Owning a vehicle is no small undertaking. From the cost of the car itself to monthly insurance and upkeep, a car is a major investment. For that reason, it’s important to consider all the ways to make sure a car is getting the maintenance it needs in order to last as long as is safe and possible. From small things like oil and cleaning to larger investments like brake caliper replacement, check out these helpful car maintenance tips and remember that the best decision is to always consult an expert. The car should always be a well-oiled machine — literally.

Check-Ups

Perhaps the easiest tip of all is to take a car for regular check-ups. Having the car inspected at least once a year isn’t just responsible — it’s also a legal requirement. To renew a car’s registration everywhere, an emissions test is also required. It can be helpful, in terms of scheduling, to commit whatever time of year in which a registration renewal falls as the time of year to conduct other regularly scheduled check-ups and tests.

Another time to set aside for a car can be around the time of an oil change. Thankfully, even if an oil change company doesn’t include a sticker or send out an e-mail or mail reminder for an oil change, the car itself should notify the driver in some way. Some newer cars include mileage countdowns that indicate the urgency for an oil change while others simply have lights and notifications on the dash. Either way, these signs are not to be ignored. Dedicating time, resources, and energy to committing to re-investing in a car every year will save it from further trouble down the road. While some of these initial fixes can be costly in the moment, they ultimately save a driver so much more in the long run by preventing larger issues.

Filters

One important thing to remember regarding air filters is that this is the air the driver and passengers are breathing every time they drive. While this might seem a bit obvious, it’s also incredibly easy to forget. Filters don’t usually send out notifications when they need to be changed, so it’s important to check or have a car professional check every now and again. Most filters aren’t terribly expensive and can keep a car running safely.

Lights

In addition to just being an important safety feature for daily driving, broken bulbs can often result in tickets. Since this is never the desired outcome, it’s always better to proactively check headlights, taillights, and turn signals. With all of these tips together, a car will be sure to treat a driver well.