|Written by Priscilla Benfield|
Whether your car is brand-new or several years old, you can avoid costly repairs by taking car of little things before they turn into something big. Most people do not know much about the car they drive and they only pay attention when it breaks down. Knowing what your car needs to stay running well is like taking care of your health, a little prevention can go a long way!
1- Get to know your car by reading your owner's manual. Open the hood and identify where your battery is and where you refill your transmission fluid, antifreeze,oil and windshield washer fluid. These are also basic items that should be checked on a regular basis.
2-Learn about your tires. Get a tire gauge to make sure that they are properly inflated. Fluctuations in temperature can cause your tires to not stay properly inflated. Driving on tires that are inflated correctly can save money on gas. Also make sure that you have enough tread on your tires as this will give you better driving traction in wet or snowy weather. Make sure that you have an inflated spare tire and a jack and learn how to use them.
3-Your owner's manual will give you a schedule for maintenance that is recommended for your vehicle. Think of this maintenance as check-ups for your car. Replacing belts as recommended can keep you from ruining your engine or from being stranded at the side of the road. Having things like your air filter changed can save money on gas by helping to keep your engine running more efficiently.
4-Do not ignore when your dashboard signals you that there is a problem. Something like a check engine light only comes on when something is not right with your engine. Ignoring it will not make it go away, it will only cause the problem to get bigger which in the long run will cost more.
5-Learning about your vehicle and how it works will give you more confidence for when you do need repairs made. If you understand how your vehicle works and what the manufacturer recommends for maintenance, you will be able to trust your auto mechanic when he tells you what repairs are needed.