The relationship that you have with your car is a special one. We rely on our vehicles for a lot, to get us to school, work, and home. Maybe you have taken an awesome road trip or two in your day. Perhaps you are one of those twenty-somethings who is so busy that you practically live in your car. How often do you actually spend time taking care of your car? When was the last time you got an oil change? Rotated your tires? Here are a few basics that you might want to keep tabs on if you would like to keep your car running smoothly.

Clean your windshield. As insignificant as this may sound, being able to see the road clearly is important. Next time you stop at a gas station, take a moment to wipe down your windshield for a clearer view. You also might want to take a look at your wiper blades. If you are driving in the rain and you notice that water looks smeared across your windshield it may be time to change out your blades. Stop by your nearest auto parts store and ask an employee to change them out for you. Don’t forget to say please!

Get an oil change. Motor oil is important because it helps to keep parts of your engine running smoothly. For simple instructions on how to check your oil by yourself, which will only take a few minutes, look here. Generally an oil change is recommended every 3,000 miles but every car is made differently. Do a little research on your make and model to figure out recommendations for your particular vehicle. Look online or in your local paper for coupons for a good deal on an oil change. Firestone or Jiffy Lube usually have good rates.

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Check your tires. About every 6,000 miles or so you might want to get your tires rotated. When you rotate your tires you get the most use out of them by ensuring that you are driving evenly on them. You may also want to check your tread. Having tread on your tires keeps you safe while you are on the road.

Pump the right gas. Pay attention the type of gas that you are putting into your take. If your car takes premium, do not try to skimp with regular. Putting the wrong type of gas in your car can cause engine damage.

Change your air filter. This might be another thing that sounds silly. Making sure you have a clean air filter in your car ensures two things, that you’ll breathe cleaner air and it will help your fuel economy.

Wash your car. You take a bath to relax so why not treat your car to one? Depending on where you live, weather and the elements can give your paint job a beating. Washing your car regularly can help keep your paint looking fresh instead of dull and eventually rusty. Check with your local gas station, if you buy a car wash when you fill up you might be able to save yourself some money.

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Take pride in your car. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.

Photo credit: Rachael Tulipano