3 Simple Car Maintenance Tips for Beginners

Maintain your car to get peak performance

October 7, 2020
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Written bySteve LekasCEO & Cofounder

One of the main benefits of buying a new car is less frequent maintenance and fewer major repairs when compared to older model vehicles. But is that new car smell giving owners an excuse to skip regular maintenance checks or service? A recent study found that 6% of consumers who purchased new vehicles delayed scheduled maintenance with the majority of respondents citing time constraints as the reason. They were unable to find a convenient time to perform the service themselves or have someone else do the work. 

Learning how to properly maintain your vehicle can support safe driving and possibly extend the vehicle’s life. Start with these simple DIY car maintenance tips. If your vehicle needs service, have a trusted mechanic complete the work if you don’t have the necessary skills or time.

Check Tires

Checking your tire tread depth and pressure might help you avoid a tire blowout. Without sufficient tread, your tires will have a difficult time gripping the road. Find out if your tread is too low by using a penny. Place the coin upside down in the tire tread. You might need new tires if you can see the top of our 16th President’s head. 

A tire pressure gauge can let you know if your tires are underinflated. The correct amount of tire pressure is usually listed on the driver side door jamb or in the owner’s manual. Perform a monthly pressure check since underinflation can waste gas, increase tire wear, and lead to blowouts.

Perform Fluid Checks

A monthly oil check and windshield washer fluid check are simple ways to keep your vehicle performing as it should. Review oil levels by removing the dipstick. Your owner’s manual should include guidance on how to interpret the results. Check for oil stains under your vehicle. If it’s leaking oil, you may need to take it to a repair shop for service.

Top off your wiper fluid with the appropriate liquid. Depending on the climate, you might choose a different type of fluid. For example, cold temperatures might require a fluid that contains a mix of anti-freeze to help prevent sleet from sticking to the windshield. This will ensure you’re prepared for weather changes. Avoid using plain water since it might leave behind mineral deposits that can clog washer jets.

Inspect the Battery

Some people don't find out that they have a battery issue until they can’t start their car. But you can prevent this nasty surprise by watching for tell-tale signs of battery issues. Check the battery contacts. Are they coated with a crusty white residue? Use a small brush to remove the residue or ask your mechanic to do it for you. If you notice leaking around the terminals, let your mechanic know. It may be time to replace the battery despite what your maintenance schedule recommends. 

Performing regular maintenance checks can improve car safety and help you avoid accidents. Getting the most use from your car requires proper maintenance throughout ownership. As your car ages, your auto insurance needs may change. Speak with a knowledgeable insurance agent to ensure your current policy is still a good fit for your vehicle and finances. The Branch team is always here to help walk you through policy options as your insurance needs change! Give us a call today at (833) 427-2624.

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