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The whole time you own a car, you should be doing regular checks in order to maintain it.  This can include checking the oil, fluids and tires to name a few.  First you should check your car’s manual for recommendations on what you should do to keep your car running at its optimal level.

Engine

To ensure your engine is functioning properly, you should have your oil changed as recommended in your manual.  The amount of time between oil changes differs in each car, so you should always look in your manual for specific directions.  Even after your oil is changed, you should check it regularly to make sure you are not losing too much oil to fast.  You should also check to make sure it’s the right consistency.  The better you keep up with it, the better your car will run.

Transmission fluid and coolant should be topped off and changed occasionally.  Again, check your manual for your car’s recommended maintenance for these components.

Exterior

While it is important to maintain the mechanical and electrical aspects of your car, the exterior should not be ignored.  To protect the paint job, you should wash it regularly along with waxing it.  This will keep it looking like new.  Cleaning your car regularly will ensure that unnecessary corrosion such as rusting will not occur.

Tires

People will sometimes neglect their tires because they assume they are inflated properly.  Over time, tires can naturally lose air, which affects wear and tear and gas mileage.  You should check your tire pressure on a regular basis and inflate when needed.  Underinflated tires affect your driving immensely.

Also, you should check the tread on your tires regularly.  With good tread on your tires, you will get the best traction on the road.  If your tires are worn too much, you could lose control of your car more easily.  Not to mention your driving is compromised in bad weather if you need new tires.  To maintain your car and safety, you should have good tires on your car at all times.

Another issue to consider is balancing your tires.  With improper balancing, your car could shake at high speeds.  This can be dangerous, so your tires should be balanced properly as soon as possible.  Often when your tires are rotated, they are also balanced at the same time as part of the service.

General

Generally, you should always be aware of the sounds and noises your car makes.  If you are in tune with these things, then you will notice when something is not right.  As soon as you feel a vibration or hear an abnormal noise, you should have your car checked.  In order to keep your car running, you need to stay on top of everything.

Maintaining your car takes both awareness and action on your part.  It is important to change your oil regularly, check fluids and your tire pressure in order to keep your car running.  If you take car of your car, your car will take care of you.  By staying aware, you can prevent some very costly repairs and keep your car running for years to come.

Lawrence Reaves writes for Conklin Fangman, a Cadillac, Buick and GMC dealership offering parts and service.  For more information on Conklin Fangman and the services they offer, go here.