Contents:

    As Uber/Lyft drivers, or even delivery drivers, it’s critical that we keep our cars in the best shape we can in order to keep them on the road and avoid costly repairs.

    Now more than ever, it makes sense to keep our cars in tip-top shape. As many of us get back on the roads to drive and deliver, our cars might need a little TLC. 

    instacart

    Why not give your car a once-over with the car maintenance tips below? RSG contributor Tyler Philbrook shares the top ways to keep your car in tip-top shape, driving for years to come!

    As a rideshare or delivery driver our number one most valuable piece of equipment is our car.

    It’s true, we could rent a car for rideshare if ours broke down, but that’s more money out of our pocket. The best thing you can do is keep the car you have, running as well as possible, for as long as possible.

    Here are some ways how, and a helpful tip on how to keep track of all of it.

    Quick tips:

    • Make sure to change your oil on schedule
    • Practice safe driving – it will save your brakes!
    • Pay attention to your tires
    • Take care of your windshield wipers so they take care of you!
    • Yes, you need to clean your air filters
    • Keep the outside of your car clean

    Not sure what your car needs? Want a mechanic to come to your home to change your oil and maintain your car? Schedule your first service appointment with YourMechanic.com.

    Note: All customers can request a “no-contact” appointment, meaning mechanics will process all payments and perform car repair services without the customer present. Customers just need to call or text their mechanic with instructions for key exchange before their appointments.

    Car Maintenance Tips: The Basics

    Routine preventative maintenance is a non-negotiable if you want to keep your car in good working condition, according to Leopold Lacy, a Master Technician who works with YourMechanic.com – a mobile repair company that delivers 600 services to customers’ homes and offices.

    Whether you drive a Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, or Cadillac, the best way to avoid breakdowns and expensive repairs down the line is to keep up with your car’s factory-recommended preventative maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, cabin air filter and brake pad replacements.

    And while all preventative maintenance is strongly recommended, the number one service that you should never delay is a timing belt replacements because it can suddenly snap when it’s worn out and destroy the entire engine.

    You can find your car’s recommended preventative maintenance in your manual or use YourMechanic.com’s instant scheduled maintenance calculator.

    6 Tips for Car Maintenance as a Rideshare Driver

    Even the most well-intentioned car owners make these minor mistakes that lead to costly repairs. The good news is that these errors are extremely simple to avoid with these simple tips.

    1. Change your oil!

    When I got my first car, I knew nothing about maintenance, including the need to get my oil changed. I had a 1993 Buick regal (her name was Gertrude), and after almost 30,000 miles driven, the “change oil” light came on. A few days later I took my car into a shop to get the oil changed.

    The oil was completely empty and apparently had been for some time. As you can imagine, poor Gertrude didn’t make it much longer.

    The moral of the story here is to change your oil regularly, and make sure you get good oil. Even consider going synthetic as that can be better for your engine and make it so you can go longer in between oil changes.

    2. Drive like Grandma

    I know it can be tempting to drive a little faster, brake a little harder, and all-around just make sure we get to our destination in a timely manner. But the truth is, if we do this we could be causing more harm than good with our car.

    Making an extra few dollars getting somewhere faster will seem very silly when you have costly speeding tickets, or damage to your brakes, tires, etc. 

    Keep a safe distance between cars around you, brake with plenty of time, and maintain the speed limit. It may sound boring, but it will keep you safer, and your car will last longer.

    And note: only drive like Grandma if your Grandma isn’t a speed demon!

    3. Keep an eye on your tires

    If you have ever experienced a blowout you know that it is one of the most terrifying things that can happen while driving a car.

    For that reason, you need to keep an eye on your tires. Make sure you’re rotating them by the manufacturer’s guidelines. 

    Do your best to stay out of areas that could have something that would damage your tires. Construction sites, or glass on the road. Sometimes it’s impossible, you have to either decide to run over something dangerous, or into someone, so use your judgment. 

    On that note, make sure you have a spare tire, jack, and tire iron if you do get a flat and have to change it yourself. Ideally, you have AAA or roadside assistance, or someone stops to help you but… that’s unfortunately not always the case!

    There are plenty of car tire replacement kits out there, like this one from ONREVA.


    4. Take care of your windshield wipers and they’ll take care of you

    Living in Florida, almost every day it rains. I don’t mean a little sprinkle, but a torrential downpour that this guy from Maine used to think was only meant for huge storms.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t last long, but it does require that we have good windshield wipers, and don’t wait to replace them when needed.

    We even go a step further and get Rainx for our windshield to make sure we get as clear a windshield as possible when driving in the rain.

    You can find windshield wipers on Amazon and filter results for your exact car type.


    5. Replace your air filters

    For me, air filters are something you use inside a house for your air conditioning. I for a long time had no idea cars also have them. I found out, similar to how I found out I needed an oil change. My filter was solid black, and needed to be changed for a long, long time.

    Now I check my filter every time I get my oil changed. Most say you should get it checked once a year.

    6. Keep your car clean

    Little things can become big things. If one of those birds has their eye on your car and now there is an eyesore on your car, don’t wait to get it cleaned. By waiting you can end up damaging the paint of the car (same goes for if you get egged – we’re not judging why, just make sure to clean it ASAP!)

    Keeping your car dust-free, vacuuming it, and wiping it down is not only good for your passengers, and in turn your tips, but also keeping the car in good shape. 

    Cleaning your car regularly, weekly at least depending on how much you drive, also alerts you to things you wouldn’t find out otherwise. If a passenger broke a cup holder, tore a seat, or did anything else you may never know while you’re sitting in the front seat. By cleaning regularly, we will be able to take care of little problems before they become much larger ones.

    You can use something like the cleaning kit below to help keep your car in tip top shape:


    Set Reminders for Yourself

    At this point you may be thinking that this all sounds good, but you will never remember all of this. I know I never do. This is why I use one simple trick to help me remember things, one anyone can do.

    Simply set a reminder on your phone. When you get an oil change, put the date on the sticker on your phone.

    Change your air filter, set a reminder for a year from now.

    Checked your tires, do it again a year from now by setting a reminder. Our phones have so much power, yet this simple part of it is often forgotten but can have the biggest effect on us.

    Readers, what steps are you taking to keep your car up and running?

    instacart

    Resources:

    Tyler Philbrook

    Tyler Philbrook

    Tyler Philbrook is a part-time Rideshare driver and freelance writer focused on finding the best ways to make money while enjoying life. Published on Disease Called Debt, Saving Advice, featured on The Penny Hoarder, and a mention in Pat Flynn's Superfans book. My favorite app for rideshare driving is Waze and Gridwise.