Tips to keep your vehicle safe and looking great this summer
(BPT) - Do your brakes squeal when you push on the pedal to stop? Have you been ignoring that unsightly puddle of liquid that keeps appearing under your car? Small inconveniences can become much larger problems if not taken care of early, and unfortunately, many drivers fail to address vehicle problem signs until it's too late. Frequent checks and proper maintenance can make all the difference between a safe, attractive vehicle and an unreliable eyesore. With a few tips, you can get your vehicle into top shape for easy cruising this summer and beyond. Don't wait, fix it fast With the sun shining a little brighter this time of year, those vehicle nicks, scratches and dents suddenly become much more noticeable. And more importantly, they can begin to rust in as little as 30 days. This visible exterior problem can quickly reduce your vehicle's resale value, not to mention its cosmetic appeal. Fortunately, you can avoid these ugly and potentially costly problems by using a touch up paint such as Dupli-Color Scratch Fix touch-up paint. Available in hundreds of exact-match colors, the paint offers a seamless fix to nearly any vehicle damage. With a roller ball tip for precision, taper brush for full coverage and available clear coat to ensure an exact manufacturer-approved match, Scratch Fix is extremely easy for anyone to use and costs only a fraction of a professional repair. Rolling on out Tires are one of the most important aspects of vehicle safety, and proper maintenance can prolong tread life and save money on replacements. Rotating tires every 7,000 miles can help keep treads from wearing irregularly. A simple tire rotation not only makes for a dependable vehicle, but also saves money in the long run because your tires will last longer. Another tire must is to regularly check for uneven wear, bulges or holes. These small issues may not seem like much, but they have a very real possibility of causing larger problems such as a tire blow out or skidding on the road. If a defect is spotted, make sure to have that tire replaced immediately. Internal workings Despite the warnings, many people put off changing their vehicle oil far longer than recommended. Whether the excuse is lack of time, money or some other factor, regular oil changes are vital to proper car maintenance. No matter what time of year or how often you drive, you need to check oil every three months or 3,000 miles - whichever occurs first. Changing oil will prevent residue buildup, allowing your vehicle to function more efficiently and safely. Forgoing this routine check could lead to an unexpected engine seize, causing costly and potentially dangerous damage. Lights out A burnt-out light bulb in your living room can be a nuisance, but a burnt-out light on your car can be extremely dangerous, and may even earn you a traffic ticket. Perform regular inspections of your car lights by turning all lights on - including turn signals - then walking around the car to determine if any need to be replaced. Car lights are typically inexpensive and are usually easy to install. The risks of ignoring a burnt-out car light far outweigh the cost of the bulb, so perform a quick check before your next night drive. By taking these car care maintenance steps you will have your vehicle running and looking great this summer and beyond.