When spring rolls around and the weather gets warmer, people start thinking about taking road trips. That’s why April is National Car Care Month. Now is the time to make sure that anything you’ve neglected over the winter gets taken care of so that your car is safe for the extra miles of summer vacations.
This is especially true if you have a senior parent who regularly rides with you. After all, you wouldn’t want to break down on the side of the road with your mom or dad in the car! If your parent still owns his or her own car, or if you have a car that is used by someone providing senior care to your parent, you should also take time to make sure that car is in safe working condition.
If you’re like many people with a busy schedule, you may have slipped on getting your car regularly serviced. You may not even be aware of how often some services should be performed. If that’s the case, don’t worry! You’re not alone! A recent survey by the Car Care Council discovered that as many as 25% of cars are low on oil or have dirty oil. In fact, 89% of cars were in need of some sort of maintenance.
So, what are some of the things you should be checking on your car or the car of a parent who requires senior care? Here are just a few:
- Watch for lit dashboard indicator lights and address issues immediately.
- Replace burned out headlights.
- Check oil and windshield wiper fluid levels frequently.
- Monitor the tire pressure and condition.
- Have a mechanic perform a three month or 3,000 miles check regularly. This check includes oil, transmission fluids, belts, battery, tires, etc.
- Every six months or 6,000 miles the car should undergo a more thorough check, including the normal three month items and additional items, like windshield wiper blades and chassis lubrication.
- Once a year the car should be thoroughly checked over for any problems that need correcting, such as improper wheel alignment or steering and suspension issues.
If the parent receiving senior care is in a wheelchair, you may have a vehicle that has been modified for wheelchair access. If that is the case, April is also a good time to have the ramp checked. You may also want to take advantage of the warmer weather to give your modified vehicle a good cleaning since the floors and extra nooks and crannies involved in keeping a wheelchair in place can collect a lot of dirt during the winter months.
If your car maintenance has fallen a bit behind, April is a great time to get back on track. Many garages and car dealers offer free car care events during National Car Care Month. These events can help you learn more about keeping your car safe for yourself and your loved ones.