← Go back A Busy Mom’s Guide to Basic Car Maintenance
Published on Monday, November 13, 2017 by

As a mom, you are always observing baby and telltale signs that something may be not quite right. There are signs when your vehicle needs attention too. By being watchful for those signs you can save time and money plus keep everyone safer whenever you venture out.

Whether you are a w  orking or stay-at-home mom, your car is often your office. From doctor appointments to last-minute grocery trips and everything in between, you count on your vehicle to get you there and back, on time and with minimal fuss. A busy mom doesn’t have time for a vehicle malfunction and no one wants to get stranded roadside, especially with children in the backseat.

OK Tire wants to simplify life with a basic car maintenance guide to help get you from point A to point B with minimal tears – and that goes for both mom and the kids in tow.

To ensure that your car is in optimal condition, you should follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule outlined in your owner’s manual. Here are some valuable tips of what you should be checking and when:

Every month: Check oil levels and tire pressure – looking for damage, bulges or uneven wear. Check the oil before turning on the car and once the car has been idle for a while to ensure you get an accurate read.

Every three months:
Check fluids including coolant (antifreeze), washer fluid, power-steering (unless your vehicle has an electrical power steering system) and brake fluid. Not sure where everything is located? Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Rest assured cars are much more efficient these days and should provide a notification when fluids get to critically low levels. Inspect your car’s battery and cables for any corrosion or wear. In general, taking your vehicle in for regular check-ups is a good way to ensure your fluid levels are always topped up and you’re getting the best possible gas mileage.

Every six months:
Check that tire treads aren’t bald so you maintain grip on the road; replace worn windshield wipers; test your horn; inspect brakes for any signs of friction; examine your spare tire to make sure it is fully-inflated, and confirm that your exhaust doesn’t show any indication of rust or damage. Most importantly, if anything is out of the ordinary, don’t ignore it.

The condition of your vehicle starts from the ground up and properly-inflated tires are essential. Proper tire maintenance cannot be stressed enough.

Not Over, Nor Under, But Just Right: Make sure your tires aren’t over or under-inflated because in either case, it can drastically decrease your car’s grip and contact with the road. It can also affect the handling of your vehicle. Over time it can contribute to improper wear affecting the safety of everyone in your vehicle. Check your vehicle manual for your car’s optimal tire pressure and get a tire gauge.  

Worn Out: Before heading out get into the habit of taking a moment to check your tires for balding and tread wear. Look for other physical signs indicating that a tire needs replacing.

Be Alert for Unusual Vibrations: Trust your mommy instincts. Feeling a vibration in your steering wheel could be a symptom of improperly-balanced tires and wheel alignment. When wheels are misaligned, your tires will drag instead of rolling smoothly. This can cause tires to wear out quickly and unevenly, increasing your fuel consumption. If you are feeling unusual vibrations, take your vehicle to a certified automotive technician and they can quickly identify the issue for you.

Like a baby’s subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) telltale signs, your car may be telling you something so listen up. Here are a few possible scenarios and what they could mean:

Scraping: Your vehicle’s brakes need attention. If it was a squealing that turned into scraping, that usually indicates metal rubbing against metal. The brake pads may be worn out. Get your brakes checked.

Vroom: If your car’s idling mimics that of a Formula 1 racer, chances are your fuel-injection system could use a cleaning or your ignition system is acting up. Your automotive specialist can check for ignition failure.

Chirping: When your car starts to chirp or squeal when you step on the gas, it usually means a loose or slipping belt.

To find out more information about your vehicle and how to keep your vehicle running in top condition, visit your nearest OK Tire automotive centre or visit www.oktire.com.

Lisa is a mom who loves to write and share insight into the world she loves: culture, design, décor and of course parenting for the “every” mom. A lifestyle spokesperson, she has been seen sharing tips and family-friendly finds on Breakfast Television and The Morning Show.

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