If you’re like most people, your vehicle is your lifeline. You depend on it to carry you and your loved ones safely to and from work, school, and other important activities.
Properly maintaining your vehicle will help ensure that it’s working properly when you need it and that it operates as safely as possible. Keeping up with your maintenance schedule will also extend the life of your vehicle and help protect your investment. So, what does proper vehicle maintenance look like? Let’s take a look!
The oil in your car lubricates the engine and absorbs heat. Over time, your oil breaks down, making it less effective. Low oil levels or ineffective oil can lead to catastrophic results including overheating or a total engine breakdown.
Most experts recommend an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but you’ll want to check your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic what’s right for your particular vehicle. It’s also a good idea to check your oil filter each time you change the oil and replace it as needed.
In addition to your oil, it’s critical to check the other fluids in your vehicle. This includes engine coolant, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. If you find that any of your fluids are low, they need to be replaced right away. Failing to do so can result in major problems that will be very costly to fix. Check your manual to see how often you need to check each of your fluid levels.
The weight on your vehicle’s front and rear axels is different, which causes uneven wear and tear on your tires. Periodically rotating your tires helps extend their lifespan and improve traction, handling, and braking performance. For all-wheel-drive vehicles, regular tire rotation will also reduce wear on your drivetrain.
It’s generally recommended that you rotate your tires every 5,000 miles, but you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your particular vehicle.
There are few things more frustrating than a car that won’t start. Taking care of your vehicle’s battery can help save you from the stress getting stranded.
You can help keep your battery in the best possible shape by keeping it clear of corrosion and regularly tightening down the connections. It’s also a good idea to test your battery regularly so you know when it’s time for a new one before you find that your car won’t start.
Filter maintenance is also critical for ensuring that your vehicle runs properly. This includes your cabin air filter, engine air filter, and your fuel filter. Your cabin air filter keeps the air inside your vehicle clean and free of dust, smoke, and odors. It’s generally recommended that this filter is changed every 15,000 to 25,000 miles.
Your engine air filter protects the engine from dust and debris. When this filter is clogged, it can cause a variety of problems like low fuel economy, poor performance, and expensive engine damage.
Fuel filters catch any impurities that are in your gasoline and prevent them from getting into your engine. When this is overdue for a change, you’ll notice sluggish performance and run the risk of engine damage. Your vehicle owner’s manual will indicate how often you need to change your engine and fuel filters.
When the temperatures start to rise, it becomes abundantly apparent how important your vehicle’s air conditioning system is. Don’t wait until you’re sweating it out to deal with potential AC problems. Instead, include an AC check as part of your regular vehicle maintenance. It’s easier to check your hoses and belts, compressor, fan, and other vital parts and proactively repair them than it is to wait until you have a major problem.
Taking the time to maintain your vehicle will give you peace of mind and ensure that your lifeline is there for you when you need it. While maintenance may cost you a few hundred dollars a year, this is far better than spending thousands of dollars on repairs.
If it’s time for your vehicle maintenance, we can help! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.