Woman checking oil in car

extend the life of your car

Moms on the go spend a tremendous amount of time in the car so when your vehicle breaks down, it can be a disaster. No one is expecting you to be your own auto mechanic. However, you can save money, stay safe and extend the life of your vehicle by following some basic car maintenance tips.

Read your owner's manual

Learn more about your vehicle and all its needs by actually reading the owner's manual. Most people toss the manual into their glove box and don't think about it until there is a problem. However, skimming through the manual now can teach you all the basic information you need to know about taking care of your particular vehicle.

Use the right oil

The best thing you can do for your car is to check the oil level regularly and use the right oil. Refer back to your owner's manual for recommendations on how to check the oil, how often to change the oil and which grade to use.

Check your tires

Checking your tire pressure is very simple, but many of us neglect to do it. Some people make the mistake of using the number stamped on the outside of the tires for the recommended pressure. That number is actually the maximum pressure for those particular tires. You can find the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle inside the driver's doorframe, under the fuel cap/door or in the glove box. Be sure to check the pressure when your tires are cold for an accurate reading. Also look over your tires for excessive wear, cuts or other damage.

Replace your wiper blades

Most wiper blades need to be replaced every six months. If yours are streaking, squeaking or not functioning properly, wipe them off with a rag to remove any buildup. If they continue to streak, head to your local auto parts store. With the make, model and year of your car, you can get the right replacement blades. They are normally easy to replace and the salesperson can help if you have questions.

Keep a checklist

Keep a checklist of all the things that need done to maintain your car, including topping off all the fluid levels, checking the tire pressure, checking the engine oil, inspecting belts and hoses, making sure the lights work, replacing the air filter and other details. Don't miss service appointments and keep good records in order to make sure your car is always in tip-top condition. Have trouble keeping track of everything? There's an app for that. Try Car Minder Plus for your iPhone or iPad.

Trust your instincts

Moms should always trust their instincts — even when it comes to cars. You drive your vehicle every day and know how it runs. If anything doesn't look, smell or feel right, don't hesitate to take your car in for service. Moms are transporting the most valuable commodity every day — our kids. Better safe than sorry.

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Tags: transportation

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Comments

Comments on "Car maintenance tips for moms"

Thomas February 07, 2014 | 1:15 PM

Some money saving tips associated with driving- - check your tire pressure, at least each month, if you regularly have to get onto sharp objects like curbs or you have to drive on bad roads, even once a week. Each time the tire gets to an extreme deformation (pothole, curb) the pressure can change. You are doing something for your safety and also fuel consumption - get insurance from the right place. u dont need to use geico or any big corporations like that. 4autoinsurancequote has it for $30/month. try them. - something people don't realize, or don't want to realize - if you're overweight, and you drive with 2 less fluffy people, make them sit on the right side (applies also for my UK mates who think the right side is the left). Same goes for any luggage, heavy items (packs of bottled water etc.). If you ever wondered why your tire on driver's side is always the first to be worn out, and your mechanic was too polite to tell you straight away that you are just too heavy for the car, now you know.

Gander August 01, 2012 | 11:28 PM

Some great information on maintaining your car especially when its due an annual check.

Shelley July 08, 2012 | 11:36 AM

This is so vital. I can't even count the numbers of times my old car broke down and my dad had to come save me. If I had been more prepared and maintained my car better, a lot of things could have been avoided. Thank you for clearing up what us mom's can do to help maintain our car!

Diane July 05, 2012 | 2:29 PM

These are all good tips on car maintenance every mom should read. Following these steps is important for keeping you and your children safe and for ensuring your vehicle remains in proper working order. While vehicle maintenance is essential, so is having a backup plan for if and when your car breaks down. A lot of people are so dependent on their vehicles that they don’t know what to do when their cars eventually get a hiccup and need to go to the repair shop.

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