Whether you’re 16 or 21, getting your first car is exciting. When you have a vehicle of your own, a whole new world of exploratory possibilities opens up. Once you choose the perfect car that fulfills your needs, you’ll want to keep it running as well as it did the day you first bought it. Knowing how to maintain your first car will go a long way in achieving that goal. We’ve made a list of quick and easy tips that will have you feeling like a pro in no time.
1. Maintain Your Tires
Your tires ultimately do most of the heavy lifting, and should you need to replace them, they can be very expensive. Purchase a small tire gauge to keep inside your car and check the tire pressure monthly. A sticker that lists what PSI you should maintain should be inside the door. Additionally, you should rotate your tires every 7,500 miles.
2. Replace Your Air Filter
You’ll want to replace your air filter every 12,000 miles in order to keep the engine running smoothly and your air free of any dust or allergens. Luckily, this is an easy task to complete on your own, so you won’t have to worry about having to pay someone else to do it.
3. Top Off and Replace Fluids
Depending on the quality of oil you purchase, you should have it changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. When you get it replaced, also have the mechanic check your brake fluid, coolant, and windshield cleaner. One thing in particular that car owners often ignore is the transmission fluid, but if you never have it replaced, you can might face expensive repercussions down the road. We recommend taking your car in for this service every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
4. Wash Your Car
Keeping your car clean will positively contribute to the vehicle’s resale value. Salt from winter roads can cause corrosion, and the acid found in some bugs can eat into your car’s paint if it’s left too long without being cleaned off. To protect your car from the outside elements, we recommend cleaning it every two weeks.
5. Keep All Paperwork
Try to keep all the paperwork you gather throughout the ownership of your car in one place—ideally, the glove compartment. This should include its title, proof of registration, and any maintenance records.
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