All car owners expect their vehicles to provide a smooth, trouble-free ride for as long as possible. However, many of us forget that cars cannot run well unless maintained properly on a regular basis. Fortunately, all new vehicles and many used cars come with a detailed car maintenance schedule set forth in an owner’s manual.
While most manuals will tell you how often to rotate your tires or change the oil based on mileage, they’ll also let you know when you should adapt the instructions in keeping with your specific climate and how you regularly use your vehicle.
Common maintenance tasks that benefit your vehicle
- Changing the oil on a set schedule. Based on how many miles you travel every four to six months, you need to have the oil changed and a new oil filter installed so that your engine can provide you with its peak performance;
- Keeping your brakes in top shape. If you’ll ask your mechanic to check your brake pads after you’ve driven several thousand miles – or whenever you hear unusual noises when applying the brakes – you should be able to avoid damaging the disks and calipers. Just be sure to inspect the brakes fairly often so you’ll get maximum road traction long before the pads begin to show serious wear;
- Rotating your tires. In keeping with the maintenance schedule provided in your owner’s manual, be sure to have your mechanic handle this task for you. When you fail to regularly rotate your tires, you can cause so much added damage to them that you’ll need to replace them much sooner than would otherwise be necessary;
- Install new air filters when necessary. Dirty air filters make it hard for engines to run efficiently and can even lower your fuel mileage;
- Keep the interior and exterior of your car in good repair. In order to protect your vehicle from losing any resale value, it’s important to keep the exterior properly washed and waxed. You also need to keep the interior clean. Torn or cracked upholstery, along with a chipped paint job can make it harder to obtain a fair price later trying to sell your car. Be sure to use the proper types of exterior soaps and interior upholstery cleaners. If the owner’s manual doesn’t suggest specific cleaner brands, ask your mechanic or auto parts store employee for suggestions;
- Belts and hoses must be checked and changed as needed. Although this repair is mentioned last – it’s actually a very important one that many people often forget. You can easily increase the wear and tear on many different car parts and systems when your belts and hoses are in poor shape. Always check them regularly, depending on how far you drive each month.
These are just some of the general tips covered in the video referenced above. In addition to carefully reviewing your vehicle owner’s manual, ask your mechanic for additional maintenance suggestions and regularly check your car manufacturer’s website to see if any car parts or systems are currently being recalled so that timely repairs