While looks can go a long way, if you want your car's beauty to be more than skin deep, regular maintenance is required to keep it running smoothly for a long time. People always forget, especially the younger crowd, about the importance of keeping an eye on the many things going on under the hood. Read your owner's manual. The man has a lot of important and helpful information in it that you should know about the car you're driving.

First things first, ALWAYS keep an eye on your oil. We're told by experts to change our oil every 3,000 miles or three months. The dangers of not changing your oil regularly can vary in range. From having to change annoying small parts in your engine to having to change your whole engine entirely, without changing your oil in the given time these issues will become a reality but nonetheless you wouldn't want to face any of these problems. Now when it comes to actually changing the oil, if the engine is cold, start it and let it run for five minutes to warm the oil. If it's hot, wait at least 30 minutes to avoid getting burned. Never use an adjustable wrench or socket on the drain plug. Use the properly sized box-end wrench, usually metric, for the plug. Always use jack stands. Never work under a car that's supported by a jack only.Use new oil to coat the oil filter gasket before spinning it on. Always hand-tighten the filter. Never use a filter wrench. Line up all the oil bottles you'll need for the fill so you don't lose count along the way!

Then comes checking your tires. Flat tires or even tires that aren't inflated entirely can cause a plethora of unimaginable issues. Gas mileage, coming to a stop, and tire failure to just name a few. Believe it or not tires that are inflated too much can also cause trouble. If tire pressure is too high, then less of the tire touches the ground. As a consequence, your car will bounce around on the road. And when your tires are bouncing instead of firmly planted on the road, traction suffers and so do your stopping distances. You'll also feel a decrease in ride comfort. So make sure you have just the right amount of air in all 4 of your tires. Firstly, buy a digital tire gauge and keep it in the car. Find the tire pressure level required for your car. Then, check the pressure when the tires are cold. Unscrew the valve cap and set it to the side or in a pocket where you won't lose it. And finally, press the tire gauge onto the valve stem. Proper air maintenance will give better gas mileage, avoid irregular wear and extend the life of your tires by thousands of miles. If it's not part of your maintenance routine - and for millions of drivers, it's not - you really should be trying to make it at least a monthly item.