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A little auto care goes a long way

Mar 25, 2019 | Lifestyles

Performing simple preventative maintenance on your vehicle will go a long way toward protecting your vehicle investment, say the experts.

“Buying a new car today comes with a hefty price tag when you add up the down payment, monthly car payments and higher insurance rates. Neglecting its care can mean even higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs and lost resale value,” explained Rich White, executive director of the nonprofit Car Care Council. “By following a proactive auto care plan, the typical car should deliver at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable, efficient and enjoyable performance.”

The organization recommends following a vehicle service schedule, keeping a free copy of its “Car Care Guide” in the glove box, and performing the most common routine maintenance procedures to keep your vehicle performing at its best. 

Consider this checklist:

Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.

Check the tires, including pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

Check the hoses and belts to make sure they’re not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.

Check the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and safety reasons, such as defrosting.

Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

“Be sure to fully inspect your vehicle annually, including performing a tune-up and wheel alignment,” continued White. “If you ever suspect there is a problem, it’s a good idea to address it quickly before minor repairs become more complicated, expensive repairs.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. To order a free copy of the “Car Care Guide,” visit www.carcare.org.

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