Because I have learned things the hard way, I pay more attention to my vehicles now. Don’t make the mistakes that I made. Smart preppers learn from their mistakes, but WISE preppers learn from others’ mistakes.
To keep your vehicle in top notch condition, follow the list of basic preventive maintenance.
- Check Fluids
- Change Intake and Fuel Filters
- Check Tires
- Check Batteries
- Check Brakes
- Clean Radiator
- Change Wipers
- Change Air Filter
Keeping Your Oil Fresh is Super Important
Check you oil levels at a minimum of a 2 week interval. Top it off if needed. Make absolutely sure you are using the proper viscosity for the vehicle and season.
Every 3 months, you should change it completely. If you drive a lot, you will change it based on manufacturer’s specs.
It is a good idea, while you are doing this, to check your water and antifreeze levels.
Keep Your Engine Powerful with Clean Intake-Air and fuel Filters
These are extremely easy to replace, and are easier to check than your oil is. A dirty filter lowers performance, gas mileage, and to a small degree, engine life. If you are in a situation where you need optimum performance, you better have a good intake filter.
A clean fuel filter will save you from thousands of dollars in engine damage. This is all you need to know. But it will also allow more clean fuel to hit the engine cylinders and combust, thereby providing more power.
It is a good idea to check these filters when you change your oil.
A Maintained Tire Provides Safety and Durability
Check your tire pressures, by knocking them, every trip you take. Use a pressure gauge to determine your tire pressure (when the tires are cold) and look at the tread liners for tire wear, as well as uneven wear. Don’t forget to check your spare when you do this.
A pressurized tire will provide you with better suspension life as well as great tread wear. Good Tread will provide you with optimum stopping distance and better traction control and steering in foul weather.
Every six months, or manufacturer recommended mileage, you should rotate your tires. It is a good idea to evenly rotate your spare with them also.
Maintain Your Power Center, the Battery
Check the fluid level in any unsealed batteries you may be using. Clean the terminals monthly, or at least when you change your oil.
A well maintained battery will allow you to crank your Bug-Out Vehicle (BOV) in cold weather. If you are in an emergency, coupled with your alternator, your battery can provide you with a backup power source.
Stop On a Dime with Properly Maintained Brakes
Every year, you should check your brake pads. I actually recommend doing so every time you rotate your tires. When they get low, you should replace them.
Flush Your Radiator for Ultimate Heat Transfer
A dirty radiator will cause your engine to explode! When it is cold, an impure radiator can freeze expanding and causing damage. It can also cause your engine to overheat because there is no flow to transfer heat from the engine to the radiator and to the air.
A dirty radiator in the summer will also cause your engine to overheat due to poor heat transfer. It is especially bad if you are idle in traffic or if you find yourself traveling through mud or sand.
Of course, you should be flushing the heater core while you are doing your radiator.
Fresh Wipers are as Important as Glasses
If you have worn wiper blades, you can’t see! It never fails, the day that I decide to wait on changing wipers is the day the bottom drops out of the sky, and I can’t see at all.
Stay Comfortable With a Clean Air Filter
The air filter for your heating and air in your vehicle is usually extremely easy to get to and even easier to change out. No, this isn’t critical to your car’s operation, but it sure beats letting it get dirty, then having your fan fail, resulting in no heating or air in extreme temperatures.
Keep Your Bug-Out Vehicle (BOV) Maintained for Perfect Operation
Remember what I say… If you do not maintain your vehicle, you will regret it. It will fail at the worst possible moment. Just take the time to do the basic maintenance outlined here and you stand a fighting chance.
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