The good news is you don't need to fork over an arm and a leg in order to keep your vehicle running as smoothly as possible. There are some simple tips that can preserve the life of your set of wheels, and in some cases, you don't even need to head to a mechanic.

Plus, if you perform minor adjustments on a regular basis, you can potentially avoid major repairs down the road. As is the case with most things in life, if you treat your car with the care it requires, you will not need to worry as much about its overall performance.

With routine maintenance, your vehicle will be more reliable, so you won't need to worry about being stranded on the side of the highway in the middle of the night. If you want your car to start every time you put the key in the ignition, be sure to keep up-to-date on basics such as engine oil and coolant. Plus, spending a little money on repairs will save you money at the gas pump by increasing your fuel economy.

A well-preserved car will also emit a lower amount of pollution. In addition to environmental benefits, a car with maintenance receipts on file is almost always easier to sell down the line, because it adds to resale value. Of course, unexpected vehicle repairs can occur at any point, but if you are proactive when it comes to maintenance, you should give yourself a pat on the back.

Areas of your Vehicle to Focus on

If you don't know where to begin when it comes to maintenance tips, we have outlined four major parts of your car and provided ways to keep them in proper working order. Keep in mind that minor tweaks at periodic intervals can save you the headache of shelling out a thick stack of cash at once.

Tires - In order to guarantee safety, it is important to make sure your tires are properly inflated. A tire gauge is inexpensive and can be purchased at a variety of different stores. This device will give you a current tire pressure reading. Armed with this information, you will know whether your tires are overinflated or underinflated.

It is time to replace your tires once the tread wear indicators are visible between the treads. If you do not know how to identify these indicators, ask your local tire dealer for assistance.

Experts agree that you should check your tires every other day for pressure and every week for wear. They should be replaced when they have become worn out.

Oil - It is important to know how to properly check your oil. Oil is the blood of your car and it allows the various parts to work together and function in a proper manner. You will not be able to travel very far without maintaining proper levels.

In order to help your vehicle run as smoothly as possible, it is recommended that you change the oil every 3,000-3,500 miles. However, you should consult your owner's manual in order to find the maintenance schedule that is tailored to your specific vehicle.

Windows, mirrors, and lights - It is important to check for small cracks along your windshield or side mirrors. Debris from the road or even a small pebble can damage these delicate parts of your vehicle. It is essential to make these fixes in a timely fashion, because the windshield or other window may need to be fully replaced.

Take time to regularly check your lights. Especially during the night, it is necessary to have your automobile's lights in proper working order. Bulbs can frequently burn out, but this is an easy fix. In order to ensure the safety of everyone on the road, check the condition of your turn signal lights as well.

Interior - The interior of the car is a major selling point. When it comes time to sell your car or trade it in, potential buyers will be looking closely at the condition of the cabin. A buyer wants to see a clean interior that is free of excessive dirt or grime.

If your seat upholstery is torn or damaged, it is worthwhile to pay for these quick fixes. In addition, if you have a CD player, navigation system, or other technological feature, make sure it is in proper working order.

Use a high-powered vacuum to clean your floor mats, seats, and trunk. For the dashboard, a dry cloth and gentle cleaning solution should do the trick.

Routine Car Maintenance Pays Off

Overall, the benefits of performing routine maintenance on your car far outweigh the potential costs. Think about it - every time you get inside your vehicle, you are taking a risk. Why stack the odds against you by operating an unsafe car? Do yourself and those around you a favor by making sure your vehicle is running properly.

Plus, the money you put in now can pay off ten-fold in the future when you want to replace your auto. Whether you decide to sell, trade, or use it to get an auto equity loan, preserving the value of your vehicle is always the smart choice.