Car maintenance can be a tricky thing, especially if you aren’t sure where to begin or how to tell the important tasks from the unnecessary ones. However, although this may be a difficult task at times it is absolutely essential. If you’re looking to preserve the integrity of your vehicle, here are just a few tips for general upkeep.

How To Properly Maintain Your Favorite Car

Monitor Your Fluids

Oil is the big one, of course; you’ll want to change your oil and oil filters every 5,000 – 7,000 miles. However, when it comes to things like this it is also essential that you don’t forget about things like transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. You should also flush your cooling system at least once a year and change your coolant. Experts recommend a 50-50 ratio for water and antifreeze.

Apply Grease

While most modern vehicles come with factory-sealed components that don’t require lubrication, many older and vintage cars will need grease to keep them in shape. The good news is that lube is inexpensive and easy to apply, so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and add a little drip to your locks, hinges, ball joints and wheel bearings. Not only will this improve your car’s handling, but it will prevent mechanical issues down the line.

Buy the Right Fuel

If you have a high-end luxury car, it might be worth the extra cash to fuel it with premium unleaded gas. If you’re driving something a bit more modest, however, there’s no evidence that premium fuel will improve its performance, so you might as well save your money. The science of engine compression and octane levels is a complicated one, but it can be boiled down to “use premium if you think you need it; avoid it if you don’t.”

Wax On, Wax Off

Washing your car is about more than just aesthetics. Hosing down the underside of your vehicle can protect it from long-term damage in the form of dirt, rust and winter road salt, and keeping grime off your paint job will stop it from fading and discoloring before its time. If you aren’t sure how to properly clean your car, experts at places like Arnold Motor Supply can help you find the right supplies for the job. Just remember that a little effort today can save you a lot of money on maintenance in the long run.

If you’re worried about the long-term value of your vehicle, these are just a few tips for keeping it in good working order. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert mechanic or a first-time car owner looking to preserve your baby; upkeep is all about dedication, so stay focused and committed to vehicular maintenance.