Car maintenance tips and advice

While car maintenance might not be the foremost thing on your mind, it's not something to be ignored. For many people, caring for their car is an intimidating task, something they ignore rather than thinking about. Unfortunately, that can come with a high cost.

The fact is most car care is simple enough, and you can perform it at your home with few tools. You only lack the knowledge to accomplish these tasks.

One of the biggest keys to proper car maintenance is to perform the different tasks regularly. While your vehicle might be okay on a certain item one month, thanks to seasonal patterns in Canada, conditions for your car are constantly changing. For example, during the winter you need to check your tire pressure more often, thanks to extreme cold temperatures.

Lighting is an area often neglected, but it's vital. Your headlights and fog lights help you see where you're going at night or during heavy snow or rain. They, along with the taillights, also help other drivers on the road see you. Not maintaining the lights could cause a serious accident. Check all lights regularly to ensure no bulbs have burnt out. Also, before driving in snowy conditions, brush all snow off each light on your car.

In fact, before you drive anywhere in the winter, remove all snow from your car. Carry a brush and window scraper, so you clear everything off. Snow left on your roof can blow onto other vehicles, or slide onto your windshield, posing a danger.

Check all fluid levels in your car regularly. How often you do this should depend on the age of your vehicle, its condition, how much you drive and the weather. If you're concerned, checking each time you stop for fuel is a good plan.

Keeping your windshield clear is also essential to forward visibility. Wiper blades don't last forever, so it's important you swap them out as necessary. If you notice the wipers are leaving streaks on your windshield, that can be a sign the rubber is cracking and falling apart. It also can be from dirt and grime on the wipers, which is why you should clean them off with a soft cloth first. If the streaking continues, then replace the blades.

Keep your car clean. Not only does it look better, but removing dirt, salt and other debris will help it last longer. Use a soft cloth, and rinse it often to avoid scratching the paint. When washing your car, only use soaps made for vehicles. Dish soap and household cleaners can strip off the protective wax on your paint, plus ruin the finish.

Having wiper blades in good repair is only part of the solution. You also must check the windshield washer fluid regularly. In the winter, when you're using it more, checking the level and topping it up once a week isn't a bad idea. Also, keep a bottle of fluid in your cargo area, just in case you run out.

Follow all manufacturer service intervals. These recommendations were made by the people who designed and engineered your car. Failing to follow the recommended schedule can have serious consequences for the long-term maintenance of your vehicle.

If you need help with any of these items, contact our service department.

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