July 1, 2015

Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car can save you money and help it run longer. It can also help prevent accidents by ensuring that your brakes, tires, and other vital systems are in good working order.

Brakes

THIS WARNING SIGN… COULD MEAN…
Squeaking or squealing noise Brake pad issues
Grinding noise Worn-through brake pads or rotor issues
Fluid leak near your tires Brake fluid leak
Burning smell after you park Sticking brake pad
Vibration while stopping, feeling that
your vehicle is pulling to one side, or a
harder time depressing the brake pedal
It’s time to get the brake system checked

Tires

Check your tires regularly to make sure they maintain proper pressure, tread depth and rubber condition.

  • Purchase a quality tire pressure gauge and check your tire pressure at least once a month.
  • Maintain the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle, noted on a sticker inside the driver-side door opening.
  • Expect to replace the tires on a regularly driven vehicle every five to six years, regardless of tread depth or visible wear.
  • Rotate your tires every 5,000-8,000 miles, or every time you get an oil change.
  • Check up on your spare tire regularly, so it’s ready to help you when a flat tire happens.

Lights

Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior
lights periodically to ensure they are clean and working properly.

  • Make sure they are free from mud or dirt that could dim their effectiveness.
  • Check for oxidation that would blur the clarity of your lights. If you find some, remove it.
  • Check headlight alignment by shining them against a flat surface, such as a wall or garage door, to see if they are aimed at the same level.

Here’s a printable vehicle maintenance log for you to keep in your car.

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