(BPT) - There is no truer saying than, "Take care of your car and it will take care of you." Taking care of your vehicle should be at the top of your priority list when you rely on it to transport you, your family and friends. You don't have to be a mechanical expert to take care of your car, you just need to be aware of what needs to occur and keep a regular schedule to ensure the safety and life of your car.
Know how to check your oil
Checking and changing oil is important to keeping your car's engine running properly and efficiently. Check your owner's manual for what viscosity oil you should use and oil change interval recommendations. The type of motor oil you use is just as important as making sure it's changed regularly. Many cars are now coming from the factory filled with synthetic oil. If your car didn't come with synthetic, consider switching from conventional to premium synthetic motor oil like Royal Purple. Using synthetic oil will allow you to go longer between oil changes, usually up to 10,000 miles depending on your driving habits. Fewer oil changes means money saved and less oil deposited back into the environment.
It's also important to know how to check your oil between changes. Locate where to check your oil under the hood, and make sure you're parked on a level surface for an accurate reading. If you need to top-off your oil, make sure you don't overfill, or you could damage the engine.
What is ATF?
If your car has an automatic transmission, the Automatic Transmission Fluid or ATF protects against transmission breakdown, corrosion system wear and oxidation. Checking your ATF level is similar to checking your oil level, but with the car running. The usual recommendation for change interval is about every 30,000 miles.
Like other car parts that have been made to last longer, most car batteries are maintenance-free and can last more than three years. The first sign that may indicate you need a new battery is if you have trouble starting the engine.
One of the most neglected basic car care tips is taking care of your windshield wipers. You should change your wipers every 12 months or if the rubber becomes worn. You will also want to check the wiper fluid reservoir and keep it full.
Basic car care is an easy first step in making sure your car stays on the road longer. Regular maintenance checks can also catch needed repairs before they become big dollar items.