Keeping your car healthy is like caring for your own health; routine check-ups are a must.
If you want to keep your vehicle running smoothly — and avoid expensive repair costs — take steps to inspect your vehicle. The best way to do that is by following basic car care tips.
Perform Routine Maintenance
Approximately once a month, give your car a thorough inspection to make sure everything is running optimally, which contributes to the fuel-efficient operation of your vehicle. This is a good time to check your tire pressure; oil and coolant levels; and brakes, power steering and transmission fluids. Make sure none of your belts have become too worn down1 . You’ll also want to regularly hose down your car — including the underside — to get rid of trapped grime that can quickly build up over time and cause paint to chip off, exposing the car to moisture and causing the metal to rust and corrode.2
One easy way to keep your car free of contaminants without damaging the paint is to rub it down with a block of clay that’s been lubricated with car wax. The clay will mold itself into all of the microscopic nooks and crannies on the surface of your car and pick up debris without scratching the paint. Any clean block of clay will work, but most auto-body stores and general retail stores will carry car-cleaning clay for about $10. Once you’ve gone over your car with the clay, go over it again with some fresh wax and a polisher to smooth the paint down and give it a new-car shine. Repeat this every six months.3
Schedule a Full Inspection
According to Pep Boys, drivers often experience engine problems because they neglect simple procedures, such as not using filters as recommended or ignoring the “check engine” light 4. The best way to keep your car in good condition is to follow a proper car care schedule5 , which not only tells you what needs to be done to keep your car in tip-top shape, but also when it needs to be done. Since tuning up a car without knowing what you’re doing is also one of the most common reasons for car trouble, it’s best to leave scheduled inspections to the experts. Most tasks on the list should be performed every 12,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.
Use Quality Fuel
Just as your body needs wholesome foods for optimal nutrition, your car also needs top-quality fuel. With continued use, TOP TIER® gasoline from ARCO helps clean and protect your car’s critical engine parts. It’s also quality fuel that typically costs 5 to 10 cents less per gallon — so fuel up and start saving. (Average savings based on June 2014-June 2015 Lundberg Price Survey weighted average industry differential street price among major brands for all three gasoline grades in the following marketing areas: Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Eugene, San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Portland and Seattle.)