Neglecting oil changes can lead to a plethora of car problems down the line and may even cause complete engine failure. However, if you stick to a regular oil change schedule, you'll be rewarded with a healthy car engine. Oil changes are recommended every 3,000 to 10,000 miles and depend largely on the age and condition of the car. For newer cars, you might have some wiggle room between services. With an older model, you're better off changing the oil more frequently. Your car may use conventional or synthetic oil, with synthetic oil costing around $32 more.
Seniors know that visibility can become problematic over time. When you're driving, you want to make every effort possible to improve visibility when you're on the road. Windshield wipers are cheap to replace, but a new set can make a world of difference when those adverse weather conditions hit. It's also important that your wipers are adjusted correctly to ensure proper contact with the windshield.
Tires form an important part of road safety, and when you need that extra bit of traction, a good set of tires with enough tread can go a long way. Check that the tread is more than 2/32", which is the absolute minimum. Once you've changed the tires, it's also important to send your car for wheel balancing and alignment so they wear as evenly as possible. You can also check the balancing and alignment even when you haven't changed the tires, as this can still be done between tire changes. If you have a front-wheel-drive car, you can rotate your tires to let the tread wear down more evenly. While you're at it, check the spare tire to ensure it's still in good shape.
There are several filters that may need attention in a car, such as the engine, oil and fuel filters. By changing these out, you can improve the performance of your car, as filters prevent impurities from circulating through the engine. There's also a cabin filter that keeps dirty air from outside penetrating the inside of your car, which improves air quality.
Usually, you can tell when a car battery is getting a little corroded or run down. Your car will chug a little when you try to start it, and the car's performance might take a dip. In modern cars, the car battery might also power important cabin interior functions, such as seat warming and seat adjustments. Check your battery for corrosion, and if you spot some, you can simply clean it off with a small wire brush. It's also worth having the battery tested twice a year at a battery center to avoid getting stranded.
Coolant is great for keeping your car's engine temperature regulated during the hotter months. It also prevents it from freezing over in winter. Coolant is an important anti-corrosion agent and can prevent rust and corrosion of certain metals in the engine and radiator.
Your headlight's bulbs may become dim over time, and when that happens, it's just a matter of time before they fade out completely. Maintaining your car's headlights will help you see better in low-visibility conditions, and it will alert oncoming drivers that you're on the road. Headlights that are dim or don't function may also result in pricey tickets. Many car models are simple enough to change out by yourself, but if you're worried about tight squeezes or dexterity, ask a friend to help.
Spark plugs that are losing their so-called spark cause quite a bit of chug and can affect the performance of your car. In some instances, faulty or dead spark plugs may even result in your car not starting at all. It's recommended that you change out the spark plugs every 30,000 to 50,000 miles if they're copper or nickel or every 60,000 to 150,000 miles if they're platinum or iridium.
Your brakes are your first line of defense when you encounter an obstacle on the road or need to slow the car down. When they're worn or damaged, it may affect your response time. Signs that the car's brakes may need changing include noisy or shuddering brakes when you employ them. You may have to send your car in to have the brakes changed, as this can be a labor-intensive maintenance matter.