Not sure how to take care of your car? Lucky for you, you are not alone. We learn how to drive but not how to maintain our vehicles. While no part of the licensing process informs us about the vehicle’s mechanics, we quickly find out that our cars require regular care and services.
Failing to complete routine auto care can cost you more in the long run. You can save money on expensive repairs later by taking care of your vehicles now.
You have probably heard that you need to get an oil change every 3,000 miles, or three months. However, this is not a hard rule, as your vehicle may need oil changes more or less frequently, depending on your driving habits.
Start by checking your car’s owner’s manual for oil change details specific to your vehicle. The manufacturer will state how often you should change the oil. Likewise, you may have an oil change alert light that indicates when you should go in for service.
Factors that impact how often you should change your oil:
· How often you drive
· How hard you drive your vehicle
· How old your car is
Your owner’s manual might tell you that you only need to change the oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles, which can be every six to 12 months instead of three. This knowledge can save you the cost of doing unnecessary oil changes. Think of it as an oil change discount.
You might just need to “top off” your oil instead of doing a change. You should check the level of oil in your car at least once a month. If you have a newer car, it may have an electronic gauge, so you do not need to manually.
To check your oil by hand, put the oil dipstick from the engine and wipe away the oil from the stick. By wiping it clean, you will be able to clearly see the level of your oil when you dip it all the way in and pull it out again. There will be a marker on the dipstick to indicate if it is low. Does your steering feel off? You may need to get a car alignment.