One of the best things you can do as a responsible car owner is to learn how to take care of your car like a pro. It doesn’t just involve changing your oil every 3,000 miles and keeping your gas tank full, though those things are critical.

You should do many things regularly to keep your car running like new. Keeping up with your manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule is part of that, but it isn’t the whole picture.

Don’t be afraid to get involved

If you’re inexperienced in cars, you might feel tempted to leave everything to your mechanic when you take it in for a repair. However, that’s actually the opposite of what you should do.

Although drivers should trust their mechanic, there’s no harm in getting involved with your car repairs now and then. For example, if you’re in the Beehive State, you should visit an auto salvage in Utah next time you need a specific part. Increasing your comfort and familiarity with your vehicle is an excellent way to become a more competent vehicle owner.

Keep it clean

It’s easy to let your car become a mess, especially if you’re not an organized individual. However, keeping your vehicle clean inside and out is essential for proper maintenance.

Keeping it clean will help increase your trade-in value in the future. In addition, cleaning up messes when they happen and regularly washing and waxing the exterior will keep your car looking newer longer.

Follow your maintenance schedule

Each car has a specific maintenance schedule owners need to follow to keep it in good health. It includes changing the oil, rotating the tires, and topping off all of your fluids every 5,000-7,500 miles.

Check your manual to determine how frequently you’ll need to service your car. Also, check what other areas need to be serviced or replaced regularly, such as your differentials, brakes, and spark plugs.

Learn the basics

There are a few car maintenance tasks all drivers should know how to do. They only require a few minutes, but knowing how to do them will keep your car running longer.

Specifically, learn how to:

  • Put air in your tires
  • Change a flat
  • Replace your headlights
  • Top off your oil
  • Install new wipers

These are all easy things to do and will save you a lot of time and money if you can do them yourself. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even learn how to swap out your spark plugs and change your oil.

Keep an eye out for recalls

Some vehicles go through their entire life without needing a recall, while others might see a dozen. So when you purchase a car, keep an eye on your mail for notices about recalls, and make sure you address them promptly.

If your car is pre-owned, you might not get notices in the mail. Instead, you can check for recalls on the NHTSA website.

Wrap up

Car ownership doesn’t have to be stressful, but it can be if you don’t maintain your vehicle. Using the tips listed here, you’ll be able to keep your car running and looking like new. The best part is that you’ll also learn a lot about your vehicle.