Whether it’s going to work, school, or a long-needed vacation, chances are you won’t be going anywhere if it wasn’t for your car. As such, the importance of our vehicles is the exact reason that we need to focus on following maintenance directions.
After all, car breakdowns drain our resources, both physically and financially. Keep on reading for a list of things to pay close attention to when you’re reading your owner’s manual! Of course, not everything on this list may be in every single manual, but it's vital advice nonetheless.
10 Cleaning methods and recommendations
Although a car wash may sound pretty self-explanatory, it may be greatly beneficial for you to check the specific cleaning services and methods recommended by the car’s manufacturer. After all, you don’t do all your laundry in the exact same manner, do you?
Cars with different paint jobs, interiors, and seats will also require specific cleaning. Taking this extra precaution may determine how long those precious leather seats will really last! In the end, it can’t hurt to take a quick check and make sure that you’re using all the right cleaning methods.
9 Oil changes
Performing routine engine oil changes will not only ensure that your car is lubricated correctly but will also, in turn, prevent the need for costly repairs in the future. In fact, there are a plethora of benefits to changing your engine oil at the right time: better gas mileage, more effective cooling systems, removal of sludge and debris, as well as extending the lifespan of your entire car.
While the standard amount of time for an oil change remains at about 6 months, you should always double-check your owner’s manual to get a more accurate reading of your specific car’s needs!
8 Maintenance times
Aside from specific car parts to keep an eye on, you should also figure out a maintenance schedule so that your car can receive regular check-ups. During these check-ups, the mechanic may look at the hoses, transmission fluid, timing belt, spark plugs, and anything else that may pose a potential concern.
While it is generally recommended that you take your car in at least every quarter of the year, your trusty owner’s manual will again provide a more accurate timeframe for the make and model of your vehicle. The bottom line is, routine care will generally always be cheaper than those costly repairs that happen when something breaks down.
7 Seat adjustments
This one might seem obvious, but it is still a crucial safety aspect of any car and should be thoroughly addressed. Always remember to check the owner’s manual for the correct way to adjust your driver’s and passenger seats. Not only is this crucial for the driver to figure out the best length and angle for performance, but it is also important in case of emergencies.
In certain situations, knowing how to adjust your seat properly may be the key to exiting your vehicle! Furthermore, it may be extremely beneficial to figure out exactly how to attach a baby carrier or booster seat so that your children can be as safe as possible.
6 Proper octane level
When it comes to gasoline, premium is actually not what you always want to get, depending on your car. While it may seem inconsequential to you, choosing the correct octane level for your vehicle can be extremely important to the maintenance of the car! In fact, incorrect levels may cause your engines to run poorly, or even break down faster over time.
Depending on the compression ratio of your car, the manufacturer may recommend a higher or lower level. Always either check your owner’s manual thoroughly or do some research online about your new car before you play eeny-meeny-miney-moe at the gas pump!
5 Coolant levels
One of the most important aspects to maintaining a working, comfortable vehicle is regularly checking its cooling system. Of course, the best way to gauge how to do this is (you guessed it) by following the directions in your owner’s manual. It will always have the most accurate information about the coolant in your car.
However, it is also a good idea to make it a habit to visually check the coolant level every time you stop for gas. If you notice that your coolant seems to be depleting faster than usual, that may be a good sign to take your car in for a regular maintenance check.
4 Air filter changes
The engine is arguably the most significant part of your vehicle. After all, it’s responsible for allowing the car to move, isn’t it? This is why changing your air filter regularly is so important to your car’s stability.
The air filter collects dust, debris, and other possibly damaging elements and keeps them from reaching your engine and consequently clogging it. Over time, the filter will become full and replacement is absolutely necessary. Again, this is a service that you cannot ignore in order to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of your beloved vehicle. Be sure to check up on it regularly and purchase more when necessary!
3 Warranty information
For most of us, purchasing a vehicle is considered a rather large investment. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that your vehicle is accompanied by a detailed, thorough warranty that can protect your pockets in case things go wrong. After all, the last thing you want to do after buying a new car is to pay for expensive repair work.
Always look through the owner’s manual (as well as any other accompanying documents) for warranty information, and ask your car dealer any questions that you may have. By doing this, you can ensure that your new ride won’t totally break your bank.
2 Brake systems
Aside from the engine, your brake systems could be considered the most important part of your vehicle, for obvious reasons. Keeping up with their maintenance may end up saving lives! On your scheduled maintenance days, always be sure that the mechanic takes a thorough look at your brake fluids, rotors, and padding to ensure your safety.
When in doubt, refer to your owner’s manual for crucial information as well as recommended maintenance periods. Generally, even if nothing feels wrong, you should think about checking your brakes about every 20,000 miles. Although it may seem tiresome to go through so many checks, the risk is well worth taking these precautions.
1 Battery life
Finally, your owner’s manual will provide crucial information on your car’s battery, including specifics on jump-starting the car, should the situation arise. Moreover, even if the issue isn’t with you leaving your headlights on, your manual will still provide information on the type of battery your car comes with and how to maintain it properly.
Generally, it is recommended that you check your battery at least once every four to five years, but it never hurts to ask the mechanic to take a look every time you go in for maintenance. With this being said, you should also ensure that you keep jumper cables and other important emergency car maintenance items in your trunk, for those unfortunate yet sometimes inevitable situations.