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5 Maintenance Tips to Help Avoid an Accident or Breakdown

Car problems

Did you know that accidents and breakdowns are often avoidable? Even more importantly, many of these mishaps are avoidable with routine car maintenance. If you're not making maintenance a priority, now is the time for a change. Learn about some of the simple yet effective things you can do to help avoid an accident or breakdown.

Oil Changes

Oil is essential to the health of an engine, as this fluid keeps the engine lubricated. As oil ages, dirt and other particles settle in the fluid. Old oil isn't effective at lubricating the engine, so not changing your oil regularly can cause your engine to overheat.

Even if you avoid total engine failure, the dirty oil will impact the overall performance of the system. Have the oil in your car changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to help you avoid an engine stall. The type of conditions you drive in will determine where within this range your oil needs to be changed.

Tire Pressure

Tire blowouts are a leading cause of accidents. While an imperfection in the road, such as a pothole, or accidentally running over a sharp object may lead to this mishap, some blowouts are the result of inadequate tire care. Tires that have extreme wear or an incorrect pressure reading are at an increased risk for failure.

Give your tires a once-over each time you fill up your gas tank, and check the pressure reading monthly. If you have a newer car, you should have a tire pressure sensor that sends an alert to your dash panel whenever the pressure drops.

Lights

At night, an essential part of staying safe is making your vehicle visible to other motorists. When your headlights or brake lights aren't working properly, you will fail at this goal. Replace the bulb immediately after you notice the light isn't working anymore.

Failed lights aren't just a safety hazard; this issue could also lead to you receiving a ticket. Unfortunately, the lifespan of light bulbs is measured in hours, not days, so it may be harder to know exactly when to replace your lights before they fail.

Wiper Blades

The Indianapolis area gets a fair amount of snow and rainfall every year. If the wipers aren't performing efficiently, driving safely in this type of weather will become increasingly harder.

Well-performing wipers should clean the window without leaving streaking, skipping or splitting lines on the glass, as these imperfections reduce your visibility and increase the chance of you crashing into a vehicle in front of you. On average, wiper blades last between 6 and 12 months, but if the blades are displaying problems before this period, go ahead and replace them.

Air Filters

An air filter serves as a complement to your engine oil. When dirt and other particles blow into the engine compartment, the filter is responsible for trapping these particles.

As more buildup collects on the filter, more particles make their way into the oil, the gas mileage you get from the car decreases, and the risk of your engine stalling and leaving you on the side of the road increases.

How often you need to replace the air filter depends on the type of vehicle you have. However, you should have the filter inspected with each oil change.

Make maintenance a priority to stay safer on the road. In addition, with the goal of safety in mind, make sure you know when to call a professional. If you're involved in an accident or your vehicle fails, contact a tow professional to transport your car from the scene safely. At Hix Wrecker Service, we're equipped to handle all your towing needs.