In order to keep your car running the way it needs to you should keep up on regular maintenance. If you bought your car brand new follow the 30-60-90 rule. If your buying a used car have your mechanic fully inspect the vehicle before anything, this way you either save yourself some trouble or you get peace of mind in your purchase. Keep in mind that some environments will require check-ups more regularly, the way you drive will directly affect some things such as your brakes and tires. Your environment, whether it is dirty, dusty, full of pollen, hot, or cold also affects your vehicle, extreme conditions wear on your car more than mild conditions. If you live in an extreme climate or regularly put high-stress on your car you will want to examine your vehicle more often for necessary maintenance.
Spark plugs are very important to a vehicle and their need for maintenance does not go unnoticed. Consistent trouble starting your vehicle does not always mean a problem with the battery or alternator it can often time mean your spark plugs are too worn to create a “spark” and start your car. Another noticeable problem caused by spark plugs is an engine misfire. This is where your engine skips for a moment and then continues on as if nothing happened, a vehicle that is misfiring has dramatically increased emissions as well as decreased gas mileage. Misfiring can also cause your vehicle to send too much gasoline into the system which could fry your catalytic converter. Surging and trouble accelerating can also be due to spark plugs, all of these problems point to signs that your engine is not getting adequate energy.
Cabin filters and engine filters are another maintenance item that is necessary for the longevity of your vehicle and to avoid costly repairs. Your cabin air filter is typically located behind the glove compartment or under the dashboard. Its job is to keep the air inside your cabin clean, it filters out dirt, dust, pollen, smog, and mold spores and keeps them from entering the cabin of your car. When your cabin filter is dirty it can make the A/C work harder than necessary and burn out important components that run your air conditioning. In order to burn one gallon of gas your car burns about 12,000 gallons of air, all of that air has to be filtered to keep your engine clean. If your engine filter is clogged your engine may not be getting enough air which can cause a variety of costly problems. A clean engine air filter will give you the best fuel economy and performance from your vehicle. Checking both of these filters should be a routine part of every oil change.
Keep on top of preventative maintenance and you would be amazed at how much your car thanks you for it. On top of that as soon as an issue occurs fix it before it turns into a bigger problem. Make sure to read up on your vehicle’s service manual but also use your intuition and pay close attention to what your car is telling you.