Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Between juggling tasks at home with family and at work, you still need to find time to buy groceries, attend meetings, raise the kids, and, if you’re married, be the dutiful wife to your husband. Still, there’s more, such as maintaining your vehicle well. So your car is in a condition to move you from one point to another, there are some basic maintenance tasks you should be doing. Below are five car maintenance tips you should be aware of.
1. Regularly Change your Fluids
Did you know your car needs an oil change after a distance of 7,500 to 10,000 miles, according to AAA? Your car needs all manner of fluids to stay lubricated and to run as smoothly as possible. Regularly check and change the steering fluid, brake fluid, washer fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant.
Americans are avid drivers. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives about 14,263 miles yearly. This means you should change the engine oil at least twice yearly to keep your car in tip-top condition.
2. Check the Battery
Chances are you rarely think about your car’s battery until it dies. The once helpful car becomes an inanimate burden when the battery dies, often happening at the oddest times. Regularly check your battery to know when to change it and avoid getting stranded at the grocery store’s parking lot. Should you notice the battery is weakening, or if it’s between three and five years old, replace it. If your car experiences slow starts or won’t start, shows signs of heavy corrosion on terminals, has dim headlights, or struggles to power up the electronics, it’s time to get a new battery.
3. Change Your Oil
Your vehicle runs on oil. The correct oil pressure is necessary for lubrication and smooth performance. Follow the recommended oil change intervals to increase the longevity of your vehicle. If you neglect to change your car’s engine oil at the right time, you’ll pay for engine damage later. Traditionally, one needed to change the engine oil once every 3,000 miles, but today’s vehicles are more fuel-efficient and won’t require an oil change for at least 7,500 to 10,000 miles, which is about how many miles the average American drives their car per year. Your car manufacturer’s manual is your best guide for the right intervals between oil changes.
4. Maximize Fuel Efficiency by Replacing Your Air Filter
Without your car’s air filter, the engine would soon be clogged with debris, compromising its performance. Replace the air filter regularly to reduce engine wear and keep your vehicle running. Replacing the air filter increases gas mileage by up to 10%, improves acceleration, and reduces engine wear.
And the beauty of it all? You can change the air filter at home for less than $20, and you don’t need special tools! But how often should one change the air filters? Between 30,000 to 45,000 miles or as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
How often you change the filter depends on where you live. Areas with a lot of contamination and dust may necessitate changing the air filters more frequently. You know it’s time to change the air filter if you spot grime black spots.
5. Check Tire Treads and Pressure
Properly inflated tires reduce your chances of a blowout. According to Bus-News, if your tire is misaligned by 2mm, your car will drift 24 feet sideways for every mile it travels. Correctly inflated tires also increase the fuel efficiency of your car. Regularly inspect your tires to ensure they have the correct pressure and the treads are still good.
To check the condition of the treads, perform the Penny test on your tires. While winter and SUV tires have deeper treads, standard new tires have tread depths of 10/32″ or 11/32″. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, you should replace your tires at 2/32″. This is where the penny test comes in.
Start by inserting a penny between your tire tread’s ribs, a rib being the raised part of the tread covering your tire’s circumference. If the top of Lincoln’s head disappears between ribs after turning the penny, your tread is good at the recommended 2/32″ and above. Replace your tire if you can see Lincoln’s entire head.
You are a hero; indeed, all moms are. What you accomplish daily is nothing short of a miracle, and you need all the help you can get. These five tips on car maintenance will make your day less hectic and keep your car running smoothly so you can have more time for yourself and with family.