Car Care: If You Love Your Car, It Will Love You Back If Treated Right

September 27, 2016

Just like people, cars need to be loved too. Show your car some love—with regular maintenance—and it will reward you with kilometres of trouble-free driving. Reliability which will be crucial for the winter months ahead, which is why October is Car Safety Month.

What’s in your glove box?

When was the last time you cracked open your owner’s manual? There’s a lot you can—and should—do on your own between maintenance trips to the mechanic to keep you car in tip top shape. Don’t be intimidated; your owner’s manual will walk you through the steps. Go into your glove box and dust off your owner’s manual for details on when and how to:

  • Check your engine oil. Oil, like gasoline, is critical to keep your car moving; engine oil keeps all of your car’s parts moving and without it your car will grind to a halt.
  • Check the automatic transmission fluid level. If the fluid level is low, add more and take it in to your mechanic because low levels could signify a bigger problem. If you drive a manual, and the level is low, top it up with manual transmission fluid.
  • Check your car’s brake fluid level. If the brake fluid is low, take your car into the garage; low brake fluid could be a result of leaks or worn brake pads.
  • Check your clutch fluid if you drive a manual; if low, your mechanic should look the car over to inspect for leaks or see if the clutch plate has been excessively worn.
  • Check your engine coolant. Car’s have two reservoirs for engine coolant; the reserve tank and the radiator. Check the reserve tank first; if the coolant is low (or empty) add coolant until it reaches the needed level. If the reserve tank is empty, you’ll also want to check the rad—but only when the engine and radiator are cool, otherwise you could seriously burn yourself.
  • Check your tire pressure with a tire gauge. Underinflated tires wear unevenly and could affect your car’s handling and fuel economy. Overinflated tires, also wear unevenly, and are prone to damage from road hazards.
  • Test your exterior lights, and replace as needed.
  • Replace windshield wipers every six months.
  • Refill windshield washer fluid.
  • Treat the inside of your vehicle to a car spa. Dirt and grime can build up, and cleaning the inside can do wonders to your relationship.

Set up a date with your mechanic

You may love your car, but your car’s best friend is a mechanic. In general, you should set a date for your car with your mechanic every 3 months, or about every 5,000 to 6,000 kilometres driven.

Check your auto insurance

Just like your car, your car insurance needs regular maintenance as well. Compare car insurance quotes every year to make sure your car insurance rates and coverage are in tip top shape; it’s the ComparaSaver way.