Taking Care of Your Family Car
Did you know that April is National Car Care Month? As the weather continues to warm up, now is the perfect time to take care of that project you may have been putting off this past winter. And while your car may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think spring cleaning, a little love can go a long way—especially when you have kids and pets who pile into your car.
Your family relies on your car to take you near and far. But it’s important to show your vehicle some attention in return. Here are a few ideas to spring into action and improve the safety and comfort of your car this April.
What’s one of the simplest ways to extend the life of your car? Consistent oil changes. While you may already be on top of an oil change schedule (which you do have, right?), April is a perfect time to give your engine some love. Plus, did you know that maintaining proper oil levels and sticking to an appropriate schedule helps you get better gas mileage?
So, how do you know it’s time to swap out your oil? Some mechanics swear by the 3,000-mile mark. While this may be a good rule of thumb, it does disregard driving habits, climate, and vehicle specifications. For example, that 10-year-old, hand-me-down minivan your kids drive may need more frequent changes than your newer vehicle. As with most things, be sure to check your owner’s manual to see what’s right for your fleet.
You have your tires to thank for a lot. They are, quite literally, the connection between your vehicle and the road. Every pothole you hit, every curb you accidently clip…your family is protected by your tires.
So, what’s the best way to show your tires some appreciation? One of the easiest things you can do is check your tire pressure. You can purchase a pressure gauge for cheap, or even use one for a quarter or two at your local gas station. What are you looking for? While it’s generally recommended that your tires are 30 and 35 PSI (the standard rating for tire air pressure), your owner’s manual is your best friend.
Checking your alignment and rotating your tires takes things one step further. Wheel alignment ensures that that your wheels are straight and true; while rotating your tires means swapping places to ensure even wear. Both preventive measures help increase the life of both your tires and suspension system. They’re also jobs for your mechanic. Because tires wear down quicker than your suspension system, it’s recommended to perform tire rotations more frequently. Full alignments, on the other hand, depend on factors such as driving conditions and habits. Consult your mechanic to confirm the status of your alignment.
Who doesn’t love the feeling of a clean car? While we can’t guarantee that it’ll stay clean forever (we wish!), a deep clean can help provide a breath of fresh air.
To get started, remove any lingering trash and the floor mats. Vacuum the interior using a handheld device if you’ve got one (although a full-sized vacuum can work in a pinch). Next, use a fabric-safe foam cleaner to wipe down all upholstery, carpets, and console space. Finally, wipe down your windshield using a glass cleaner can help get out any smudges.
Need a reason to soak up some sunshine? April is a great time to wash the exterior of your car. If you feel obliged, have your kids jump in on the fun (it’s basically a rite of passage as a kid to wash a car, right?). If you’re feeling ambitious, use a car-specific, quick wax cleaner to make your car sparkle. And don’t forget the headlights. Cleaning and waxing them can actually improve your visibility and safety.
Like taking your kids to the dentist or doctor, there are some preventative measures that may seem like a chore at the time—but are undoubtedly worth the effort in the long run. An annual car tune-up checks many of the same boxes. While investing in something that isn’t technically broken may be a drag, tune-ups can save you money over time.
Unsure where to begin? From filters and fluids to shocks and struts, there’s a slew of things to check. But have no fear! An inspection provided by a trusted mechanic provides the peace of mind your family deserves. YourMechanic makes car maintenance easy.
If you can’t find time to leave the house, or prefer to have a mechanic come to you for safety or convenience, YourMechanic can help. Simply get a quote and book an appointment online—and they’ll perform the work at your home or office. Plus, YourMechanic is offering Apparent customers a discount when they use the code Care20, which gets new customers $20 off of all service appointments more than $100.
How are you investing in your family this spring?