We rely on our vehicles, and our whole civilization is built around the fact that we can easily traveler quickly and comfortably. Of course, over time, we may have abused this opportunity, as we now use vehicles for simple chores, and we easily forget the negative influence of carbon-dioxide, which is produced as an exhaust fume of internal combustion engines.
This being said, it is only smart to use your vehicle reasonably, and to make sure that it is in perfect working condition, as only then will you be sure that it is producing the minimum amount of greenhouse gases. When we take into account that an average person spends from 600 to 900 hours a year in a vehicle, we can easily calculate that it is about 8% of our lifetime, and this only emphasizes the need for a having a safe, well-optimized vehicle.
Your vehicle requires constant attention, and this fact is similar to the attention needed by a child. You need to check everything regularly or things can quickly go sideways. So, what are the most important things, when it comes to taking care of your vehicle?
Your vehicle can be insured in a number of ways, and you alone can decide what is best for you, and most importantly, your budget. There are liability insurances, which are basically the most common, and usually required by law. It covers all the damage done in a vehicle accident, but only if it is not your fault. The value of insurance depends, and you can decide what level of coverage you need, and based on that, you will be compensated.
There are other kinds of insurance which include: collision insurance, comprehensive insurance (which basically covers everything, even the damage done by natural disasters and theft), and even PIP insurance (that covers all medical expenses after a car accident).
You need to, at least once a week, look around your vehicle, and try and see if there is any leakage – and you might detect that antifreeze, that the water or oil are leaking, and this might cause something to malfunction. If you do detect any, take it to a repair shop, where a professional can find out exactly what it is, and repair it safely.
Also, make sure to check your tires, and see if they can be re-inflated. Another thing to remember is checking the tread depth, so that you know if it is time to replace it. Tread depth is the depth of a tire’s grooves, and it should normally be around half an inch, as it increases traction. Once a month, check and change your oil – or every 3000 miles, or whatever comes first. When you are doing that, check the brakes, wipers etc.
While we all aren’t mechanics, most of this things are small DIY projects, and a responsible driver should always know how to replace some minor faulty parts, and how to recognize when something is off. This includes:
● Checking the battery – many batteries require little to no maintenance, and this is only because of the advanced technology used. But to be on the safe side, you should really check it periodically just to ensure that it is not leaking battery acid, or that is has somehow deformed. Batteries can die without giving any warning signals, so a regular checkup is important.
● Replacing air filters – this is usually done every 12000 miles, and it is probably of the simplest replacements in a vehicle. You can find this filter under the hood of your vehicle, usually in a black rectangular box with metal clips on the sides.
● Cleaning windshield wipers – you will need new wiper blades every six months or so, and you can occasionally clean them, but ultimately, the rubber will become worn out, and a replacement will be needed. You can consult the box on how to replace them, and that is quite an easy task.
● Check your spark plugs – most spark plugs need replacing after about 30.000 miles, but just be sure, check the vehicle’s manual, and check if it suggests otherwise. While it can sound like a lot of work, it is a pretty simple process, and with a little patience you will do it. Check your guide for further instructions and if you need any help, don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic.
Annual Check Up
Basically, at this point, there is nothing that you can do, except to take it in for a general checkup. In most countries, and in Europe, this is a requirement by law, to ensure that the vehicle is safe to use, and if its emissions are in order. This is all done for your safety, and the safety of others, and it is of paramount importance that we all take care of our vehicles, and use them wisely.