April is National Car Care Month. As Spring approaches, many cars are not ready for the summer months after a long cold winter. Salt and harsh road conditions are corrosive to metal, and destroy the clear coat on your paint, which makes your car lose value. April is the time to maintenance your vehicle before the summer months.
From a business perspective, vehicle maintenance is a money making industry. Basic maintenance fuels millions of dollars into the automotive industry ever year. Vehicle registrations grew in the United States by over 27.36% last year according to Country Economy. Although not all vehicles require a mechanic, simple maintenance and upkeep such as waxing can add extra dollars to the pockets of auto-dealers.
Basic maintenance and upkeep can go a long way in improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle, as well as helps to avoid costly repairs in the future. According to AAA, the average American spend approximately $792 per year on the maintenance of their vehicle. Neglecting your vehicle only adds to expenses, and may be the reason for increased costs in years to come.
Some simple steps that car owners can take to avoid costly repairs are:
- Check all fluids in your car regularly including oil, filters, brakes, transmission, power steering, and coolant
- Replace engine and cabin filers every six months
- Inspect hoses at each oil change and have them replaced when leaking
- Check belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition
- Check the brake system at least once per year as well as brake linings, rotors, and drums
- Check that the battery connection is clean, tight, and corrosion-free
- Maintain tire pressure and tread, and keep an eye out for uneven or irregular wear
- Have your alignment checked regularly to improve fuel economy and handling
The key to maintenance is following your owners-manual, as well as vehicle service schedule for the proper times to maintain your automobile.