Preventative maintenance will help your car last longer and helps you to spend less money on costly repair work so we've put together a list of some common routine preventative maintenance and driving tips that will help you to get the most life out of your car.
Change your oil regularly. If your car's oil does not get changed, your car could have serious issues - like your car's engine could seize up on you and you end up having to pay for large repair bills and possibly towing expenses. By changing your oil regulary, you are extending the life of your car and ensuring better fuel economy. A good rule of thumb is every 3,000-5,000 miles, depending on your car.
Check and replace other fluids. In order to maximize or pro-long the life of your car, and ensure driver and passenger safety, it is a good idea to check all of the fluids in your car. Besides getting your oil changed, other liquids that need checked and replaced periodically are: brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, transaxle fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and anti-freeze. The goal of changing those oils goes without saying ... if you ignore them and they run out, they could each cause serious issues with safety.
Check your belts. Belts are often made of rubber and can wear out. They loop around various pulleys and mechanisms in order to make your car's engine work. As such, you may have several belts under your hood (like, for example, the alternator, engine, a/c, etc). Make sure they are not cracked or worn. If you see wear on one of your belts, it is a good idea to promptly get your car in for a service check. If one of these belts break due to wear, your engine's motor will not work properly and you could get stuck somewhere.
Check your air filter. Your air filter should be clean in order to give you maximum performance. Make sure that your air filter is not clogged with dirt or damaged.
Replace your windshield wiper blades periodically. Make sure to change your windshield wiper blades as often as needed. It is never a good idea to drive with windshield wiper blades that do not work as this makes seeing (driving) more difficult and gives you a higher chance of causing (or being in) an accident.
Check your tire tread. Bald tires are very unsafe so be sure that there is adequate tread on your car's tires so that your car operates safely. You should look at the grooves on each tire to ensure that they are visible and deep. If there is uneven wear, bald spots, or if you are not sure if there is enough tread left on your tires, you should take your car in to a trusted automotive shop or mechanic to have your car's tires inspected.
Make sure your tires are balanced and your wheels are aligned properly. If your tires have uneven tread (or are wearing out unevenly), your tires may be un-balanced or your wheels may be out of alignment. If your car tires are balanced and the wheels properly aligned, it helps to ensure smoother driving and maximum fuel efficiency. Plus, your tires will last longer, saving you even more money.
Check your tire pressure regularly. In addition to balancing and aligning your wheels, you will want to check your tire pressure regularly so that each of your tires wear evenly and your car drives as smooth as possible. Always use the recommended air pressure in your tires because it will help your tires to last longer and your car to use less fuel. If you do not have enough air pressure in your tires, your tires could have issues due to under inflation and possible over-loading. You may need to check tires more often in the winter due to cold weather.
Drive smoothly and evenly - avoid jerky starts and stops. When you start or stop quickly, this uses excess gas which costs you more because you are burning up fuel faster.
Drive the speed limit. Having a lead-foot or not using your cruise control (if you have it) causes you to burn more gas and decreases your fuel efficiency.
Don't over load your car. Each vehicle has its own load limit and your car, as well as your tires, are designed to operate safely within their limits. By overloading your car, you are asking it to work harder and it uses more gas. It will, also, start showing more wear and tear sooner.
Check your lights. This is a safety issue that, if not caught, could end up costing you - more than you realize. If your lights are not working, you are more likely to end up in an accident - either by your own fault or by someone else's cause because they do not realize your intentions or cannot see you properly. In addition to a higher possibility of an accident, you are also open to receiving a ticket for non-working equipment.