miles.
Why It’s Important: Incorrect tire pressure can lead to a ton of problems, including poor breaking, instability, less gas mileage, and of course, a flat tire, so check your tire pressure with a gauge. Also, rotate your tires often to make sure that they wear evenly, making sure you get the most before replacing them.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Replacing your tires will cost anywhere from $350 to $700, while a tire pressure gauge and rotation cost about $10 and $50, respectively. If your tires need to be rotated, simply take them into a dealer or auto body shop.
6. Maintain your car’s interior to keep its resale value high.
Why It’s Important: Grime has chemicals that will eat away at things like your leather dashboard or vinyl seats, eventually leading to your car looking like a flithy time machine. Thankfully, products like Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer and Leather Honey are relatively cheap and help keep everything looking like the day you got it.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: A dirty, unkept interior can lead to you losing hundreds of dollars when you try to resell your car, meaning you’ll have less money towards the dream of something new. Keeping your car’s interior fresh isn’t that big of a commitment, so you should get it over with.
8. If you’re not going to drive your car for a while, make sure it’s properly stored.
Why It’s Important: If you’re going to be away for a bit, make sure your car is covered, clean, topped off with gas, and started every so often to keep the battery fresh. If no one’s around to drive or start your car, you can buy a battery tender which stops a discharge.
The Cost of Not Doing It: Not keeping your car properly stored can lead to a dead battery, hurt engine, and even some unpleasant creatures living under your car’s hood. Those rats and spiders won’t help you pay your repair bills if anything happens, so it’s best to store your car the right way.
9. Change your air filter every 30,000 miles or every year.
Why It’s Important: Think of your car’s air filter like your lungs: It’s important you keep them clean and healthy so that you breathe easier and harmful things don’t affect your breathing. For a car, a dirty air filter will hurt your acceleration and make your car less efficient, making an inspection and new air filter every so often important.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Your car isn’t going to explode from a dirty air filter, but it’s possible that leaving one in can cause your engine to fail and damage your combustion chamber. Spend 15 minutes to pop a new air filter in and you’ll forget why you worried in the first place.
10. Get some Rain-X products for your windows to guard yourself from water.
Why It’s Important: Rain-X makes two products that deserve your attention, one being a spray for your car’s glass that repels rain and another being windshield wiper blades that do their job well. Spraying your car with Rain-X is pretty easy, while you should inspect your wipers every six months and change them if necessary.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Rain-X isn’t essential for your car, but nothing beats the peace of mind you get watching rain drops fall of your windshield or watching your wipers deflect everything.
11. Make sure your car is ready for a cold winter.
Why It’s Important: Mainly, you want to make sure your car’s heating and defrosting units are working properly in addition to everything else, and you also might want to consider snow tires which will make drives a little less slippery. There are also a ton of great hacks out there for scraping ice and not letting your locks get frozen.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: You don’t want to deal with a car that’s literally too cool to start, and the snow can cause you to drift a bit more than you want to. Proper car care throughout the whole year will make sure you’re ready for whatever comes.
12. Keep your engine’s temperature balanced with antifreeze every 15,000 miles.
Why It’s Important: Antifreeze and coolant, which are together in many products, help keep your engine from overheating or freezing in all kinds of temperatures. A reliable gallon of antifreeze usually runs for about $10-$15, making it easy to keep everything running well in your radiator.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Without any sort of antifreeze in your radiator, your engine will overheat, killing its seals and gaskets, causing leaks and leading to a really expensive repair. Take the $10 bottle, follow some simple steps, and skip the shop.
13. Check if there are any recalls on your car that you may not know about.
Why It’s Important: Currently, General Motors is recalling a massive 1.3 million cars because of power-steering failures. If you didn’t know this, or are concerned for your own car, it’s a good idea to take your Vehicle Identification Number (usually found on the top your engine or driver’s side door) and put it on the NHTSA’s website to see if you fall under a recall.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Faulty cars often lead to really bad things, like leaks that cause fires, broken accelerators that don’t allow someone to stop, and even air bags that go off for no reason. Spare yourself the depressing thoughts and get your car checked out for a recall.
14. Save your car maintenance receipts to make future repairs much easier.
Why It’s Important: When you take your car into a shop for a check up, mechanics will often ask you about the last time your changed your oil or rotated your tires, so it’s good to keep receipts from past work. Also, having those receipts will help you get more money for your car if you ever decide to sell, acting as proof that you took care of it.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Not being able to prove that you’ve taken care of your car with work can knock you out of a warranty, leaving you with a tremendously costly repair at almost any dealer you go to. If you have trouble keeping receipts, at least snap a photo with your phone to have some proof.
15. Clean bird crap off of your car as soon as you can.
Why It’s Important: You may not know this, but bird droppings are very acidic and eventually burn and ruin any paint job they come across. If you see it land on your car, quickly clean it off, and if that’s too hard, consider a car polisher or compound to fix the damage.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Getting a brand new paint job over some bird’s bathroom break on your car is a bit crazy, but it can push you toward that idea if it’s been too long. New paint jobs are not cheap, so it’s best to clean your car’s exterior often to keep everything looking new.
17. Keep the bottom of your car clean by getting some reliable floor mats.
Why It’s Important: Not only do car mats provide cushion and relieve your feet from heat, they also keep dust and water from causing an absolute mess in your ride. Investing in quality, easy to clean mats like the ones made by OxGord help ensure that you aren’t bringing anything into your car you don’t want.
The Cost of Not Doing It: Letting stuff like sand, water, and dust fall onto your car’s interior is probably going to cost you a lot of time in cleaning, and can have some unintended effects on your car if left long enough. 5 minutes cleaning a mat or an hour cleaning your car’s carpet, your choice.
18. Check your spark plugs every 30,000 miles and replace them every 60,000 miles.
Why It’s Important: Spark plugs are necessary for any car to function well, and while most last for a long while, it’s still recommended you make sure yours aren’t affecting your engine as a whole. Every 30,000 miles, get yours checked out by a shop or dealer and make sure to replace them if they’ve gone bad.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Bad spark plugs can lead to horrible gas mileage and a lack of acceleration, along with a whole host of other problems. Eventually, bad plugs can greatly impact an engine, leading to what could be a lot of troublesome repairs.
20. Prevent damage to your car by parking in the shade and using a window shade.
Why It’s Important: Letting your car roast under a hot sun can cause some unwanted heat damage to your interior and paint job. Find a nice tree and park under it, and if there isn’t a tree, buy a nice sun shade to stop the burn.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: In addition to causing interior damage, UV rays from the sun can melt plastics, crack your dashboard, and cause fading on your paint job. It also isn’t the most pleasant thing to sit in a scorching hot car, so for the sake of you and your butt, find some shade.
21. Keep copies of important papers in your glovebox and leave some originals in a safe place.
Why It’s Important: If you’re ever pulled over or something happens to you on the road, it’s important to have documents like your registration, proof of insurance, and medical information on hand. It’s fine to make copies of all three specifically for your car. However, make sure you leave other documents like your vehicle title and other personal papers somewhere safe, as they might contain information for thieves to sell your car or find where you live.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Replacing any original documents can be a pretty big hassle, and no one wants to subject themselves to their local DMV more than they already have to. The same goes for personal papers, so make sure you leave the ones with sensitive information at home and make copies of the ones you need to.
23. Can’t keep track of when to change your car’s parts? Use Edmunds website.
Why It’s Important: Your owner’s manual usually shows you what you should be doing at a certain mileage, but who wants to actually go through that? Thankfully, you can easily enter your car’s year, make, and model on here and easily see when something like your spark plugs or your brakes pads should be replaced.
The Cost Of Not Doing It: Not knowing your maintenance schedule at all and can lead to a neglected, unhappy, and ultimately broken car. You don’t want to walk everywhere, do you?