Oil Change: 8 Tips to Make Sure Your Car Runs Smoothly
An oil change is an essential part of car maintenance, but it isn’t the only thing you need to do. Read on for 8 tips to keep your car running smoothly.
Are you the type of person who turns up the radio to drown out strange noises coming from your car? While it can ease your mind temporarily, there’s no escaping the fact that strange noises might mean it’s in need of some TLC.
Often, something as simple as an oil change can make all the difference. But why is an oil change service so important? We’re going to take a look at what it can do for the health of your car, as well as some other ways to keep your car running smoothly.
Keep reading and buckle up as we take a road trip through the world of car maintenance.
1. Why an Oil Change Is Important
It’s no exaggeration to say that checking and changing the oil in your car at regular intervals is the single best way to keep your engine running as smoothly as possible, for as long as possible. But why?
The role of oil in a car is literally to help the engine run smoothly. There are lots of moving parts in an engine, and if these parts were left to rub against each other without lubrication, they would overheat and cause irreparable damage.
Oil reduces friction between these parts and allows the engine to run efficiently and smoothly.
How Long Does an Oil Change Take?
For a professional, an oil change should only take between 30-45 minutes, so it’s a service you can have carried out on your car while you wait.
It is something you can even do by yourself, but if you’re not confident, it’s best to get a professional oil change.
How Often Should I Change the Oil?
Traditionally, car owners would be encouraged to change the oil every 3 months or 3000 miles, but modern-day oil in modern-day engines allows you to go up to a year or 10,000 miles between services.
Checking your oil monthly is a great way to ensure that you’re not putting your engine under any unnecessary stress.
Let’s take a look at some other ways you can keep your car running smoothly.
2. Inspect and Change Tires Regularly
The tires are quite literally where the rubber hits the road, so it makes sense to ensure your tires aren’t overly worn. There are a few things that can cause premature tire wear:
- misaligned wheels
- erratic driving (especially accelerating and braking)
- incorrectly inflated tires
- worn suspension
Check your tire pressure regularly and before long journeys to make sure they are in adequate condition. You’ll not only prolong their life, but you’ll get better fuel economy, too.
3. Check Fluids Regularly
You’ll know when you need to top up your windshield washer fluid, but there’s no such obvious indicator for other fluids in the car. Check the levels of the following fluids regularly:
- Brake Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Transmission Fluid
- Engine Coolant
Ignoring the levels of these fluids can affect the quality of your ride, and could cause expensive damage if they’re neglected for too long.
4. Check and Replace the Air Filter
The air filter prevents dust, dirt, and other particles (flies too!) from getting into the engine and affecting its efficiency.
A dirty air filter won’t work as well as a new one. They are a relatively inexpensive part and can even improve performance—clean air allows the engine to burn fuel more efficiently and help you get the most out of the car.
5. Replace Windshield Wipers
Worn-down windshield wipers are something we all seem to put up with for longer than we need to. We grumble about them not doing their job and smearing dirt all over the windshield, but replacing them often seems to be last on the to-do list.
Sometimes, cleaning the blades will be enough to get a little more life out of them, but they’re not expensive to replace and will make your life a lot easier, especially in the winter months when salt gets kicked up from the vehicles around you.
6. Test Your Lights
Having a blown-out bulb is a sure-fire way to draw attention to your car and get yourself a ticket.
Driving at night? Before you set off, turn your headlights on and get out to check that they’re working both on the low and high beam setting.
Check brake lights by reversing up to a garage door or wall and depressing the brake pedal—it’ll be easy to tell if one or both lights isn’t working.
7. Wash Your Car
Washing your car can extend the life of the paintwork and prevent scratches from dust and dirt that has attached to the bodywork.
Further down the line, this can really help you out in terms of the resale value of your vehicle, so it’s well worth the effort to either wash the car yourself or take it to a car wash.
8. Test Your Brakes
The brakes are undoubtedly the most important part of the car when it comes to safety, so they are definitely something you don’t want to neglect.
Squeaking, squealing, or grinding brakes are all signs that either the pads or discs need to be replaced, so swing by Huber Chevrolet for a brake check to ensure your car has the stopping power it’s supposed to have.
Give Your Car the Best Chance of a Long Life
Regular oil changes are just one of many ways to extend the life of your car. If you haven’t had an oil change for over a year, get in touch with us at (402) 509-5722 today to arrange a service.