Maintaining a car in an expensive city like New York can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Moreover, it is necessary to keep your car in good running condition in order to comply with the New York State vehicle safety inspection program.
The inspection program guarantees that your car meets safety operation standards by checking key parts of the vehicle such as the seat belt, lights, brakes, tires, steering wheel, wiper, horn, mirror, and others. Depending on your exact location and the type of vehicle to be inspected, an NYS Inspection cost typically ranges from $6 to $27.
To help you make sure that your vehicle passes this inspection, we listed down simple car maintenance tips that you can follow.
Read the Manual
A very basic, but sometimes forgotten key to car maintenance is simply getting familiar with your vehicle, and the quickest way you can achieve this is by reading the manual. Read through the information and find out routine and mandatory procedures that you need to do for your car, such as the type of oil you should use and when to change it, the proper pressure for the tires, or how to replace a busted light bulb by yourself.
Check the Fluids
The engine oil is the lifeblood of your car. It keeps the mechanical parts moving smoothly and prevents it from generating too much heat due to friction. To keep your engine in top shape, change the oil regularly according to the car manufacturer’s recommendations. Remember to always check your oil levels and top it up immediately when the level goes down. If you notice that you are losing too much oil or if the oil level gets low too fast, check for leaks under the car or visit your trusted mechanic as soon as possible.
Aside from the engine oil, other fluids that keep your car running also need your attention. The brake fluid, transmission fluid, radiator coolant, and even the windshield washer fluid should all be monitored, and any leaks should be fixed right away.
If you are constantly losing fluid, you will need to check your lines, hoses, or gaskets which may have been severed, chewed on by rats, or turned brittle and cracked due to age. Finding a leak is an indication of a problem that may cause serious damage if not remedied, so early detection is essential to prevent expensive breakdowns and repairs in the future.
Inspect the Tires
Pay attention to your tires. Before you enter the vehicle, do a once-over and make sure there are no flat tires. Refer to your manual for the proper air pressure for your tires and check the air pressure at least once during the week. Tire pressure does not only determine the softness of your ride, it also affects your tread wear. The more tread your tire has, the better traction you get on the road especially when it’s wet. Traction is what you need to control your car properly and safely.
If you notice that you are constantly losing air, you may have a puncture and you will need to have it patched. When having your tires and wheels service, you should have them checked for balance and alignment as well.
Tires also expire over time. Learn how to read the code on the sidewall of your tire because this will tell you the date when the tire was manufactured. Industry standards state that a tire should be taken out of service not later than 10 years after its manufacturing date.
Keep it Clean
Always keep your car clean whether it be the interior or the exterior. Who would not want to ride around in a nice and clean car? The car interior will last longer when it’s always kept clean and pristine.
During winter, road salt is spread on the pavement to keep water from turning into ice and cause your tires to skid. However, this same road salt can cause rust and corrosion to form on the metal. Prevent this from happening by washing away the road salt from your car as soon as you arrive at your destination.
Get covered parking
Park your car in a covered garage. Having your own covered parking garage in New York may be expensive, but it is the safest and potentially the most c way to extend the life of your car. Street and outdoor parking leaves your car to the elements and makes it vulnerable to damage after constant exposure to the sun, snow, wind, or rain. Scratches and accidents can also happen when a car is parked out in the open. Parking under a shady tree is even worse. Tree sap and bird droppings can leave marks and eat away the paint finish of a car.
Have it repaired
Do not put off repairs for a later time. Be familiar with the sights, sounds, and feel of your car. If you hear something squeaking in your engine, check it right away. It could just be a loose belt but it can also be a worn-out one and is about to break. Do you feel something vibrating when you step on the brake? Has it been checked? It may already be a worn-out brake pad, and continued use may cause damage to your brake disc.
Drive smoothly and follow the road rules. Sudden acceleration and braking take its toll on the components of your car and shorten the usage time of the replaceable parts.
Follow these simple tips for car maintenance and you can enjoy the use of your vehicle for a longer time.