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person checking the engine oil levels in their car

Why It's Important to Maintain Your Vehicle

Understanding Why Regular Car Service Is Important

person checking their car's engine oil levelsMaintenance in an important aspect of owning your own vehicle. Without routine maintenance, your car becomes more prone to major malfunctions that can not only lead to significant financial costs, but might also create an unsafe or deadly situation for you and your passengers. Aside from financial hardship, most drivers typically neglect their vehicle maintenance because of a lack of awareness. Keeping up with needed repairs and suggested maintenance can reduce your risk of being in an avoidable accident.

Common Car Problems and Solutions To Be Aware Of

  • Cylinder Replacement: Cylinder malfunction often happens when there is an incorrect mixture of fuel, air and sparks. This leads to the cylinder overheating and eventually failing.
  • Transmission Assembly/Replacement: A faulty transmission will likely make your car unable to turn. These problems are usually caused by irregular or infrequent maintenance.
  • Spark-Plug Replacement: Failing to replace this can cause your vehicle’s cylinders to heat up and stop working.
  • Camshaft Replacement: Dirt and grime builds up when you don’t get oil changes frequently enough. This can sometimes lead to the camshaft breaking down.

What Regular Maintenance Should Be Done On a Car?

Knowing what regular maintenance you should perform on your car can be difficult, especially if you aren't familiar with your vehicle. Use this checklist to help get you started!

  • Become familiar with your owners' manual: As boring as it may seem, understanding how your car works can help you have a better idea of what things can go wrong!
  • Check your fluids: This includes: brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. Immediately refill any fluids that appear to be low. Low fluid levels can make your engine overheat.
  • Change your oil regularly: Oil keeps your engine going, so be sure to keep your oil levels where they need to be. Check and change your oil every 3,000 miles.
  • Check your tire pressure: Failing to check or maintain your vehicle’s tire pressure leads to more wear and tear and also increases the need to replace your tires entirely. Too much air in your tires can sometimes cause a blowout. How do you know what the pressure level should be? Check the sticker on the inside of the driver's side door, or your trusty owner's manual.
  • Check your tire's tread: Poor tread on a tire means less grip, which means a higher likelihood of slipping on damp or slick surfaces. If your tires look "bald" or the tread is wearing down, it's probably time to replace them!
  • Change your engine’s air filter: Dirty filters shorten the life expectancy of you vehicle and can even affect the gas mileage. The air filter on a vehicle usually needs to be replaced once or twice a year, depending on how often you drive.
  • Check your car's belts and hoses: While replacing these may require the help of a mechanic, you can always be on the lookout for any breaks or cracks that may cause issues if not attended to.
  • Check your wiper blades: If your wiper blades are worn out they won't work as well when wiping rain or moisture off the windshield, which can obstruct your vision. Replace them as soon as they begin to wear out.
  • Listen for issues with your brakes: If your brakes squeal or aren't as responsive as they should be when you brake, there's a chance the brake pads need to be replaced. 
  • Check your battery for corrosion: Corrosion can build up on batteries if not well-maintained. Check your battery for any corrosion and remove it with a wire brush and a mix of water and baking soda (be sure to wear gloves)!

Performing basic and routine maintenance can boost your vehicle’s performance and reduce your chances of a serious malfunction. While this may seem daunting to new drivers, it is an important part of being a responsible car owner, and something we should all be aware of.

For more information about the importance of vehicle maintenance, contact our Reno car accident lawyers today! We care about your concerns at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.​

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