Are you not exactly sure what kind of maintenance is due on your vehicle or when you last had it done?
Sound familiar? It should. Recent studies show that less than 50% of drivers adhere to the manufacturer’s service schedule for their vehicles. This failure to perform car maintenance can lead to thousands of dollars in unexpected repair costs.
So what are you waiting for?
Well, if you’re not, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through exactly what you need to know. In this article, we’re going to point you in the guidance of the ultimate car maintenance guide.
Developing a Maintenance Schedule
Developing a maintenance schedule is one of the ultimate guides to car maintenance. This schedule should include regular check-ups, oil changes, tune-ups, and other key components of routine service. A general rule of thumb is to have your car inspected every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or as provided in the maintenance schedule of the manufacturer.
An annual tune-up should also be included, as well as fluid and filter replacements every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Checking your tire pressure should also be a regular activity as well as lubricating parts as necessary and following a scheduled detailing regimen.
Diagnosing Unusual Symptoms
Diagnosing unusual symptoms is a key part of car maintenance and keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Start with visual inspections. Look for any changes or abnormalities. Check fluid levels such as engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid.
When checking under the hood, identify any loose brackets, cracked hoses, or worn belts that may need replacing. Once you have completed the visual inspection, use a diagnostic tool or scanner to check the computer system for any codes or problems.
Change Your Oil
Changing your oil is the foundation of car maintenance and is essential to keeping your vehicle running smoothly. Ensuring your vehicle gets an oil change regularly is the key to extending the life of your engine and lubricating the many moving parts that make your engine run. To keep your car running its best and extend its life, it is recommended to change the oil every 3,000 miles.
It is best to use the maintenance schedule provided by your vehicle manufacturer. Be sure to use manufacturer-approved oil for your specific vehicle.
Check and Replace Fluids
One of the most important aspects of car maintenance is checking and replacing fluids. Depending on the type of vehicle, there will be several types of fluids that need to be checked and replaced regularly, such as engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. When checking the fluids, make sure the levels are correct, and if the levels are low, top them up accordingly.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the recommended fluids. Replace the fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual, or when the oil or other fluids become visibly dirty.
Combating Rust and Corrosion
Combating rust and corrosion is an important part of vehicle maintenance and is essential to keep your car running smoothly. You can combat rust by giving your car a regular wash and wax, and never leaving a car parked in the same spot for long periods. Check your vehicle for scrapes and dents and get these repaired as soon as possible as small areas of rust can quickly spread to larger areas.
Hoses, gaskets, brake lines, and brakes are all prone to rust, so regular checks and maintenance will ensure they stay in good condition. Use a rust preventive spray to coat certain metal parts if they show signs of rust. Change coolant regularly, clear and drain any rust-prone areas, and check regularly for areas of water damage.
Taking the time to maintain your vehicle and combat rust and corrosion can go a long way in ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and lasts a long time.
Considering a Well Maintained Car
A well-maintained car not only maintains its value longer but also increases road safety for you and your family. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure your vehicle is kept in top condition and running smoothly for many years to come. Have an eye on your car’s maintenance needs and take action.
Want to learn more about all things automotive? Check out our other articles to continue your education!