Regular car maintenance tends to be something we put on our to-do list but never actually do. Maybe it’s because we think everything must be working just fine if the car is running — or so we think. After reading this article, you should move car maintenance checks to the top of your to-do list. They’re more important than you think and likely a lot easier to complete, too.
Cabin air filter
Your car likely has two different air filters. The cabin air filter is what air filters through when it circulates the interior of your vehicle. Ensuring your cabin air filter is clean and functioning properly is an easy fix and one you can even do at home.
Though we often overlook this routine maintenance, checking on your air filters periodically not only helps preserve your car’s integral components, it improves the quality of the air you breathe when you drive.
Tire rotation and alignment
If you haven’t rotated your tires in the past six months, it’s time to do it. Tire rotation involves taking off each individual tire and moving it to a different location on your car. You shouldn’t have to replace any tires; you’re really just switching them around. Regular tire rotations ensure that your tires wear evenly, which means they’ll last longer and you have a much lower chance of a blowout.
Many people know they need to check their oil, but not nearly as many remember it’s equally vital to check the transmission fluid. Toco Warranty advises that, just like motor oil, transmission fluid gets contaminated as your car ages. “It’s also important to check the transmission filter, check and clean the transmission pan and generally make sure that this important vehicle system is working smoothly.”
You’ll know your transmission is in bad shape if you hear unusual noises like grinding or knocking when you change gears or if you see red fluid leaking from the car’s underside. But regularly checking your transmission fluid should mean it never gets to that point. All you need to do is locate the transmission fluid dipstick near the rear of the engine. Although you should check the owner’s manual for its placement before opening your hood.
Fuel system cleaning
Carbon, sludge, and dirt flow through your fuel system whenever the engine runs. The buildup grows over time, reducing the amount of fuel that can pass. This results in less power going to your engine. Your fuel economy can suffer and the life of your car is put at risk.
You can easily restore your engine’s performance with a fuel system cleaning. This is performed twice a year and can be done at home or the auto shop. All you need is a fuel additive poured into the gas tank and given time to clean out all that accumulated buildup.
Motor mounts are an essential component of any car, given that they stabilize your engine and hold it in place. But many drivers aren’t aware that mounts must be checked regularly to ensure they aren’t loose or broken entirely.
Motor mounts aren’t expensive to replace, so if yours are shaky, it’s best to install new ones. They are also usually checked during an annual inspection, but you can also monitor them at home on a regular basis if engine stability is a concern.