What is Routine Maintenance on a Car?
Routine maintenance is mandatory in order to keep a car running properly. No driver wants to be cruising on a highway, and spy a warning light on their dashboard. Usually when your car alerts you to a problem, you’re on a limited timeline to correct said problem. In order to make sure that this unwelcome sight does not occur, routine auto maintenance service is necessary. There are some basic time intervals to keep track of for the car owner. Many car manufacturers suggest auto maintenance services be administered per a set amount of mileage. Consult your owners manual to acquire the specifics related to your vehicle.
What Kind of Maintenance Does My Car Need?
Preventative maintenance is one of the very best forms of maintenance you can initiate for your automobile. The basics, like changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and getting scheduled inspections and work done are like getting regular checkups at the doctor. These routine check-ins give you and the experts a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. As previously mentioned, reading through your owner’s manual is the first place you should begin your maintenance journey. The experts recommend this step because it is likened to owning a new gas range – why would you fire up a huge, expensive piece of technology without first reading the owner’s manual?
What are the Most Important Forms of Car Maintenance?
To begin with, a periodic oil change is a must-do for auto maintenance. An oil change is one of the most important and frequent auto maintenance tasks. Oil changes remove the old, dirty oil and filter, and replace it. Most vehicles need an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or about every three months, whichever comes sooner. Tire rotation and balance is another crucial form of car maintenance to do, as is replacing the power steering fluid. Tires have a big impact on your car’s performance and on your fuel economy. When the tread on your tires wears down, your engine has to work harder, using more fuel. Additionally, when the tread on your tires wears down unevenly, it can cause the alignment of your car to go out of balance, putting pressure on the axles, joints, and other critical parts.
The reason why power steering fluid is an important part of auto maintenance is because power steering fluid makes your car handle smoothly. Without the right levels of power steering fluid, your car will have trouble turning. Alternatively, if you experience grinding in your gears when you shift from drive to reverse, you probably need transmission repair. The air filter and fuel filter should also be inspected on a semi-regular basis, due to the fact that the air filter keeps the engine free of contaminants, and the fuel filter allows proper functioning of your fuel-injection system.
Do I have to go to the Dealer for Maintenance?
Upon purchasing a new car, there is usually a warranty offered for an approximate number of miles. The warranty is a promise, often made by a manufacturer, to stand behind its product or to fix certain defects or malfunctions over a period of time. The warranty pays for any covered repairs or part replacements during the warranty period. This said, once that warranty period is over, you might have acquired a trusted car technician who is happy to repair your car for a much lower price tag than offered at your dealership.
How Much Should I Budget for Car Maintenance?
Planning a maintenance budget for your car is not something many car owners do. Here’s your reality check – if you don’t move forward with at least calculating the various amount of oil changes necessary per year – three or four, depending on how often you use your vehicle – you’re going to put off the necessary maintenance for one of your biggest investments. Depending on the age and condition of your car, a decent average to assume is $75.00 per month for your car. While months will pass where you don’t spend anywhere near seventy-five dollars per month for your vehicle, these costs reveal themselves whenever the vehicle needs a major tune-up, or, for example, when the rear view mirror gets knocked off. It adds up.
Car Maintenance – What Needs to Be Done?
Many car manufacturers use a 30-60-90 day schedule. This means certain items need to be inspected, changed, or replaced at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles.
- Oil and oil filter.
- Air Filter.
- Fuel Filter.
- Brake Fluid.
- Brake Pads/Shoes.
- Brake Rotors.
- Transmission Fluid.
- Power Steering Fluid.
- Spark Plugs/Ignition System.
- Timing Belt.
Keep in mind that these milestones are just guidelines, and that your car’s owner’s manual should be consulted for a precise maintenance schedule.
Auto Maintenance and Repair
What is the difference between auto maintenance and repair? That’s a great question. Both of these things are important to the overall performance of your vehicle, but they have different functions. Auto repairs are performed when your vehicle is not functioning properly. Auto maintenance helps keep your ride running smoothly and can prevent costly repairs down the road.
Car Maintenance vs. Repair
If you utilize proper car maintenance and investigate your owner’s manual thoroughly, car maintenance can eliminate many of the possible car repairs necessary. Incidental problems occur, however, and car repair is necessary to get you back on the road.
There are some short-term check-ups that you can perform routinely to give you peace of mind while you are traveling in your vehicle. Check under the hood of your car and inspect both the oil and coolant levels. Low levels of either can lead to engine problems if left unchecked. Your engine’s air filter is what regulates the air that flows into your engine and helps keep out debris and particular. Check this filter routinely to make sure your engine doesn’t get overheated. Headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights should also be checked so that you’re ready for the dark when it comes.
Be sure to stop by Saline Automotive Service in the Saline and Ann Arbor, MI area for all your auto maintenance needs. Call 734-429-2886 today!