Did you just buy a new car? How awesome it that?
I remember taking my first brand new car home from the dealership and being so excited, but not knowing exactly what I needed to do to take care of it. Yes, I know cars need an oil change but how often? Is there anything else you should be doing?
Sometimes, the car will come with a sheet giving you the basics on how to maintain your car. It may even have a file so you can keep track of the last time you took it in to be pampered. Not every car is the same though. Here are some ways you can take care of your new car so it will keep taking care of you.
Wash your car
It is recommended to wash your car every week or as often as you can. This helps you get the dirt and salt off of your car so it doesn’t ruin the paint. If you don’t have time for a complete wash, spray the undercarriage and fender walls.
Keep up on the oil changes
For most cars, it is recommended to change the engine, oil, and filter every 7,500 miles or six months, whichever comes first. The more (and possibly harsher) you drive the car, the more often you should change the oil.
Check the air filter
This can be done at the same time as the oil change. That way, you know exactly when to change it. My personal dealership has a recommended schedule so that you know when you’ll be changing the filters.
Inspect the exhaust system
This is also something that can be done when you take it in for an oil change. You can always listen to the exhaust system yourself while your driving to see if anything sound different. You know your car the best.
Look at the brakes
The tires will be checked when they get rotated and you can also check them yourself. Checking your tires helps you find problems like a nail in your tire faster than coming out of work and finding a flat.
Check the fluids
This can also be scheduled when you take the car in for an oil change. Having all the fluids checked helps you catch problems early.
Check the battery
Inspect the battery’s terminals and cables to make sure they are attached, with no corrosion. If the battery has removable caps, check its fluid level every few months—especially in warmer climates. Checking makes sure you don’t come outside to a dead battery.