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Car maintenance tips

Owning and operating a car can be costly. Here are some basic maintenance tips to keep your car dependable and safe – and maybe help you save money, too!

  • Change the oil and filter regularly – usually every three months or every 3,000 miles. If you can't change it yourself, schedule an oil change at a local service center.
  • Check your air filter and spark plugs to make sure they're in good shape and working efficiently.
  • Check the battery. Make sure the cables are tightly attached and the connections are free of corrosion.
  • Make sure your antifreeze, transmission, brake, power steering and windshield wiper fluids are at the proper level. Look in your driveway for tell-tale signs of leaks.
  • Keep the right amount of pressure in your tires. Under-inflated tires wear faster and provide poor traction. They also can drastically reduce gas mileage.
  • Inspect hoses and belts. Replace any that are leaking or cracked.
  • Check your wiper blades and replace them if they're cracked or worn.

If you're not sure what to look for, or if your car is running poorly, it's a good idea to see a certified mechanic. Small problems can turn into big, expensive ones if left unchecked.