As Young will tell you, fluids play a vital role in your vehicle’s health and happiness. In addition to power-steering fluid, your vehicle also needs transmission fluid to lubricate the gears, coolant to prevent the water in your engine from freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer, and oil to keep engine humming. Tend to these fluids and the components under the hood will stay in fine driving trim. A routine check might reveal that something is amiss under the hood. How do you know when to check the fluids? Check with a mechanic, which you can find through Kijiji Maintenance or reach into the glove compartment and look at your owner’s manual.
Inflate and rotate tires
Only Fred Flintstone can carry his car from home to work. The rest of us need tires on our vehicles to drive. If they’re not in good shape, it can be challenging to hold the road and even to stop. It’s a wonder, then, that so many people overlook tire maintenance. You should check your tire pressure about once a month, to ensure the wear is even and ensure good traction on the road. For the same reasons, it’s important to rotate your tires. Do that twice a year or every 80,000 kilometres. How should they be rotated? That depends on your vehicle’s drive train. Your owner’s manual will tell you what you need to know.
Replace windshield wipers
Without well-functioning wipers, you won’t know where you’re going until you get there. You need to see through the windshield so it shouldn’t be covered in streaks and patches caused by rain, snow, slush or, as sometimes happens in Friendly Manitoba, dead mosquitoes. Avoid this problem by replacing your wiper blades at least every six months.
Heed the engine light
Remember, your engine light is not a whining child. Pay attention to what it’s saying. The problem might be more serious than a poorly fastened gas cap, and it might require immediate attention. For example, it could be a sign of low oil pressure, which could ruin the engine, or a sign of overheating. Better safe than sorry; visit a mechanic as soon as possible.
Read the owner’s manual
A baby doesn’t come with an owner’s manual — just look into the eyes of a new father and you’ll see what we mean — but drivers have it easier than parents. Every new vehicle has a guide that will provide instruction on how to care for your vehicle. It will tell you what you need to know about the best fluids and fuel for your vehicle. It will also provide you with a maintenance schedule so you won’t lay awake at night, wondering when to change the transmission fluid or belts in the engine. Don’t treat this manual like your Grade 10 calculus book. Read it closely.