Your vehicle is your way of getting from point A to point B. If you car is a daily driver you rely on it a lot more. So if it breaks down, it can be a significant source of stress. If you’re not careful with maintenance, all the miles you put on your car can lead to costly repairs or, worse yet, an accident. If you own a classic car then the chances are that you always keep on top of its maintenance. But sometimes real life can get in the way and that small job you needed to do on your classic gets put off, which can then potentially snowball. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, here are four things you should do to keep you car in 4 ways to keep your vehicle reliable and trustworthy shape:
1. Regular Maintenance
Your vehicle needs certain things to run smoothly – and one of those is routine maintenance. Not only does this ensure that your car runs properly, but it also keeps you safe on the road because a well-maintained car will have better brakes, tires and other parts.
Most cars need an annual oil change and skipping service internals is really not a good idea as it can lead to expensive engine problems. Other motor care services include transmission and differential fluid changes (for older vehicles or cars with very high mileage), tire rotation, and wheel alignment. A good rule of thumb: if it’s been over a year since your last visit to a repair shop, schedule an appointment now for both preventive measures as well as repairs. This way, you can get ahead of any potential issues before they become even more significant problems.
2. Use Only Reputable Mechanics
Sometimes finding a reputable mechanic to work on your car can be challenging. Its a good idea to shop around and check online reviews to see who is the best in your area. Sometimes you might have to travel a bit further to get the right mechanic, especially if you own an old classic. But it is often worth the effort. Main dealers are also an option if you have a newer car, as they will have all the latest diagnostic equipment. Additionally, dealerships often offer special discounts on certain repairs and services, which can mean more considerable savings for you.
If there is no dealer nearby or it’s too costly to go that route, then find mechanics who specialize in whatever type of repair work your vehicle needs (i.e. brake specialists, exhaust specialists etc). Always get an estimate of what the cost might be and ask the mechanic to keep you updated at all times.
3. Keep up With Tyre Tread, Pressure and Alignment
Finding a reputable mechanic is only half the battle – you also need to know when it’s time for them to work their magic! It may sound basic, but tyre tread and pressure are critical, especially after buying a used BMW. If your tyres don’t have enough tread or they’re underinflated, they are a big safety issue. Apart from increased tyre wear and fuel consumption, tyres in poor condition can lead to serious accidents. If you car is pulling to the left all the time, the tracking is off which means you probably need a four wheel alignment. This can be harder to achieve with older cars, especially if the suspension is worn. Again this is where regular maintenance comes in.
According to Car Care Council guidelines, minimum tyre tread depth should be around four millimetres across most of your tyre surface (with two exceptions: new cars typically reflect this by showing more than 12mm, and some premium models can go up to 22mm). You’ll want to check your tyres every few months, depending on how many miles you drive. Also changing weather conditions throughout the year can affect how your tyres perform.
4. Keep Fluids Topped Up
Another critical part of vehicle maintenance is keeping fluids topped up. For example, brake fluid should be replaced every two years and power steering fluid every two years. Always refer to the manufacturers manual and if you car is a classic, you may need to change certain fluids on a more regular basis. Of course if you neglect these services, they will eventually hit you in the pocket.
Remember… it may seem like common sense, but check all levels every so often, just in case they drop or there is a leak. A tell tale sign are damp patches on the ground. If your car starts doing that, its time to investigate the cause before the leak gets too big.
Keep in mind that being proactive with regards to car care means you’ll save money in the long run. If they see potential problems coming up, don’t put it off… get your mechanic to have a look. It is better than letting things worsen over an extended period of time.
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