These days, many drivers earn extra cash by using their personal vehicles for work purposes. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft make it simple for you to use your car for profit. And online giant Amazon has a delivery system that employs drivers who use their own cars to transport goods to customers.
Using your personal vehicle for work can be wonderful for your wallet, but it can take a toll on your car. Keep the following maintenance tips in mind, and remember to use a car maintenance journal to keep track of what you’ve done.
Pay Attention to Your Tires
Worn tires are more likely to suffer blowouts. Establish a monthly schedule for examining your car’s tires. During this examination, use a penny to check your tires for tread wear. Place the coin between the treads, and take note of how much of Lincoln’s head is covered. If the tread doesn’t extend beyond Lincoln’s head, it’s time to start thinking about getting a new tire.
Coolant prevents your car’s engine from overheating. Check your car’s coolant each month to make sure levels aren’t low. If there’s a lack of coolant, the thermometer on your car’s dash will likely show that the engine is running hot.
Change Your Motor Oil
Over time, pollutants can turn your car’s motor oil to sludge. When this happens, it will do a poor job of lubricating the car’s engine, and you’ll be more likely to experience performance problems. It’s a good idea to change your car’s motor oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
Monitor Your Transmission Fluid
Your car’s transmission fluid helps your vehicle achieve smooth gear shifts, and fluid levels diminish with time. In many cars, you can check the fluid yourself using a dipstick, and this should be done every three months. If your vehicle doesn’t have a dipstick, be especially mindful of fluid leaks or odd transmission behavior. You can also have fluid levels checked at a local NAPA AutoCare location.
Replace Your Fuel Filter
If you like getting optimum gas mileage, you’ll want to keep an eye on your car’s fuel filter. This filter prevents dirt and debris from polluting your car’s fuel system. A clogged filter can reduce gas mileage and will eventually wreak havoc on your car’s fuel pump. Change your car’s fuel filter every 12,000 miles.
Test Your Battery
A dead battery will leave you stranded. Use a multimeter to test battery voltage every three months. If you don’t have one of these nifty devices, you can gauge battery strength by looking at the illumination provided by your car’s headlights. Headlights that are dimmer than normal indicate that your battery may need to be changed.
Look at Your Windshield Wipers
You need a clear windshield to drive safely. Worn windshield wipers will do a poor job of clearing rain and snow, and this will negatively impact your outward visibility. If the wipers leave your windshield with water or snow streaks when they’re in use, it’s time for a replacement.
You can boost your income by using your personal vehicle for work purposes, but doing so can increase wear and tear on your car. To avoid problems, it’s important to take a diligent approach to vehicle maintenance.
Check out all the maintenance products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on maintenance when using personal vehicles for work, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.