Preventative maintenance is when you get to a problem before it becomes one. Your car is a masterpiece of modern machinery, but so much can go wrong it. In this article we’ll examine a few simple things that cost almost nothing to replace but may save you some serious money down the road.
Nearly every vehicle still on the road today has an air filter of some type. There are several places that manufacturers may put them, but the most common place is on top of the motor or just to the right of it.
Air filter replacement usually costs $5-$30 and can do wonders for the performance of your car. It increases gas mileage, improves combustion in the motor and encourages torque in the transmission. You’d never dream that a little air filter could do so much for your vehicle, but it can. We recommend that you check them with each oil change and replace them at least twice per year even if they don’t appear to need it. Of course, replace them more often if your user manual states to do so.
This is one of those things that everyone is taught to do and almost no one bothers to do it. A tire air pressure gauge costs about $2 at the counter of any car parts store. Tires that are under inflated or over inflated are not only a danger to you but they cost you gas mileage and wear and tear on your engine.
It takes about 3 minutes to check your tire pressure and perhaps another 5 to top off any tires that are low. Those few minutes can save you thousands.
Windshield Wiper Replacement
Windshield wipers don’t last forever and are able to be replaced in seconds. Even “good” looking windshield wipers should be replaced yearly. If your windshield wipers are only a few months in and looking bedraggled, pull them up from the car and grease the rubber with a little bit of baby oil on the end of a q-tip. This helps them keep from drying out.
Touch Up Paint
“It’s just a scratch” can easily turn into needing your whole car painted if left unattended. A little tube of touch up paint in a color close to your car’s shouldn’t cost more than $5-$10 at your local department store in the automotive section. Spread it over the damaged area, give it a quick sand when it’s dry and apply a little clear coat if you’re feeling ambitious. You’re done!
Neglecting your car’s exterior finish can result in peeling elsewhere on the body of the vehicle, rust, or UV damage over time. A full sized car can cost thousands for a paint job if not properly taken care of. Washing and waxing your vehicle on a regular basis helps to protect your paint as well. For a half hour’s work on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll have a vehicle that will look showroom new for years to come.