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Top 5 Vehicle Items to Check Regularly

When you purchase a new vehicle, there’s still going to be some minor maintenance to do along the way. Easily bring your vehicle into any AutoNation service center to get us to check the following 5 important items for you, or try them on your own.

1. Oil

It’s pretty simple to check one’s oil. First, pop the hood (or engine bay cover of a mid- or rear-engine). See your owner’s manual for the location of your oil dip stick. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean, then fully reinsert and withdraw to read the amount of oil in your vehicle. You want it to be between the two dots (or full/low marks). If it’s below the bottom dot of the dip stick (the farthest from the handle) then you may need to fill your engine with oil.

2. Coolant

Coolant is very important to your engine as it helps regulate the heat created by your internal combustion engine. Make sure your engine is off before you check your fluid levels. Your owner’s manual will have the location of your coolant reservoir. If you decide to check the levels in your radiator, make sure your car is off and the engine is cold.

3. Power Steering Fluid

If power steering fails due to a lack of fluid, you’re going to get a good arm workout. Instead of that negative incident, though, pop your hood to check your fluid levels before that happens. Locate your power steering fluid reserve by checking your owner’s manual. Usually you can see the level through the side of the opaque reserve.

If its low, top it off with the manual’s recommended fluid or take it to your local AutoNation service department to have it filled for you.

4. Air Filter

The air filter in your engine bay isn’t to filter clean air into your cabin, but to have particle-free air for your engine. And, just as with the cabin’s filter, it’ll need to be replaced every year. First find out what size air filter you need for your engine by looking up the information in your owner’s manual. Pick one up from your local AutoNation parts department, slip the new one in-place of the old, and you’re done! You can also take your vehicle to a local AutoNation dealership where they can check and replace the air filter for you. Note: Don’t ever drive your vehicle without the air filter.

5. Driving and Braking Lights

This will either require a wall or a second person to help see if your lights are working. If using a wall, park (forward, then backwards) about a foot or two from the wall so you can use it to reflect the lights you are testing. First, turn on your headlights and ensure both work; don’t forget about high beams, parking lights and turn signals. When you test the back, check the running lights, brake lights, reverse lights, and blinkers. If you find a bulb out, have it replaced swiftly as dead-lights can be a ticket in some states.

To check out a mega selection of vehicles while your friendly maintenance technician works on your vehicle, please visit one of the coast-to-coast AutoNation dealerships and service departments to help you! Drive safe out there!

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