Owning a car is a necessity in most of the country, because mass transit is either unavailable or unreliable in most cities. However, despite it being a necessity for most, it’s a privilege for many as well, because cars aren’t exactly cheap. Whether your car is older with 50,000 miles on it, or new and in tip-top shape, you’re still going to have to spend money taking care of your car to ensure it lives a long life, and also to ensure that you’re not going to have to pay big bucks to get something on it repaired.
Our loan officers at Polam FCU are happy to help you buy a car with our popular auto loans, but our team also has a few important tips and pointers for taking care of your car on a regular basis to save you money in the long run.
- Change your car’s oil and check its fluids on a regular basis. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car healthy, namely if you drive a gas-run car. Make sure your car has fresh oil roughly every 5,000 miles – you can either do this yourself, or you can take it to a qualified oil change shop. When you’re stopping for gas, check your fluids under your hood – antifreeze, wiper fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid – to ensure they’re at proper levels.
- Check your tires and brakes. Having your brakes inspected once a year is optimal for your car, as you put wear on them every time you stop at a light or stop sign, or get stuck in traffic. Eventually they will need to be replaced, so yearly inspections will give you a good idea on when you’ll need to do that. If your tires are between six and 10 years old, you might be due for new set. Have your tires rotated every 10,000 miles and always check the tread on them to ensure safety and the performance of your car.
- Make sure your battery, air filter, and wipers are in good shape. Depending on how long you’ve had the battery in your car, you might be due for a new one, as time and use can deplete its energy and may leave you stranded somewhere if it suddenly dies. Having a clean air filter for your car can increase the longevity of your car; if you don’t know when to change it, take the filter out and hold it to the light, and if you can’t see through it, you’re due for a new one. Changing your wipers twice a year is usually recommended, but if you live in an area that gets minimal precipitation, you might be able to change them once a year.