5 Essential Car Care Tips for New Owners in 2018 (and Beyond)

Just as with any machine or appliance, when it comes to cars, the care you put in matters. In order for your car to last more than a few years, you have to do more than fill the gas tank and pray it hits 100,000 miles without issue. Unfortunately, proper car maintenance does cost money—check out some of our auto service coupons in Kansas City to save cash—but it’s a small price to pay to avoid even costlier repairs down the line.

We’ve come up with five vital car care tips that don’t break the bank and, if done regularly, could keep your vehicle going well past that 100k milestone.

  1. Oil and other fluids. Every car owner knows that you have to change your oil. Nothing destroys an engine faster than ignoring old and dirty oil. Checking and changing your oil is easy, but getting it done at an auto service shop is relatively inexpensive and can be completed in under an hour, on average. Another bonus to visiting a certified mechanic or one of our Kansas City service centers is the expertise you get. Your car may require a specific type of oil, not just the conventional SAE 0W-30.
  2. Tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated at all times is one of the best ways to extend the life of your tires and, by extension, your car. But your tires need more than just air to keep your vehicle running efficiently. According to Pep Boys, you should get a tire rotation and wheel alignment every five or six thousand miles, or every other oil change. Tire rotations help make sure no one tire is getting more wear and tear than the others, while wheel alignments can improve fuel economy. (Contrary to the name, a wheel alignment has to do with the alignment of your car’s suspension, not necessarily the wheels.)
  3. Brake lines. One thing that many people aren’t aware of is that brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it tends to absorb moisture. Although this doesn’t affect your brake fluid itself, all that moisture can build up and rust important components of your car. You should have your brake fluid and lines flushed regularly to avoid this buildup of moisture. In the long run, this will save you the cost of buying expensive parts—and potentially a huge headache.
  4. Belts. Over time, parts wear down. It’s just a fact of life. You should have your car’s belts inspected and replaced as necessary, doing so more often once you reach the 100k-mile mark. Worn-out belts can cause the rest of your car’s internal components to work harder, thus shortening the life of everything that gets you from A to B. When that belt cracks or breaks, you may notice the smell of rubber burning, indicating the beginning of a larger problem.
  5. Keep it clean. While cleaning your car is certainly not the most important task on this list, it’s still vital. But keep in mind that the paint isn’t the only thing that needs the occasional rinse. Consider spraying down your car’s undercarriage once in a while to clear away grit and winter’s road salt buildup that can corrode metal. Additionally, you should try to clean under the hood and around the door jambs, or anywhere that dirt can accumulate. Carefully detailing your vehicle will not only make it look better, it will extend the life of your car as well.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to visit your trusted service center for routine car maintenance. If you’re in Kansas City or the surrounding area, consider scheduling an appointment at one of our McCarthy Auto Group dealerships. Our expert technicians are professional and dedicated to taking care of you and your car, whether you need maintenance, repairs, service, or something else altogether. We also use genuine OEM car parts to ensure each vehicle that comes into our shop leaves in better shape.

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