New or old, flashy or clunky, your car needs maintenance and care to keep running. Here are a few general car care tips to keep you on the roads.

Car Care Tips for Your Engine

Perhaps one of the most complicated parts of your vehicle—and potentially the most expensive. It’s important to keep all parts of your engine in working order to avoid further problems.


Oil lubricates the engines moving parts. It keeps the engine clean of dirt and gunk. It prevents wear and corrosion. And it is important to check and change your oil regularly.

In the past, it was suggested to change your oil every 3,000 miles. With new technologies, some are saying you can wait for 7,000 miles. When in doubt, follow your car’s manual.

Still not sure? Check your oil on the indicator stick in your engine. If the oil is low or comes out in a muddied color, it’s time to refill or change.


Belts are a series of rubber lines filing through your engine. They include your drive belt and timing belt and run things ranging from your alternator to your A.C.

Belts are wear items. And when they begin to show wear they need to be replaced, immediately. If your timing belt snaps, it can mean total engine failure because of how close quarters your engine it.

Check your belts every 25,000 miles at your regular mechanic check-ups. Replacement can happen around 50,000 miles.


While every engine is different, every engine needs fluids to keep running: coolant, transmission, brake or other. Check fluid levels regularly and flush when recommended to prevent build-up and keep your engine running efficiently.

Car Care Tips for You Brakes

These are important. Wear happens over time and it can happen faster for some drivers. Fewer miles in heavy traffic wears brakes faster than more miles of highway driving. Keep a watch for any screeching or grinding noises, any shaking or pulling and for slower stop times. All these indicate brake pads that are wearing out.

Car Care Tips for Your Tires

Tires keep your car moving. Worn tires keep your car in the garage. Bald and worn tires don’t give you enough traction to drive safely. To check your tread, insert a penny with Abe’s head facing down. If you can see Abe’s face, your tires are too worn.

Regular rotations, balances, and alignments can reduce the wear and irregular wear that can occur over time. It is suggested to rotate your tires every 5,000 miles and to get your tires checked for balance and alignment then as well.

Car Care Tips for Your Body & Paint

While note imperative to the running of your vehicle, keeping your car clean keeps the value up.

Waxing your car protects your paint from the elements and prevents the paint from degrading from bugs and poop left unwashed. If you do have a few spots without paint, looking to getting a paint sample to patch this as it can cause the body of your car to rust.

No one likes car repairs. These car care tips are designed to keep your car in working order and reduce the expenses of repairs. To schedule a check-up or repair call Northwest Auto Center at 281.894.8880.