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Preventative Maintenance: 5 Steps to Completing Your Own Car Tune-up

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Owning a car is a big responsibility. Maintaining a reliable vehicle is important in order to ensure both your safety and that of other drivers on the road. Most drivers leave the regular maintenance up to mechanics, and others ignore them altogether — until their car starts acting up, that is. Some of these things are so basic that you could be saving time and money by simply doing them yourself.

Check Your Oil Regularly

Image via Flickr by Highways Agency

Did you know that you are supposed to check your oil at least once a week? Most drivers are so busy, they may not get around to it until every other month or so, if at all. If you skipped that week in driver’s ed class, here is a helpful step-by-step guide to checking your oil. Checking your oil often will ensure you notice when it starts to get dirty, and it’s time to change it.

Change Your Oil

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Most drivers trust their oil changes to the hands of an auto mechanic. However, this is something you should learn to do yourself because you never know when you might have to. Auto maintenance shops will always change for this and you will have to wait a few hours until your car gets taken care of but you can save time and money by learning to do it yourself.

Top Off Fluid Levels

Topping of your car’s fluid levels is an important step in keeping your car well-maintained. Use a funnel and slowly pour in the oils needed for your car. Just remember not to overfill your engine. This can damage the seals and cause permanent problems with your car.

Change Out Spark Plugs


Image via Flickr by AJ Hill – Blacklight Propaganda Photography

Spark plugs are some of the tiniest parts in a vehicle and yet they play a huge role. If just one of them burns out or breaks, it could be the reason your car may not start or run properly. Of course, in the best case scenario, your car troubles will be related to spark plugs. When you have learned to check for this and if it is still something else, an affordable rental from Hertz will have you in a safe and reliable vehicle until yours gets back on the road. Change the spark plugs as needed and keep a watchful eye to make sure they are all working to their best capacity.

Change Tires

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Just because your tire has not gone flat yet or suffered a puncture, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be replaced. After a while even the best tires will become worn down. You need good traction in your tires for them to work while driving over rough terrain or to be able to make a sharp stop. Most experts recommend that you change your tires every 30,000-50,000 miles, depending on regular wear and tear.

Take pride in your vehicle. Learn to take care of the little things in your car so you never have to worry about being stuck on the side of the road again. Perform your own preventative maintenance and never feel helpless under the hood.

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