Preventative Maintenance Guide Pt. 1
What’s the difference between preventative maintenance and a repair? Preventative maintenance happens on your terms, and usually costs just a fraction of what a repair might be. Here are some simple things you can do today to keep your car healthy and happy!
1. Read Your Owner’s Manual
While this may sound too simple to benefit from, you’d be surprised what you may find within that mysterious book inside of your glove compartment. When it comes to preventative maintenance, your owner’s manual will tell you what needs to be done and when you need to do it.
2. Learn to Check Your Fluids
Coolant, oil, power steering, wiper fluid, etc. There is a lot going on under the hood of your car and much of it is dependent on these fluids. The levels of most of them can be seen either by their clear holding container under the hood, with a dipstick, or a gauge in the dash. Your owner’s manual can help you find each of these for your specific vehicle and let you know what the appropriate level and life expectancy is.
3. Timing and Serpentine Belts
The general rule of thumb is 60,000 miles for your timing belt and 40,000 miles for your serpentine belt. However, your owner’s manual will give you the exact numbers for your exact vehicle. Swapping these belts out with new ones at their recommended mileage can prevent massive engine failures from occurring. Not sure where your owner’s manual is? Give us a call and we can help you identify the proper intervals to change these out in your vehicle.
4. Check your Oil and Change It Regularly
Don’t be fooled by the “every 3,000” myth. While this may be true for some vehicles, the vast majority of new cars can go considerably farther before needing an oil change. Again, you can find this information in your owner’s manual. However, you should still get in the habit of checking your oil on your own in between changes. If you notice the level dropping, there could be an issue that needs to be taken care of. If left unattended, this issue could lead to something much worse than a small oil leak.
5. Check Your Battery
While there is not that much you can do to maintain your battery, it is important to know where it is in your car and to check periodically to make sure the contacts are clean from mineral or other build ups. Especially in the Winter, the cold weather really takes a toll on your vehicle’s battery. Bring your car in to us and let us check the health of your battery so you’re not stranded at home on one of these chilly mornings.