A netizen recently asked, “What are some lesser-known car maintenance tips that every car owner should know?”. We’ve compiled the best responses for you below!


Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly

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“Under-inflated tires are worse than over-inflated tires. Check your tire pressure regularly.”, said one user. 

“This is why I love my car having a Tire Pressure Management System. I can NEVER remember to check my tire pressure, but will immediately do so when the TPMS gives me a warning on my dash.”, another added. 


Make Sure Your Spare Is Aired Up

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“Periodically check to make sure your spare is aired up, otherwise when you do need it, it will be absolutely useless.

Also, keep a patch kit in the car at all times, just in case you run over a nail or something.” 


Shake The Rust Off

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“If you know you’re not going to be driving a car for a longer period of time (job change, you’re not going to be using your car, taking public transit more, etc…) make sure to start your car up and drive it around just a little bit every few weeks. My dad calls it “shaking the rust off.”, said one. 

“You’re best taking it for a ~10-mile ride at a steady high speed, such as on a freeway or rural road.”, another added. 


Change Your Own Cabin Air Filter, If Possible 

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“You can probably change your own cabin air filter in 5 minutes with a $10 Amazon air filter.”, said one. 

“Did this today!  Took all of 5 mins.  I also did the engine filter too – also 5 mins.  But $25.” 


Don’t Mess With The Fluids

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“Make sure you know which fluids go in where and if you put windshield washer fluid in the oil intake, call a tow truck to get the oil and oil filter changed out immediately.”, said one. 

“Once had a customer put washer fluid in their brake fluid reservoir. 3 flushes later finally got it below 2% water contamination.”, another added. 


Go For Roadside Assistance 

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“Roadside assistance is a super cheap add-on for most car insurance policies. It’s saved me many times.”, said one. 

“Oftentimes it comes included when you buy a car, so don’t forget about that too. Sometimes you have it free through your credit card.” Another added. 


Check Your Lights Every So Often

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“Check your lights every so often. Turn them on and walk around the car to see what needs replacing and what’s not working.” 


Make Sure The PCV Valve Isn’t Clogged 

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“A clogged PCV valve will cause a lot of oil consumption. I swapped out the one on the older new used car I just bought, cause it was using nearly a quart every 300 miles. Using zero oil now. Cost me $5 and a half hour of time.”


Lubricate Regularly 

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“Apply silicone rubber lube to the door seals and clean the mating surface.” 


Don’t Let Your Fuel Tank Get Too Low

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“Don’t let your fuel tank get too low. Preferably, never let it dip below 1/4 tank. Running it dry can shorten the life expectancy of your fuel pump and can even kill it altogether.”


Get Money Back On Rentals 

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“Most of the big-name auto part shops (Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly’s) have a tool rental program. Put down a deposit, take the tool, return it and get your money back. So it effectively costs you nothing.

Very useful for those repair jobs you’ll only ever do once, but require a specialized tool that would not be worth it to buy.” 


Keep An Eye On The Engine 

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“When you use the dipstick to check your oil, look for metal flakes/a glittery look. This means there’s something very wrong with the engine.” 


Use Your AC At Least Once Every Month

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“If you have air conditioning in your car, use it at least every month, even in the winter. So the inner parts stay lubricated.   

It also helps to prevent too much humidity in the car. Let the air conditioning get checked every 1-2 years – if it’s broken, it can be too expensive to replace.”


Know The Basics Of Using A Diagnostic Scanner 

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“Knowing the basics of how to use a diagnostic scanner and how to read and understand live data about sensor voltages and fuel trims can help you tremendously.

The Toyota dealership said I needed either a catalytic converter or ecu replaced. A $20 scanner and three Car Care Nut videos later and I just had to tighten an exhaust stud bolt.” 


Watch Out for Your Rims

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“Hitting potholes, curbs, and speed bumps at speed WILL warp your rims over time causing weak spots on the bead. If you start losing air more frequently or the tire light comes on with no apparent damage your rims may be wearing out.” 


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The article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.


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