You may have heard the saying, “If you don’t schedule time for your car’s maintenance your car will schedule it for you.” Preventive maintenance keeps breakdowns and their headaches to a minimum. And just might save you money in the long run, keeping a small problem from developing into a big one. So don’t wait until something fails before bringing your car in.
What Needs Maintaining?
Oil, filters, and coolant are essentially consumables that need to be replaced anywhere from a few times per year to every few years. That’s because important additives in oil and coolant break down with heat and time. Contamination builds up, and filter’s start to clog and reduce flow. Regular inspections spot problems long before you’ll notice any symptoms, and that’s critical when it comes to brakes and other safety features.
Scheduled Car Maintenance
Each make, model, and year of vehicle has a specific recommended maintenance schedule. You’ll find in in your owner’s manual. It’s written by the engineers who designed the vehicle, and updated from field reports. Most cars, SUVs, and pickups need oil changes around every 3,000 miles and minor maintenance every 12,000 miles (about once a year).
You’ll want to keep more than that new-car feel. You’ll want to keep the manufacturer’s warranty intact, and that means keeping up with their maintenance schedule. But that can done at any garage, not just the dealership.
Minor service typically includes checking and/or replacing consumables along with inspecting tires, brakes, steering, suspension and anything mentioned specifically in the schedule.
The first major service is usually around 30,000 miles, when the vehicle is 2-4 years old. It may still feel new. But slow gradual changes usually go unnoticed while some things are just fine until they break. So major service is largely thorough inspection of important items such as alignment, hoses and connections, drive and timing belts, air conditioning, exhaust and cooling systems, steering linkages, pumps, and the suspension. It also includes replacing items that wear or degrade more slowly than oil and oil filters. They include air and fuel filters, spark plugs, transmission and brake fluids as well as brake drums, rotors, and calipers.
Car Maintenance After That
Consistent scheduled maintenance on older vehicles does more than keep them going. It keeps them safe, reliable, fuel-efficient, and longer-lasting. And that’s less expensive in the long run. By keeping your car running smoothly and dependably you’ll also be buying some peace of mind.
If you have an older “second” car you can cut expenses by switching to oil changes plus inspection, skipping scheduled items until they’re clearly needed. But you’re risking breakdowns, that seem to occur at the worst possible time. Or worse still an accident caused by mechanical failure. Either way, it can be costly.
Our highly-trained and certified mechanics have direct access to all manufacturers’ schedules as well as the latest in diagnostic equipment. That includes TSBs (technical service bulletins) issued to mechanics to notify them of newly-discovered issues for each make and model.
Contact us or stop by for more information.