You can avoid time-consuming and costly repairs with a few simple service checks. To protect our loyal customers and help each visitor get the most out of their vehicle, we’ve put together a list of the 5 most important maintenance services. Regularly scheduled maintenance service will keep your car running stronger and help you avoid major auto repair.
5 Essential Maintenance Services to Avoid Major Auto Repair:
1. Assess the quality of all fluids
Engine fluids lubricate moving parts to minimize the effects of friction. That’s why it’s imperative to keep this element clean of contamination and at the level necessary to do its job. Your owner’s manual will provide the manufacturer’s recommended oil change frequency, but we suggest an oil change once every 3,000 – 6,000 miles (depending on the type of oil used).
As you request an oil change, have the auto mechanic check the following fluid levels:
- Motor oil
- Transmission fluid
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Coolant (or anti-freeze)
- Windshield washer fluid
Keeping up with fluid quality and quantity can raise the car’s fuel economy, increase the engine’s reliability and prevent costly damages.
2. Take care of your tires
For proper tire care, you need to regularly schedule tire rotations and alignment checks, and maintain proper tire air pressure.
Regular tire rotations will ensure all tires wear down evenly. While most manufacturers recommend a rotation every 7,000 miles, the needed frequency really depends on tire quality, vehicle weight and driving conditions. A simple rule of thumb is to request a tire rotation with every other oil change. Maintaining a regular tire rotation schedule can extend tire life and better protect you and your family.
Your wheel alignment can have a significant impact on the performance of your suspension system. When your alignment is off, the car will fight you for control on every drive. Have your alignment evaluated annually, or any time you purchase new tires or experience a collision.
Finally, your tires’ air pressure is crucial to fuel economy, as well as your safety. Under-inflated tires decrease fuel economy, compromise handling, wear down tread and can cause blowouts at high speeds. It’s estimated that annually, 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries are due to under-inflated tires.
On the other hand, over-inflated tires also ride roughly, cause uneven tread wear and can lead to a blowout. Follow the inflation pressure recommendations in the owner’s manual, on the tire information label in the glove box or the driver’s side door.
3. Check belts and hoses
They might not seem like much, but your belts take the brunt of all vehicle functions. Belts kick-start the alternator and help operate the water pump. Newer vehicles use serpentine belts, which drive most engine parts. Have your auto repair technician check for cracks, fraying and exposed threads.
If you drive an older vehicle using V-belts, have your specialist look for glazing, cracking or excessive wear, especially on the belt’s underside. Keeping your belts strong and healthy will help your engine operate more efficiently, as well as prevent expensive damage.
4. Change your filters
Your vehicle has two essential filters: the cabin filter and the engine filter. These two air filters work hard keeping the air running through your engine and through the passenger cab clean and contaminant-free.
Check your owner’s manual to see how often your filters need to be replaced to prevent dirt and debris from clogging important engine functions. It’s also a good idea to request a filter check with every oil change.
5. Keep up with your battery life
As the battery ages, it no can no longer hold a charge and eventually dies. Begin performing battery charge tests (or ask your friendly auto repair shop to do it for you) when the battery hits the 3-year mark. It’s also important to make sure the battery stays clean and corrosion-free.
If you do notice buildup on the contacts, no big deal! A simple scrub with a battery cleaning brush should take care of that.
While auto repair is frustrating and expensive, proper maintenance can prevent most serious damage.
Keep up with these 5 essential maintenance services with Christian Brothers Automotive. Our ASE-certified technicians will help your vehicle run efficiently for years to come.