How to Be A Good Car Owner (Without Getting Your Hands Dirty)

A car is a big investment and in order to keep it running as long as possible, you’ll need to give it some TLC.

And no, you don’t have to be a mechanic — or even get your hands dirty — to do so. Here are a few ways you can show your vehicle a little TLC:

Keep an eye on your car’s vitals

The best way to elongate your car’s life is to consistently check on how it’s doing. Just like you or your family pet, your vehicle needs regular check-ups. The good news is that’s isn’t as hard or expensive as it used to be. With the help of a car monitoring system like the Smart Vehicle Health Monitor, you can check your car’s vitals right on your cell phone. You can check the battery life, the fluid levels, the gas mileage and more, right through an app on your phone. It can also send you helpful reminders to change your oil, rotate your tires and visit your mechanic.

Drive it through the car wash

Cleaning your car regularly will not only ensure you look good while driving it, it’ll keep vital parts of your vehicle in tact longer. A regular wash will remove harmful contaminants that can cause erosion, especially for those who drive on snowy roads regularly. Drive through your local car wash, or grab a bucket and a sponge, every few weeks to keep things running smooth.

And the best part? If you go to a drive-through car wash, you don’t have to get your hands dirty — or even step out of your vehicle.

Game the gas gauge

Letting your gas run low is never a good idea. It can lead to anxiety, stressful stalls and it can ultimately lead to you spending more money than necessary. But, perhaps most importantly, running on fumes for long periods of time can do serious damage to your vehicle.

According to Strutmasters, running on empty can deteriorate your fuel pump and contribute to sediment build up. Both of which can be costly to repair. It truly is easier to fill up more frequently.

And don’t forget to use good gas. Using higher quality gas with engine-cleaning properties can help your car’s life last longer.

Take care of your tires

Your tire pressure is crucial to driving safely and keeping your car in tip-top shape. An underinflated — or overinflated — tire can lead to blowouts, flats and an overall lack of vehicle control. It can also lead to vehicle damage. A tire pressure sensor is an affordable, easy-to-use way to make sure your tires are inflated to the correct, safe amount.

If that’s not enough to convince you, monitoring your tire pressure will save you money, too. Keeping your tires inflated to their intended pressure levels can save you six cents a gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Failing to do so can lower your gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires.

You can find the correct pressure levels by looking in your vehicle owner’s manual or by looking on the side of your door.