5 car maintenance items every driver should know

You don’t have to be a mechanic to take care of your car. Maintenance is extremely important if you want your vehicle to last a long time. Even when you don’t want to spend time becoming an auto expert, there are some car maintenance things you need to know to avoid frequent visits to the auto repair shop.

Why is car maintenance important?

Broken down truck | Wiki Commons

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Kelley’s Blue Book tells us that proper care and maintenance of your vehicle ensures that your car has the best chance of running smoothly. Yes, maintenance costs money, but the small amount you’ll pay to take care of your vehicle can help you avoid costly auto repair visits. With that in mind, let’s discuss some car maintenance items that every driver should know.

You need to know how to add windshield washer fluid to your car

Add wiper fluid to a car
Adding Wiper Fluid to a Car | Wiki Commons

How to add windshield washer fluid to your vehicle? This is covered in every owner’s manual, which means the instructions are in your vehicle’s glove compartment. Adding this fluid is simple and buying a gallon of wiper fluid is much cheaper than driving to a gas station to have a technician add it for you. To put in wiper fluid, you just need to open the hood, find the fluid reservoir and pour in the wiper fluid. That’s it; you have finished.

You should be able to check your oil level to avoid unnecessary car repair visits

Checking the engine oil level using the dipstick
Engine Oil Level Check | Wiki Commons

Engine oil lubricates your engine and keeps it running smoothly. This fluid is essential to the operation of your vehicle. Most cars have an oil dipstick which is a long stick that reaches to the oil tank under the engine. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it and remove it again. After you remove it the second time, check the oil level on the markers. If there is not enough oil, add some to your vehicle or take it to the service shop to add some.

Checking your tire pressure is one monthly car maintenance item you can manage

Paying attention to your tire pressure is an essential winterizing practice when preparing for winter driving.
Pay attention to your tire pressure to avoid punctures and punctures | Amer Hilabi, AFP via Getty Images

The only part of your car that touches the road are the tires. Proper tire pressure is essential for your car to feel safe, perform well on the road, and deliver the best fuel mileage while you drive. While you stop to fill up your gas tank, check your tire pressure at least once a month. All you need is a tire pressure gauge and the correct level of pressure, which is listed inside the driver’s door and in the owner’s manual.

Do you know how to start your car?

Jumper cables connected to a car battery
Jumper cables | Wiki Commons

Do you have a set of black and red wires with alligator clips on each end in your trunk? Do you know what they are used for? They are jumper cables, and they help you jump start your car when the battery runs out. If this happens, you will need another car to power your battery. Connect positive to positive and negative to negative from car to car, and let the power of a working vehicle feed your battery.

Replacing the engine air filter is an easy car maintenance item

Engine air filter with a dirty one and a new one pictured
Engine air filter | Wiki Commons

Your engine air filter is usually located in a box above the engine compartment. It’s easy to find and your air filter is easy to replace. Purchase the correct filter for your vehicle at the auto parts store, open the filter box and replace the filter. It’s so easy. If you are unsure whether or not it is time to replace the filter, remove the old one and inspect it. If you see a lot of debris in the areas between the filter fins, it’s time to replace a new one.

These five car maintenance items can help you avoid the extra cost of visiting an auto repair shop for each service item.

Then, find out how to properly use your hazard lights or watch the video below on AutoGuide.com with ten maintenance items every car owner should know.

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