Vehicle maintenance tasks drivers don't want to overlook

Vehicle maintenance in Southern MDInformation on how to keep your vehicle running for years in Southern MD.

Savvy drivers recognize that maintenance is essential to keeping their vehicles running strong for years on end. Such maintenance ensures vehicles are safe to take out on the road, and basic upkeep also protects drivers' financial investments in their cars and trucks.

Drivers who are not mechanically inclined tend to put their vehicles in the hands of a trusted mechanic to perform routine maintenance like oil changes. But there's a host of simpler vehicle maintenance tasks that drivers don't want to overlook, some of which can be performed without visiting the auto body shop.

  • Brake inspections: Brake inspections are best left to the professionals, who can check the thickness of brake pads and look for other indicators of excessive wear. The automotive resource Cars.com recommends having brakes inspected during routine tire rotations, which many automotive professionals suggest should be done every six months.
  • Car wash: Car washes might not be the first task drivers associate with vehicle maintenance, but they can prevent long-term damage to cars and trucks. Damage from bird droppings and road salt and ice melt products in the winter can damage a vehicle's paint job and its undercarriage. Wash the car on your own at home or visit a professional car wash to perform this simple yet vital maintenance at regular intervals and whenever you notice significant buildup of dirt and grime on the car's exterior.
  • Air filter: The air filter on a car or truck prevents debris, dirt and other contaminants from getting into the engine. The auto insurance experts at Allstate® advise drivers to inspect their vehicle air filters once a year. Air filters in need of replacement may appear dirty, and reduced fuel economy, unusual engine sounds and reduced horsepower are some other potential indicators that an air filters needs to be replaced.
  • Windshield wipers: Windshield wiper blades are easily overlooked, but various automotive experts recommend replacing wiper blades every six to 12 months. Old wiper blades won't perform at peak capacity, dramatically reducing visibility during heavy rain and snowstorms. Anyone can replace their own windshield wiper blades in a matter of minutes, and new blades won't break the bank.

Vehicle maintenance is not exclusive to tending to what's under the hood. Keeping a car running smoothly for years involves routine tasks that many drivers can perform without professional assistance.

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