Have you ever felt like the hardest part of having a car, was the trouble you went through to get it? The search and selection process can be incredibly daunting, especially if it takes you longer than expected to find the car that you want, and the price that you can afford. After finally finding the car, and going through the often tedious paperwork process, finalizing the sale and driving off the lot with your new vehicle can feel almost euphoric. So euphoric, in fact, that you put any and all car-related issues out of your head entirely. Well, when you’re ready to come back down to reality, remember that these three things are going to come up sooner or later, and they will need your undivided attention.
Not every state requires a regular inspection, and whether they do or not, and how often, depends on the state you’re in. However, whether it’s for safety, or also for emissions, even if you’re in a state that doesn’t require it, it’s a good idea to have someone occasionally check your car. A thorough inspection might help you preemptively identify a trouble spot before it turns into a bad accident. Certified auto repair shops should be able to do this for you with a relatively quick turn-around (think about as long as an oil change might take), and recommend any solutions if there are problems with your vehicle.
Many people don’t realize that their car is going to require more than just a regular oil change. While there are a number of things that you can do on your own, like checking your tire treads, other aspects are better off checked by the local certified auto repair shop. For example, your air filters. Your engine depends on clean airflow in much the same way that you require clean airflow when you’re exercising. In general, the air filters should be checked or replaced once a year, or every 12,000 miles if they’re dirty. Another part that is often neglected is the spark plugs. Poorly functioning spark plugs can be behind poor fuel efficiency, or a failed emissions test. On average, they should be replaced somewhere between every 30,000 and 100,000 miles.
People rarely think about windshield services, unless their windshield has been utterly destroyed, but monitoring your windshield for tiny chips and cracks can save you time and money down the road. A certified auto repair shop can do more than just inspect and change out wiper blades, they can seal damaged windshields, and in some cases make a replacement if you’ve had the misfortune to drive beneath an overpass while a suspended construction worker was welding something.
State inspections, car maintenance, and monitoring the quality of your windshield may be the last things on your mind most of the time, but they’re important to remember on an annual basis. The safety and comfort of your ride could depend on managing these simple things. Just make yourself a note to pay a little bit of attention to your car, beyond the fact that you have finally obtained it.