If you are a car owner, you (probably/hopefully) know how important preventative car maintenance is for your vehicle. Keeping your car healthy will help it perform at its highest level and improve the chances of maxing out the life of your car. In today’s world where our cars have become an important extension of our life, quality car performance is crucial.

Fortunately for residents of Kennewick, Washington, our city presents few challenges for cars to deal with. Though mild winters and relatively flat terrain means less strain on our cars, it’s still important to stay on top of the health of your car. There are still basic maintenance tasks we can perform while we’re in-between service visits. Wondering what you can do to improve your car’s health? If so, check out Hi-Land Garages’ tips for preventative car maintenance while living in the “winter paradise.”

Replace Those Wiper Blades

You had to know this one was coming. Living in Washington means having to deal with rain for a majority of the year. This also places a lot more stress on your wiper blades while you’re driving, so it’s good to replace them before they go bad. How can you tell? Next time you use your wiper blades, see if they smear on your windshield. This could mean that the blades have worn out and it’s time to replace them.

Along with that, check to see if they have any cracks or dents on them. Though wiper blades aren’t the most durable, they are also easy to replace. You can find them at most auto parts stores!

Rotate and Align Your Tires

Though you may not run into this problem frequently in Kennewick, tire misalignment can happen to drivers who decide to off-road in other parts of Washington (or if you run over a lot of curbs and potholes). If kept misaligned, you could severely reduce the fuel economy and overall safety of your vehicle. Safety issues include having your car drift one way while braking or wearing out the tires a lot sooner than manufacturer’s expected.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to get your tires aligned and rotated every 5,000 miles but make sure to reference your owner’s manual.

Check Your Brakes

For those that decide to wander into Seattle, it’s important that your brakes are in working order PRIOR to your trip. The stop-and-go nature of the city’s traffic (highly recommend AVOIDING Seattle rush hour) requires solid brakes, or risk finding yourself and another driver on the side of the road. While driving, listen for two distinct sounds:

  • Squeaking means it’s time to replace your brakes, but you still have time to do so. A lot of brakes are built with a small steel spring within them and when the brake pads wear out to a certain point, that spring will start rubbing against the steel.
  • Grinding means that it’s time to replace your brakes. Immediately. This indicates that your brakes pads have completely worn out and the rotors are now making contact with steel instead of the pads. This can cause tremendous damage to your vehicle and leave you with a expensive repair bill

Regardless of how you drive or where you go, it’s important to keep these small things in mind to maintain or improve your car’s performance while navigating Kennewick or Washington as a whole. Interested in more tips? Check out the Car Bible’s 20 Essential Car Maintenance Tips to get a complete idea of how to take care of your car, regardless of where you are.