With the high cost of new cars today, more and more people are choosing to repair and maintain their current vehicle over buying a new one. Most late-model cars will provide many years of reliable service; it’s not unreasonable to expect your car to reach 200,000 miles or more. Proper maintenance is the best insurance you have for extending the life of your vehicle – and it will actually lower the total cost of owning your automobile.
By taking care of small issues before they become a big problem, you have a much better chance of avoiding the inconvenience (and expense!) of unexpected breakdowns. In the long run, investing in preventative maintenance saves you both money and time. It also results in a safer, more dependable, cleaner-running vehicle – one with a higher trade-in/resale value. And, you’ll also keep your manufacturer’s warranty intact.
Things That Should Be Checked
Our technicians consider it their professional responsibility to note any maintenance concerns they see when they work on your vehicle. When we discuss this with you, we’ll describe the work that needs to be done, and how urgent it is. This will allow you to make an educated decision as to the repairs and services you would like to have performed.
- Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil filter changed regularly – every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
- Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
- Check tire inflation. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
- Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
- Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.
- Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. The battery fluid also should be checked and filled if it is low, unless it is a maintenance-free battery.
- Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights.
- Check windshield washer blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year, or sooner if streaking begins.
- Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.
- Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.