woman fixing car engine

First-Time Driver’s Guide: 5 Essential Car Parts to Maintain Regularly

Did you know that the average life expectancy of a new vehicle is eight years? While you can’t really tell how long your car will last, one thing’s for sure—regular maintenance plays a crucial role.

In fact, a brand-new car model can go up to 15 years if it is constantly and properly maintained. Also, another report shows that the average lifespan of US cars rose to 12.1 years in 2020. This increase could be attributed to the fewer miles traveled brought by the pandemic.

If you were to take good care of your car, it would last longer than usual. If you’re a first-time driver looking to get regular car maintenance, here are five parts to check:

1. Engine

The engine is said to be the heart of a vehicle. As a complex piece of machinery, it serves to convert heat to keep your car moving. Most cars are powered by a gasoline engine. The engine itself burns the gasoline and converts the energy from the heat into mechanical work called torque. Without it, your vehicle won’t run at all. For this reason, the engine must be your priority in your car maintenance checklist. Be sure to check your engine’s size and its cylinder as well as the transmission type and combustion timing it has.

2. Dashboard instruments

Sure, you probably check the fuel gauge and speedometer of your vehicle on a regular basis. However, don’t neglect the other instruments on your dashboard, as they are equally important. A perfect example is to pay attention to your car’s tachometer. This instrument helps you figure the condition of your engine and avoid potential issues such as oil leaks. That way, you can prevent bigger problems with your engine and car in general.

3. Battery

There’s nothing more annoying than hitting the road and coming to a complete stop. Chances are, your car’s battery is dead! Unfortunately, the battery is often one of those car parts being taken for granted. The problem is that it has no warning signs telling you it’s going to die. It can be a major hassle to ask for road assistance because of a dead battery. Hence, the best course of action is to check and test your battery, particularly if you’re off for a long trip.

man working on car engine

4. Brakes

When it comes to safety, the braking system is a top priority. In fact, it’s deemed the most important part of your car. The last thing you want to happen is to lose control of your brake in the middle of the road and get into an accident. Not only will this cause injuries, but it will cost your life and that of other drivers and passengers. That said, make sure to check your brake before driving. As soon as you notice some issues, consult a professional mechanic to get a brake pad or rotor repair or replacement.

5. Tires

In line with brakes, you must pay attention to your tires as well. They must be in good shape and working condition as they are literally in contact with the road. Before driving, make sure to inflate them properly. While at it, check the manual to see the required air pressure level. Also, make sure to hire a professional mechanic to align your tires. Ultimately, properly inflated and balanced tires can foster your safety on the road.

Auto brands to maintain

In a recent report, a team of mechanics collated and analyzed data concerning various cars they previously serviced. They analyzed these data and computed the median cost by auto brands. Now, let’s take a look at some car brands requiring regular maintenance from the most to the least expensive:

  • BMW and Mercedez-Benz: These car brands are considered the most expensive to maintain. So if you own one, you need to allocate a certain amount of budget for your BMW or Mercedez-Benz regular upkeep.
  • Ford, Chevy, and Dodge: These car brands are somewhere in the middle in terms of maintenance expenses. If you own one—whether a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge, set a certain budget for its regular maintenance.
  • Toyota, Kia, and Fit: Surprisingly, Toyota is the cheapest to maintain, as none of its models made it to the expensive list. Hence, you need not worry about spending on Toyota repair and maintenance as they are quite economical. The same is true for Kia’s Soul and Honda’s Fit that only require cheaper upkeep.

At this point, you now know what car parts to check for your regular auto maintenance. Also, you learn more about auto brands to maintain from the most expensive to the least one. With regular maintenance, expect your car to be always in top shape and working condition. Ultimately, your vehicle will last long for as long as possible.

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