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Make it a habit to perform a routine check of belts, hoses, tires and fluid levels once a month – and bring your vehicle into an Iowa City car repair shops should you discover any issues. Many problems are inexpensive to correct while they are small problems but can quickly become major financial headaches should they escalate.

Take your car’s belts, for example. Belts are used in power steering and in other areas of the car. Although they’re made of durable material, over time they can become worn, frayed or cracked. A broken belt can be a major safety hazard if it breaks while you’re driving. If you notice cracks or worn areas, bring it to your mechanic’s attention immediately.

The same goes with hoses. Like belts, hoses are made of durable material, but vibration from the car engine and rubbing against metal parts can lead to cracks and leaks. Major leaks are easy to spot; you discover a green puddle underneath your car, for example, and realize the radiator is leaking. Pinhole or small leaks are harder to uncover. Checking the fluid levels in your vehicle monthly can help you discover a slow leak. If month after month you need to add fluids, chances are good they’re escaping through a small leak somewhere.

Worn tires are a safety hazard, and you should replace worn tires at the earliest possible opportunity. Unevenly worn treads may be an indication that your vehicle’s alignment is off too, putting uneven stress upon the tires and wearing the treads unevenly. Your mechanic may recommend a wheel alignment in addition to replacing worn out tires.