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Running a household is a lot easier when you have a running vehicle. Therefore, it is important that you take time to inspect it on a regular basis. Ideally, you will check for damage or leaks prior to starting it up in the morning. Furthermore, it should be inspected by a professional annually.
The tires on your family's vehicle should have adequate tread, and they should not be bulging or show signs of being cut or frayed. In addition, you should have them rotated during each oil change. Inflate the tires whenever they drop below the manufacturer's recommended air pressure.
The battery, alternator and starter should be tested every few weeks to ensure maximum effectiveness. This may be especially important if you live and drive in an area that experiences cold weather conditions frequently. Generally speaking, your battery should last for about three to five years.
Engine oil and radiator coolant should be flushed every 25,000 to 45,000 miles. You should also make sure that there is plenty of windshield wiper fluid and that any antifreeze in the vehicle is not contaminated. Again, this is especially important if you drive on roads that may have salt or grime on them. It can also be worth doing if you live in cold climates as they can have a negative impact on your vehicle's engine.
Whether the car is powered by two wheels or four, make sure that the ride is a smooth one. If you notice that the car shakes or takes bumps too hard, have the car serviced as soon as possible. However, be sure that it is looked at by a mechanic who understands how 4wd suspensions work.
An emissions check will let you know if your vehicle producing too much smog or is otherwise running inefficiently. Having this check done could prevent you or others from driving in a vehicle full of carbon monoxide. If you suspect that there may be carbon monoxide in your vehicle, open a window to allow for proper ventilation.
Keeping tabs on your car can extend its useful life by many months or years. Properly maintained cars can be passed on to your children or grandchildren, which may help to save them money on transportation costs as they get older. Alternatively, cars that are in good condition can be traded or sold for top dollar.