A good friend of mine recently brought up the topic of vehicle maintenance, and suggested that many of today’s drivers are unprepared for preventative and ongoing vehicle maintenance. At first I disagreed; however, in a short amount of time, I began to see his reasoning and the necessity to shift that paradigm. If you are not mechanically inclined, there may not be much you can do to check your brakes, but you can certainly find a shop within a few miles, that offers brake and/or tire change/repair services. Don’t scrimp to save money on tires or brakes. Buy quality tires you can count on and don’t let anyone install cheap brake parts… your life depends on them. Check your coolant level on a regular basis. Make sure to have the cooling system serviced according to the manufacturer’s schedule. If you let your cooling system go too long without service, the coolant loses its alkaline nature and becomes more acidic, which can quickly lead to a breakdown of engine parts. Clanking and rattling can mean you have a steering problem. Whirring or shrieking noises under the hood can mean you’re about to lose a water pump, a power steering pump, or maybe a belt or two. When you hear a noise, get it checked. Waiting to see what happens next can mean lots of extra dollars spent. Most times, an early repair means LESS needs to BE repaired. Check the oil levels on a regular basis, and make sure you keep good quality, fresh oil in the vehicle. Have your oil and oil filter changed as often as the manufacturer requires. Pay attention to your car’s needs and you will save dollars, and potentially lives! This has been another weekly update from iDefensiveDriving.com, and we look forward to seeing you driving SAFELY in Texas.