Owning a vehicle requires more than just putting gas in the tank and taking care of your vehicle is the best way to keep it running for a long time. While many vehicles on the road today are filled with a complex array of sensors, computers and other high tech elements, there are still some things you can do yourself to ensure vital components are working like they should. Check out these tips on vehicle maintenance so you can keep your car on the road for years to come.

Oil Change

car oil change engine shutterstock_74202997One of the most basic things you could do yourself is changing the oil in your car. Typically, vehicles will need to have their engine oil changed every 3,000 miles or 3 to 6 months – depending on your driving habits. However, engine oil technology has advanced immensely over the years where some vehicles can go 5,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes.

This type of extended oil life is credited to synthetic and synthetic-blended oils that work more efficiently to give you longer performance. The purpose of oil is to lubricate the internal components in the engine so metal parts and press against other metal parts without damage. If your engine is depleted of oil, internal components will seize and ultimately ruin your vehicle in which you’d have to replace with used auto parts to save money on a repair.

Transmission Fluid

In order for your vehicle to seamlessly change gears, the transmission fluid must be changed accordingly to the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, the transmission fluid should be replaced every 30,000 miles to maintain optimal performance because the fluid will become dirty and dark over time. The process of changing your transmission fluid can be completed yourself if you have the right tools, but leave it to the professionals if you are uncertain about the task.

But make sure you perform this vehicle maintenance because bad transmission fluid can ruin the way your car drives by missing gears and eventually resulting in a failed transmission. And given the fact that new transmissions can cost in the upwards of a couple of thousands of dollars, you might find yourself in a tough situation if you have to replace it. You’ll typically save a lot of money if you find the auto parts used when replacing the whole system.

Engine Coolant

If you couldn’t tell by now, your engine is extremely important because it does require regular upkeep to maintain reliability. When it comes to the engine coolant/anti-freeze, you must make sure your vehicle has the fluid it needs to avoid overheating. Back in the day, water was commonly used to prevent the engine from overheating but today, engines are more complex and need advanced fluid that can keep the engine from overheating and freezing.

Generally, this fluid will need to be changed every 30,000 miles and on some vehicles, it could last even longer. However, as a good rule of thumb, visually inspect the engine coolant reservoir on a monthly basis to make sure the fluid is at an appropriate level. Sometimes cars will lose coolant/anti-freeze because of a leak and you’ll want to replace whatever part is causing the leak. Find the correct used autoparts that can repair the leaking component because new replacement parts will cost a fortune.

Any time you perform vehicle maintenance, refer to your owner’s manual for specific guidelines. If you’re missing the owner’s manual, check out the internet because you may be able to find information about your specific vehicle. Additionally, you could check out videos online that feature step-by-step instruction to perform some maintenance but just make sure you are confident in your skills to emulate the task.

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