The haunting season is here, but that should be for trick-or-treating and costume parties, not your car. Deferred auto maintenance is scary, creating issues that can be expensive and sometimes even irreparable. You don’t have to be a mechanic (although you can dress as one this year) to know when something is amiss with your vehicle. Here are some common aspects to watch out for while you’re driving to keep the car monsters away:
- Wheel alignment out of balance: Have you ever been driving down a level, straight road and felt your car pull to one direction? How about your car feeling a little wobbly after hitting a massive pothole? This could mean your wheel alignment needs to be checked. Your tires will wear out unevenly if you let this go on for too long, and that is an expensive and unnecessary fix. Get your alignment checked often from a trusted mechanic shop.
- Your ride is not so smooth: Shock absorbers react to bumps to provide a smooth ride. If you start feeling like the same roads feel rougher to ride on, you’ll want to get your shocks checked. High quality, durable shock absorbers don’t just make the ride more comfortable, they also prolong the life of your car.
- Brake pads talking to you: Brake pads do not last the life of your car. It’s recommended to change them out about every 50,000 miles – depending a bit on make and model of your car and how you drive. If your car starts bumping when you apply the breaks or you hear them making noise, get them checked out. You definitely do not want your brakes to fail. Keep in mind that brake fluid also needs to be checked and replaced after a while.
- Oil changes and engine coolants check: Like water for our bodies, our car needs fluids. Check your fluids regularly to ensure your car is running at tip-top shape. See white smoke coming out of your exhaust? You may have a leaking head gasket. Keep a log of oil changes and fluid checks and changes to make sure you stay on top of this simple and necessary maintenance.
- Replace air filters: These are fairly easy and inexpensive to access and replace. Air filters prevent dust particles from getting into the engine, and good, clean filters boost performance and provide longevity to your engine. Airflow is important to your car, and it will even consume less fuel if the engine doesn’t have to gasp for air.
- Windshield wipers: This one may sound goofy, but you’d be surprised at how often people get stuck in a bad storm with poor windshield wipers. You don’t realize how important they are until you really need them. Check your wipers regularly, especially now that we’re headed into colder months where snow and salt will be pelting your windshield. Add don’t forget the washer fluid!
A trusted mechanic shop in your corner is all you need to make sure your car is running at optimal performance. Keep up on vehicle maintenance all year long to avoid the tricks and enjoy the treats.