Even the most adoring of children are prone to the occasional eye roll after getting a healthy dose of “dad advice.” When it comes to vehicle maintenance, however, experience is best.
Consider the following dad-approved tips to help ensure your vehicle is running in tip-top shape.
Regularly check your engine oil
This is quite possibly the most repetitive reminder. While most of today’s modern vehicles are equipped with electronic oil life sensors, always be sure to check and see for yourself. Waiting too long between oil changes can lead to engine damage.
To manually check your oil, first remove the dipstick and wipe it off. Re-insert the dipstick and retract it, checking that the level is near the fill line. The colour of your oil should be a light amber colour. As your oil darkens, this can indicate the presence of contaminants, other additives or high heat. A good rule of thumb is to change your car's engine oil every three months, and check levels at least monthly.
A clean car is a happy car
Hands up if you think a clean car is only about aesthetics? There’s nothing like getting into and driving a freshly washed vehicle, but keeping it clean is an important – yet often overlooked – safety factor too.
Whatever the season, you always want to keep your vehicle as free from dirt and salt as much as possible. Debris can result in scratches and damage to paint, making it susceptible to rust and corrosion. This can lead to further damage to other important areas, including the exhaust system, brake lines and gas lines. Additionally, a shiny car is safer on the road – the driver has improved visibility, and fellow motorists can see a clean vehicle better overall.
One great way to stay on top of your vehicle’s cleanliness is with a CO-OP® Touchless Car Wash 5-Pack. Co-op’s touchless car wash packages are gentle on your car and cleans it completely – even the underside. You can choose from Regular, Premium and Extreme Washes to suit whatever level of protection you need.
Keep your gas tank at least a quarter full
You’ve probably heard this one a million times, especially in winter. There is science to this statement, however. Extreme Canadian temperatures, fuel economy and other factors can lead to inaccurate fuel gauge readings. Additionally, there’s the issue of condensation. If fuel is too low, water can seep into your tank, which can lead to corrosion in the tank itself, and even the engine. Too much water in your car’s system can also freeze fuel lines, which can keep your car from starting or cause it to stall. In addition to potentially causing damage to your vehicle, driving on a low tank can be hazardous with the increased risk of being stranded or stopped in traffic.
Fuel up with ease by visiting your local Co-op Gas Bar where we offer full service year-round at participating locations – no matter the weather.
Check your tires
What’s a car without a good set of tires? Ensuring your tires have enough air pressure is tantamount to proper car maintenance. A tire blowout is highly dangerous, especially when cruising at high speeds. Inadequate pressure can also affect the overall ride and fuel economy of your vehicle, thereby costing you more money at the fuel pump.
Test your wheels with a tire pressure gauge when they are “cold” – when they haven’t been driven on for more than one mile at moderate speed. Consult your owner’s manual for the appropriate PSI levels of your vehicle.
The treads on your tire should also be at the right depth to ensure they have enough traction. For a quick and easy check, place a nickel between the treads with Queen Elizabeth’s head upside down. If you can see the top of the crown, your tire is worn out and needs replacing.
For help checking your tires, and for other maintenance questions, ask your dad – or another friend in the know. Or stop by your local Co-op Gas Bar and speak with a clerk or pump attendant today.