Automobile maintenance includes many areas, in which many a vehicle owner may become a bit overwhelmed and possibly even fall behind on his or her maintenance responsibilities. For that reason, here are a few tips on proper care for some parts of your vehicle: the brakes, the suspension system, and the alignment.
- Brakes – Keep notice of how your brakes feel when applying pressure to them while the car’s engine is on. If it has a spongy feeling when applying continuous pressure, you may have air in your brake fluid lines. This can cause your brakes to function less efficiently. If your brakes slowly sink to the floor instead of holding constant resistance, you may have a faulty master cylinder, which can be a much more serious problem. If you hear a grinding sound while braking, you probably need new brake pads and possibly new rotors as well. If you’re a little bit car savvy, you might be able to fill your own brake fluid when it runs low. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to take it to a shop and have the brake fluid filled along with other routine maintenance work, like checking and replacing the brake pads.
- Suspension System – The suspension of a car is a vital and complicated system. You may have a problem with suspension if your car bounces or sways excessively when encountering bumps or irregularities in the road, or if you notice your car is coming too close to the ground. Have a friend watch as you drive around testing.
- Alignment – A wheel alignment is necessary not only for safety but also to extend the life of your tires and overall suspension system as much as possible. Your wheels wear out over time, changing shape and requiring new alignment. Signs that it might be time to have your wheels aligned are a shimmying of the wheels (when the wheels don’t rotate straight, but appear to be wobbling) or a pulling of your car to the left or right while driving.