The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance for Oklahoma Residents
One of the first things you learn as a driver is that you must take good care of your vehicle, or it likely won’t last very long. Unfortunately, lessons on how to take care of your car usually stop there.
If you’re feeling lost about the best way to maintain your vehicle, you’re not alone. AAA recently published the results of a 2015 survey that had us shocked. In the survey, over 35% of Americans admitted to putting off essential maintenance on their cars. If you’re among that 35%, let us tell you about some of the benefits of doing vehicle maintenance and help you get started on the path toward responsible car ownership.
Maintenance Prevents Bigger Fixes
When you don’t take care of your car, it shows.
Something as small as ignoring your oil can cause disastrous consequences – as disastrous as needing a new engine. Spend nominal time and money on keeping your car up and running whenever you can. A set of new windshield wipers and an oil change costs no more than $100 together. A new transmission or a new set of tires? In the thousands. You do the math.
Maintenance Keeps You Safe
Your safety is also vastly dependent on the proper care of your car. People spend an average of 11 hours per week in their vehicles – almost half a day. It might not sound like much, but in the span of a year that adds up.
You keep yourself safe by replacing the smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. You lock your doors at night, get your well water tested, and pay taxes toward neighborhood patrol. If you do all this other preventative safety work, why would you not spend time protecting another space in which you spend time?
Maintenance Helps You Know Your Car Better
Think back to the first time you had your car. Maybe you can remember the new car smell fondly, or you think back to a time when your headlights looked clean and new. More importantly, your car sounded and looked healthy. If you took the time to do regular maintenance on it from the start, you’d be able to tell when it started to deviate from the standard. Maybe when you perform tread checks, you notice one of the tires is wearing just a little bit quicker than the others. Or, perhaps you hear a sound that wasn’t there before. All these things will help you get your car the care it needs and keep it like new for longer.
Oklahoma is Full Of Weather Surprises
Surprises are great when it comes to fun things like your birthday or Christmas. But when it comes to driving, surprises aren’t always the best. Oklahoma is known for its turbulent weather, due to its location in the United States. It gets hot air from Mexico, Cold air from Canada, and a mix of humidity and dryness depending on what the wind brings in. Then, there are tornadoes that happen because of our location in Tornado alley. Put all these things together, and it can wreak havoc on Oklahoma roads, drivers, and cars.
Regular car maintenance prevents you from getting stuck in inclement weather – which can, unfortunately, be a standard during winter and tornado season.
A Handy Checklist For Basic Car Maintenance
So, you’re probably on-board with keeping your car maintained. You know it’s best, and you even have an idea of what you might do. If you’re still confused about how to best take care of your car, here’s an essential maintenance checklist. This is general, so always be sure to check your car’s manual for more information.
- Take your car for inspection. Even though Oklahoma doesn’t require annual inspections, getting your vehicle looked at by a qualified mechanic is like taking yourself in for your yearly checkup.
- If you haven’t had an oil change yet this year, or it has been a few months, get your oil changed.
- Get your brakes checked and replace or resurface if necessary.
- Change the cabin air filter.
- Get a fluid flush if recommended.
- Get your steering and suspension checked.
- Wash, polish, and wax your car. This will keep the exterior protected.
- Check your manual to see if you need an oil change. If you do, schedule one.
- Lubricate your car chassis (see a professional to do this in most cases).
- Change your air filter.
- Change your wiper blades.
Every Three Months
- Check the transmission fluid and power steering fluid along with your windshield fluid and oil.
- Check the oil filter and change if necessary (go to a mechanic if you do not know how to do this).
- Check your battery and cables for any signs of corrosion. If there are signs of corrosion, carefully remove the cables, clean the terminals, lubricate, and replace the cables.
- Check your belts for any signs of corrosion, cracks, or breakage.
- Check your hoses for signs of corrosion, cracks, or breakage.
- Check your air filter. If it looks dusty, change it.
- Clean the interior and exterior of your car thoroughly. This will prevent lasting stains on the interior and will prevent rust buildup on the exterior. Either way, it will keep the resale value of your car high.
- Check your lights to ensure they are still working – including brake lights, turn signals, backup lights, high beams, and plate light.
- Check the fluids under your hood – especially your windshield fluid and oil.
- Check the tread, inflation, and general condition of your tires.
- If your check engine light has been on for a month, take it in for service.
Zeck Ford in Oklahoma is committed to providing safe, reliable vehicles to Oklahoma residents. Each one of the cars on our lot goes through a rigorous 120-point inspection before being sold, and we are confident that once our customers meet their new car, they’ll want to continue taking care of it. Come check out our selection of affordable new and used vehicles in-person or online. We offer financing options in most cases.