We all know at least one person that repeatedly complains about the poor quality of the cars he owned (or currently owns) and the many problems they caused him, while refusing to acknowledge the role he plays in his “bad luck”. Like everything that is meant to last, a car has to be regularly maintained to run decently on the long term. Even if we’re not all mechanics and a defect or a serious breakdown can happen to anyone, most car issues can be solved by following these few simple recommendations.
Tires and brakes
If you have a problem with one of those, your car pretty much becomes a heavy duty clipboard, so you better assess your tires’ condition on a regular basis. You can buy a pressure gauge for a few dollars at the nearest Canadian Tire and it will allow you to check if your tires are inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you don’t trust yourself with this operation, ask your mechanic to take a look at them now and then. As for the brakes, don’t wait until they break to change them, it’s not a smart strategy. Considering our climate, brake changes is not something you want to postpone to the latest moment. As soon as you notice that your braking time is getting increasingly long, make an appointment with a mechanic.
Oil engine and battery
That’s a detail that too many people neglect because oil engine *seems* less important than other parts like tires. Despite what you think, a lack of attention on this front could cause the premature death of your vehicle. On top of making an oil change every 5,000-6,000 km, you should also check its level between each draining, especially if your car starts to show its age or to “drink” oil. The same goes for your battery: don’t wait for the battery you didn’t pay attention to in the last 2-3 years to die on you in the middle of an epic storm while you’re far from home!
Windshield, mirrors and windows
It’s less a question of maintenance than a safety measure, but never take the road if one or several glass parts of your vehicle are dirty, opaque or even slightly chipped. Check that beforehand, you may not have another opportunity between this moment and the one when you’ll need a perfect 360 degrees visibility.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list of car maintenance’s good practices, but doing just these will save you a lot of troubles and expenses down the road. Be proactive in terms of maintenance, you will always benefit!