Knowing the needs of your vehicle is just as important as the decision of which model to buy. Do you know how to properly care for your vehicle to ensure it lasts as long as possible?

Here are some factors to keep in mind when caring for your car, truck, or SUV to ensure long-lasting life and performance.

Know When To Change Tires

Roughly every 50,000 miles your car should be ready for new tires. However, many factors play into that estimation. If you’re overdue for an alignment, drive like a racer, or you simply drive on a lot of rough terrain, your car may need new tires soon than other vehicles.

Remember that your tires are a very important assest to your vehicle, so when it’s time for a replacement be sure to pick up ones that are equipped to your level of driving.

Test Your Battery

It is recommended that you get your car battery tested every two years. According to Consumer Reports magazine, hot climates can take a bigger toll on your battery’s life expectancy and performance than many colder climates. Therefore, it’s important to get your battery tested after the first two years of owning your vehicle, and every year after.

It is said that car owners who live in colder climates can wait up to four years after the purchase of a new car to get their battery tested, also followed by every year after.

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What To Do When The Check Engine Light Comes On

There are many different reasons as to why your check engine light comes on. It could be as simple as a loose gas cap or bad airflow, but it could also be a more serious issue that requires immediate attention.

How can you tell the difference? It may not be easy to diagnose the problem on your own, but regardless, the warning light should not be ignored and your vehicle should be run through a diagnostic scanner by a mechanic as soon as possible.

The sooner the source of the problem is determined, the more you could be preventing further damage done to your vehicle as well as keep the cost of repairs lower. It’s also better to have piece of mind than worry about something major going wrong.

Gas Brands Matter

Unless you personally know someone running an off-brand gas station, you may want to steer clear. What you may think is a top-notch brand of gas, might actually be producing more detergent additives into your tank than is recommended by the EPA.

Most well-known companies like Shell, ExxonMobile, BP, and many others do follow the guidelines for the amount of additives put into their gasoline, but then there are others who do not, causing poor vehicle performance.

Over time, these cheaper brands will input an overabundance of carbon deposits that build up and cause premature damage to your engine as well as other parts of your vehicle.

Thanks to North Star Dodge and Newark Chrysler Jeep Dodge for helping provide these car care tips!