The modern automobile is very much like the human body: it is made up of different parts that all work together towards a common goal. Like the human body, it needs to be taken care of in order to function at its full potential. The most common (and simple) method to do this is through general maintenance.
Air Filter- The engine works by sucking in air from the outside and mixing it with gasoline, however, the air is full of many pollutants: dirt, bugs, leaves, and smoke, to name a few. The air filter is what makes sure that none of those pollutants don’t enter your engine and cause damage. After a while, the filter becomes caked with the bugs, dirt, and sticks that would have otherwise entered your engine. If you do not change it, it will make the engine have trouble breathing, and you will lose a lot of power.
Oil/Oil Filter- The oil is like the blood of the car. It is what cools the engine down, and it also removes the pollutants that made their way into the engine. Oil looks honey-colored when it is clean and new, and dark brown or black when it is dirty and needs to be changed. Whenever you change the oil, you should also change the oil filter, as it will be full of flakes of metal and pollutants. A good rule of thumb is to change it every 3500-7500 miles. You should make that the oil is always full.
Coolant- The engine works by creating a series of explosions that indirectly move the car. These explosions make the engine extremely hot. The cooling system is what makes sure the engine does not overheat. Coolant travels through the engine and reduces its temperature. You should make sure that you flush your radiator and put in new coolant every one to two years to make sure it works properly.
Brakes/Brake Fluid- The brakes stop the car by using fluid to squeeze brake pads around discs that are next to the wheels. You can see why it is important to make sure your brakes are in working order; if they are not, you may not stop when you want to! Most brakes have a metal barb that will make them squeal once they need changing… Do NOT ignore that sound; not only will your brakes not work as well, but they will cause damage to your discs. Brake fluid should be flushed and changed every one to one and a half years.