3 Critical Car Maintenance Elements You Can’t Afford to Ignore

We all depend on our vehicles. Whether it’s commuting work, taking care of your family, getting to the grocery store, or even enjoying your favorite activities, you need to be able to get where you need to go.

So when it comes to your car, you can’t wait for something to go wrong. By then, you will likely be up against the wall and facing not just inconveniences and safety risks but a big bill for the upcoming repairs. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, it pays to be proactive. This is the only way to ensure that small issues don’t turn into giant problems — for both your lifestyle and your bank account.

The good news is that if you habitually keep up on a few key maintenance items, you should be protected against the most common pitfalls. The issues that tend to resurface again and again on roadways across America are mostly preventable with a bit of attention. The following three elements in particular represent some of the best ways to keep your car, truck, SUV, or van running smoothly and out of the repair shop.

Changing the Oil

This one should honestly go without saying. Because if you haven’t heard it before, you haven’t been listening. The entire automotive industry has spent the past few decades driving home the notion that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Sure, this precise number can be debated (modern cars can usually go longer between changes). But you should think of this adage the same way you consider doctor’s advice like “drink eight glasses of water or day” or “get eight hours of sleep every night.”

You may be able to get by on a little less or stretch things a bit. But as with your personal health, you absolutely cannot overlook this critical maintenance item if you want to maintain the health of you vehicle. One last tip: If you really want to realize some savings (and learn a little bit in the process), you can even do it by yourself on the cheap.

But regardless of how you make it happen, don’t skip your oil change. You will live to regret it — perhaps every time you look at your bank account for the next few years.

New Tires

While lagging on your oil change is most likely to do damage inside your car, not paying mind to your tires is a safety hazard that puts you and your family at risk. Simply put, tires don’t last forever. When they get bald or worn down, the ability to drive a car safely becomes impaired.

Yes, it’s a pain, and, yes, it can be expensive. But it’s essential to regularly check for the telltale signs of wear and tear. And if you want to save some money and get the most out of every change, you should also rotate the tires and look into some options with a local provider or mechanic that don’t require you to always buy new.

Extra Safeguards

No matter how vigilant you are, some problems just can’t be avoided. Accidents happen, stray rocks may destroy a windshield, and sometimes a new part just goes bust out of the blue.

This is why is makes sense to always have another safety guard in place. By securing an extended warranty or third-party car service plan that may cover elements such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance, you will be making one more great move to save money on repairs and maintenance. This way, you are covered for even the things that you might have overlooked.

Keeping Up to Speed

Maintaining your vehicle is simply something you must do. The car itself is one of the largest investments you will make and only a fool fails to protect such a significant purchase once they have it home.

Luckily for you, it doesn’t take a NASCAR pit mechanic to stay up to speed on the most critical elements of car maintenance. Just focus on the following three factors: Changing the oil regularly in line with the manufacturer recommendations, keeping a good tread on your tires, and getting an extended warranty to cover any oversights of emergency problems that arise.

The difference between doing it right and not doing it at all can be a fortune. With thousands — and often even tens of thousands — of dollars at stake, there is just no excuse for not keeping up on the most importance maintenance items.