Getting kids to clean their rooms is one of the most difficult parenting tasks. Children seem to have an endless list of excuses for not tidying up their living quarters. Some of those excuses are well thought out and even somewhat logical. Take for example the oldest excuse in the teenage handbook: “Why should I make my bed when I’m just going to sleep in it again tonight?” As a car dealership, we hear many of the same excuses for not performing routine car maintenance. Indeed, it can feel futile to wash, wax, and vacuum your car when you’re just going to keep driving the vehicle, reversing the results of your hard work. But, while those routine items may feel tedious and fruitless, they’re actually some of the most important things you can do for your car. Here’s a list of the top ten.

  1. Oil Changes

Oil changes are probably the most well known form of routine maintenance, but are often neglected because of busy schedules. Oil changes keep your engine well lubricated, reducing friction, and extending the life of your car. Failure to keep up can cause real damage and cost you real money.

  1. Tire Rotation

Most drivers don’t think a lot about their tires. Neglecting your wheels, however, can cause your tread to wear unevenly. Uneven wear on a set of tires can drastically reduce the lifespan of those tires, costing you more money in the long run.

  1. Other Fluids

Almost every driver recognizes the need for periodic oil changes. But oil isn’t the only fluid requiring regular replacement. Depending on the age, model, and type of car, you may need to regularly check and replace transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, wiper fluid, and others. Refer to your owner’s manual for detailed schedules and procedures for these other fluids.

  1. Washing and Waxing

Cleaning the car is often seen as a non-essential, aesthetic nicety. However, keeping your car regularly washed, waxed, and vacuumed can actually provide real functional benefit. By keeping harmful, corrosive substances off your paint job, a good wash and wax can keep your car’s exterior in better shape.

  1. Engine Air Filter Change

The air filter protects your engine by preventing debris from entering along with the air your engine takes in. When the filter is dirty or clogged, your engine is forced to work harder, decreasing gas mileage, reducing engine power, and increasing wear and tear.

  1. Check and Adjust Tire Air Pressure

The best time to check your air pressure is before you have a flat tire. Regular assessment of air pressure can help catch problems early. As an added benefit, keeping your tires at optimal air pressure can improve gas mileage and save you money.

  1. Wiper Blade Replacement

Windshield wiper blades aren’t meant to last forever, but most drivers forget to evaluate the condition of their blades until they’re caught in a serious storm. Perform a visual inspection regularly and replace them before they’re totally worn out.

  1. Safety and Emissions

Partly because they’re required by law, most drivers do a good job of remembering to perform regular safety and emissions inspections. Aside from keeping the cars legally compliant and environmentally clean, these can be a great way to catch and fix little problems before they become major issues.

  1. Hose and Belt Inspection

Inspecting the condition of hoses and belts goes beyond the level of capability possessed by most car owners. But, these components play an important role in the overall function of your vehicle, so be sure to have them regularly inspected by a mechanic or a technician at the car dealership service station.

  1. Battery and Cable Examination

Over time, the amount of power stored in a car battery can diminish. It’s a good idea to regularly test your battery by using a multimeter. While you’re under the hood, visually inspect the car’s other electrical components and clean the battery connections.

Like making your bed every morning, it’s good to get in the habit of performing routine maintenance on your vehicle. Doing these things regularly can help your car to run better in the short term and will probably extend the overall life of the car. Whether you take your vehicle into the car dealership service station, neighborhood mechanic, or your own garage, it’s a good idea to stick to a simple schedule of routine car maintenance.

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