The truth is that if it moves it has to be maintained, from the human body to a squeaky door hinge and definitely the auto or truck you own and drive.  The maintenance level you choose as the owner can most effectively be determined by the type of driving you do.

A good vehicle check will include a visual check of the following areas:
1. Tire wear and air pressure
2. The exhaust system
3.  Front and rear suspension  
4.  Brake and fuel lines  
5.  Drive axles  
6.  Belts and hoses
7.  Fluid levels
8.  Battery condition
9.  Antifreeze PH and protective level
10. All lights  
11. Windshield wipers and washers  
12. The air filter.

These 12 items are very important and they are often the most ignored. The air filter, in most cases, can be checked very easily.  The air filter box provides an excellent home for field mice.  The obstruction created by these little creature’s nests cuts the air flow and that results in poor gas mileage and poor performance.  The antifreeze in your cooling system can cause major problems if it has a high PH level.  Engine parts will fail prematurely if this isn’t taken care of.  These are two very good examples of why a vehicle safety check is so important.  The 12 areas listed above need to be checked regularly to insure the trouble free performance of your vehicle.

The person who still likes to do some of their own vehicle repairs should have a thorough understanding of what they are about to undertake.  Using the correct 6 pointed box wrench or socket to remove an oil drain plug can often head off trouble.  Remember to add oil to an oil filter before installing it and wipe a little oil on the filter seal.  The oil added to the filter gives the engine oil pressure at the start after an oil change and the oil on the filter seal helps the filter come off easier the next time you change it.  The parts you replace should meet the O.E.M. specifications of your vehicle’s manufacturer.  The price will be higher but in the long run the quality will far out weigh the price.  Be sure to check the above mentioned items and replace worn parts with high quality ones.  This will help to head off trouble down the road.

The winter that is finally over has taken a toll on the vehicle you drive.  The warm days of spring and summer are just ahead.  Take the time to have your vehicle checked so that you can enjoy those weekend outings during the summer and can keep them as trouble-free as possible.