HOW TO APPROACH AUTO MAINTENANCE
For many Americans, a car can be one of their most expensive and important assets. It’s what takes us to work, to school, to family and friends—and as such, we always want it to be in good working order. However, modern autos are by no means simple, and that Auto Shop 101 course you took back in high school might not be enough anymore to quite comprehend the complexity of what’s going on under your hood. Never fear—here are some tips and tricks to help you maintain your car at peak performance.
SOMETIMES, LESS REALLY IS MORE
To begin with, there is such a thing as doing too much auto maintenance work. In one respect, a car can be compared to a human body—it has many different parts, all of which need to be taken care of, fine-tuned, and kept strong and in good working order, but at the same time, there is such a thing as working out too much. In the same way you can actually do your body some harm by overdoing it during a workout, you can likewise harm your car if you over-maintain it. As with most things in life, it’s a delicate balance, and sometimes, a little less maintenance can go a long way.
CHECK THE MANUAL
Car companies don’t pre-package those instruction manuals with your car for nothing. If you’re unsure about when your car needs some auto maintenance, chances are that there’s at least some indicator in your manual. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by the daunting prospect of modern automotive maintenance, remember—that manual is your friend.
THE INTERNET IS YOUR FRIEND (MOST OF THE TIME)
Likewise, if you’re feeling daunted by the prospect of popping the hood, check the Internet to see what others have to say—and then form your own opinion. The Internet is, in one respect, a definite reflection of modern society—there are definitely some great sources of information and very clever, friendly people who’d love to offer you genuinely-helpful advice, but at the same time, there’s no denying that there’s a lot of junk out there, or folks who have no qualms in offering bad advice just for kicks. As such, the Internet is a great place to start when it comes to looking up auto maintenance ideas, but as with any auto shop (or most anyone in any professional field, for that matter) you’ll want to first check into the validity of both the claims being made and the person or site making them.
WHEN IT COMES TO OIL CHANGES…
Let’s take an example, putting all three of the above into practice. Oil changes are a frequent topic of discussion on the Internet—so when should you change your oil? Manuals will often give one number, and professional lube companies another. You can check valid, credentialed Internet sites to see which oil change number most people side with, why, and then form your own conclusion.