By Madeline Klein on April 28, 2020.
We certainly aren’t car mechanics, and maybe you aren’t either, but with a little help from YouTube, we can complete these easy maintenance steps from home!
Take it for a spin
You know how it feels when you don’t move for a while and your body gets stiff? The same thing happens to your car when it isn’t driven for a long period of time. Don’t wait too long! Hop in and take a quick trip down the highway or on your favorite back road to get your car moving’ and groovin’! This will help prevent build-up under the hood, let your battery recharge, and keep your vehicle running smoothly.
Staying up to date on oil changes is extremely important because it ensures your fluid won’t break down over time. Most manuals suggest changing your oil every six months or 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Lucky for us, Edmunds walks you through how to change your oil at home! They also tell you which tools and materials you will need – wrench, oil filter wrench, oil drain pan, funnel, latex gloves, jack and jack stands, and of course the oil and oil filter. Order these items online and have them delivered right to your door! While the process might take longer at first, soon you’ll be familiar with the steps and confident enough to always change your own oil. Think of all the money you will save!
Check tire pressure
Your tire pressure fluctuates over time with changes in temperature. The suggested tire pressure for your vehicle can usually be found in the owner’s manual, driver’s side door, or glovebox. Bridgestone walks through the six big steps for checking tire pressure! These steps are:
1. Make sure tires are cold – Your tires are cold when the car hasn’t been driven for three or more hours.
2. Check recommended PSI – These can be found on one of those three locations we listed earlier.
3. Record PSI of each tire – This can be helpful if the PSI differs between front and back tires.
4. Check tire pressure with your gauge – Once the valve cap is removed, place the pressure gauge on the stem and press down until the hiss disappears. Voila, now you then have a reading from the number your gauge!
5. Fill to PSI – If your readings are under the recommended PSI, you’ll need to add air using an air compressor. Compressors are easily accessed at most gas stations.
6. Repeat this process monthly!
Keeping your car clean, on both the inside and the outside, will help protect the paint and prevent smells that attract critters. A good rule of thumb is to wash your car about every two weeks. We’ve got an incredible at home car cleaning guide to assist in making your car look spotless. Make sure to check on the inside of the car when you’re in cleaning mode to get all that dirt and grime out before your next trip!
Fill up your tank
This one might seem a bit counterintuitive. Why should I fill my tank up just to let my car sit for a month? Well, we are glad you asked! Aside from taking advantage of the fantastic gas prices that are sweeping the nation, when you fill your tank, it prevents rust and excess moisture from building up. Plus, if you have an emergency or need to take your car to get groceries, stopping for gas would be a pain—no time for melted ice cream sandwiches here!
Hopefully, you find these tips helpful, we know your car will love the extra attention during this time of minimal travel!