You know the saying, “ignorance is bliss”? Well, that shouldn’t apply to routine vehicle maintenance. Be sure to consult the Murray car repair experts at Master Muffler if you have any concerns about your car’s performance.

Why Schedule Regular Maintenance?

To keep your car running smoothly and safely, it’s important to be aware of how it’s functioning. Conducting routine maintenance as a car owner doesn’t have to take up too much of your time, and it can end up saving you money in the long run. If you neglect to take care of your car, it can sometimes void the manufacturer’s warranty, leaving you to foot the bill if something costly comes up. 

Routine Maintenance for Your Car

So what should you be looking at when it comes to routine maintenance? 

Tires

Tire maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual should list recommended tire PSI (pound-force per square inch), or you can locate that information on the driver’s side door frame. Tire pressure warnings are often located on your vehicle’s dashboard, so if you don’t happen to notice your tires are low or overinflated, your car’s computer will. 

You can purchase an inexpensive tire pressure gauge to keep in your glove compartment, making it easy to check your tires on your own. Whether digital or analog, a pressure gauge is affixed to the valve on your tire to read the pressure. Some gas stations have free or cheap air pumps so you can adjust your PSI yourself.

Failure to maintain proper PSI in your tires can lead to dangerous driving conditions and can affect your vehicle’s performance overall.

When you’re checking your PSI, also be sure to look for cracks, punctures, or uneven wear on your tires. At Murray Master Muffler, we can perform tire alignments to ensure you get even wear on your tires, providing a smoother and safer ride. 

Oil

Your engine needs oil to stay lubricated, allowing moving parts to function with less friction. To protect the life of your engine, be sure you’re regularly checking your oil level each month. Most vehicles have an oil dipstick near the engine, allowing you to easily check whether or not it’s time to top off. 

To check your oil: remove the dipstick from the reservoir and wipe it clean. Notice the notches on the dipstick. Insert the dipstick back into the reservoir and remove it a second time. You’ll see the oil at one of the notches on the dipstick, indicating how much oil is in your vehicle. Refer to your owner’s manual to know which notch means it’s time to add more oil.

Getting a regular oil change can help prevent sludgy buildup in your engine, which inhibits performance. If you don’t want to tackle this yourself, one of our most common Murray car repair services is an oil change. 

Do you know what type of oil your vehicle requires? Depending on your car, driving style, and climate, the best type of motor oil you need can vary. Your owner’s manual will tell you the recommended viscosity for your vehicle, and whether to use synthetic or conventional oil.

Fluids

The oil isn’t the only fluid to routinely check on your vehicle. Either you or our Murray car repair experts should be ensuring your car has the right levels of the following:

  • Brake fluid
  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid

These levels could be low due to regular usage, or there might be a leak in your system. Keep your eyes peeled for stains where you park your car; this will help you determine if you have a leak, and what it might be.

Lights

Have you ever thought about testing your vehicle’s lights during the day? Many newer cars automatically turn on the lights when you start your engine, but older models are manual. As a result, sometimes you don’t know your lights are out until you attempt to turn them on at night.

Not only is a burned-out bulb a safety hazard, but it’s cause for a pricey ticket as well. Save yourself the trouble and periodically check your lights before you get behind the wheel. Changing a headlight bulb yourself isn’t too complicated, but sometimes getting to them is. If that’s the case with your vehicle, a mechanic can replace it for you.

Other routine maintenance to consider for your head and tail lights are the covers. If yours are foggy, that can be an easy fix. You can dry the built-up moisture with a hairdryer, compressed air, or even by baking the headlight cover in the oven. If you notice a crack in your cover when you remove it for cleaning, it may be best to purchase a new one instead of trying to repair the one you have.

Windshield Wipers

Depending on use, you may need to change your windshield wiper blades as often as every six months. If you live in a drier climate, you might get a year of use out of your blades. If you notice your wiper blades leave streaks or have pieces missing from the rubber blades, it’s time to get a new pair. Your owner’s manual will tell you what size you need, and you can usually click out the old ones and click on the new ones in just a few minutes without any tools.

Air Filter

Since an engine depends on oxygen to run, it’s important to check on your air filter regularly. When a filter gets clogged with dirt, it reduces the efficiency of your engine, affecting overall performance. At least once every year you’ll want to check your air filter and consider having it replaced.