At this point in our series on preventative maintenance for your car, your vehicle should be looking pretty good! We’ve looked at just about everything you need to proactively clean and replace under the hood to make sure your vehicle doesn’t break down and you don’t have to call us for a tow.
If you’ve missed it, make sure you check out part one and part two of our car maintenance series, then make sure to come back here and read part three. This article is looking at some of the most crucial parts to your engine that are easy to pass over, such as coolant levels and tires.
Not a lot of people know just how important coolant is to a car’s health. Coolant is pretty similar to oil in terms of importance, but, fortunately, it lasts much longer.
What does coolant do exactly? Well, it works as an antifreeze in cooler environments, guards against corrosion in the cooling system and, of course, helps keep the engine temperature down. A hot engine can lead to car failure and serious damage to the internal workings of a car, which when combined with the various roles that it serves means it’s important to keep coolant topped-off.
Checking the level regularly is important, but quantity is not enough information. Making sure the coolant in your system is clean and potent is important, too. Over time, coolant slowly exhausts its ability to keep engines cool, but it may not actually reduce in quantity. For this reason, it’s important to change the coolant even if it appears full. This should only be down with the right coolant type for your car, and it should be done every two years or 24,000 miles.
Tires should be pretty common knowledge, so we won’t spend too much time covering them. The most important thing to know is that the wear on your tires can mean a few different things. If the tires aren’t lasting for as long as they’re advertised, take your car to a mechanic to read the tires and see what they say. Some tire wear can mean improper inflation or worn suspension components.
Tires should be replaced when the tread-depth on the tires gets dangerously low. While a mechanic can run a test with a tread-depth gauge, there’s a simple home test, too. To check your tire tread, stick an upside-down penny into the tread and see if you can see Abraham Lincoln’s head. If you can see ol’ Abe, it’s time to replace your tires. Be aware that tires are also prone to special circumstances. Winter and summer can take a toll on tires that may mean you need to change them before you normally would.
That concludes our preventative car-care series. Fixing a car before something goes wrong is much easier and less stressful than waiting for it to break down. Take care of your car, and it will take care of you!
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