In the wake of sugar hangovers and all the indulgences of the holidays, we often think about ways we can take better care of our bodies in the New Year. Eat organic. Drink more water. Get exercise. Well, what about taking better care of our vehicles?
Getting your vehicle ‘fit’ will help increase its lifespan and performance as well as help save money with preventative maintenance. So we’ve created a list of vehicle fitness tips. Some are the little, everyday variety that’ll be easy to incorporate into your driving routine. Others may take a bit more time, reminders or money, but you’ll enjoy a bigger payoff in the end.
1. Check your brakes
When it comes down to it, your car does two pretty important things for you: going, and stopping. The stopping is a big one. A quick brake check at least once a year helps ensure brake pads and liners have enough wear left, your brake fluids are healthy, and that the hoses and brake lines are in good condition. Working brake lights and dashboard warning lights are important too.
A little preventative maintenance when it comes to your brakes will go a long way toward avoiding big, expensive damage, not to mention your safety. Of course, if between those checks you hear any grinding, screeching or notice your brake pedal feels at all loose, be sure to have your brakes inspected immediately.
Make it easy tip: Plan for a brake inspection when you get your tires rotated so you can do both in one stop and won’t forget.
2. Invest in the good fluids
When you were a teenager and every quarter counted, and your car…left a few things to be desired, it was understandable that you opted for the economy version of engine oil and gasoline.
Now, though, you probably drive a vehicle you’ve invested in a bit more because you count on it to get your family everywhere, and safely. Higher quality fluids—and the right fluid for your specific vehicle and the season—contain higher quality ingredients engineered to protect your vehicle’s (critical and pricey) components, and keep your car ticking.
Here are some of the fluid types that are worth an upgrade:
- Engine oil
- Transmission fluid
- Windshield wiper fluid
Make it easy tip: Have the experts service your fluids for you. You’ll save time and you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing your vehicle isn’t dehydrated.
3. Mind your tires
Getting your body and your vehicle healthy is really about gaining an understanding of why a step matters, and then making it a habit. Fortunately, when it comes to your tires, most of the preventative maintenance steps that will make a big difference are small steps.
Here are some simple things you can do to increase the lifespan and performance of your tires:
Check your pressure (or better yet, have it checked for you). The right pressure ensures you’re not wasting fuel or at risk of tire failure. When the temperature changes dramatically, be sure to check it more frequently.
Make it easy tip: Check your pressure every time you fill up with gas.
Check your tread depth. The more tread your tires have, the better they can do their job—maintain contact with the road to brake in time, dispel water or snow, or stay on the road.
This is a fast and easy step sure to help improve tire safety and performance. Plus, getting down there for that quick check could lead your eyes to early signs of uneven wear, often triggered by suspension problems you’ll want to sort out sooner than later.
Our recent worn tire testing research showed for best results, replace your tires when they reach 50 per cent wear—approximately 6 or 7/32”.
Make it easy tip: Get a digital tread depth gauge. They’re the easiest to use, and the most accurate. Then, keep it in your trunk so it’s handy.
See? Getting your vehicle fit is simple, and it makes sense!
If you need help keeping your car on track, talk to Kal! We love preventative maintenance, and our fully certified technicians perform a range of mechanical services, including brakes. Find one of our Kal Tire locations near you.