Important Vehicle Maintenance Tips
A thorough vehicle maintenance regime can help keep your car on the road for longer. Carrying out key maintenance tasks on a regular basis can ensure that your car continues to perform to a high standard. Routine maintenance can also enable you or a trained mechanic to detect potential problems before they get serious. Here’s a checklist of important auto maintenance tasks you should perform as a vehicle owner.
Change Your Engine Oil Regularly
Having clean engine oil is critical to keep your car running smoothly. There are many mechanical parts in your engine that create friction by rubbing against each other when they move. The job of engine oil is to keep this friction to a minimum to ensure excessive wear and tear doesn’t occur.
Engine oil breaks down over time and can get contaminated by dirt or debris. That’s why you should replace your engine oil after 5,000-7,000 miles of driving. You can find a more precise recommendation for your particular vehicle in your owner’s manual.
It’s well worth inspecting your engine oil regularly. Changes in its color can act as a warning that it’s contaminated. For example, if your engine oil appears very dark, this can be a sign that sludge is building up or that excessive friction is occurring in your engine.
Inspect Your Car Every Few Weeks
It’s a good idea to walk around your car while it’s parked and inspect it every week or two. Check to see that there are no obvious signs of damage and that key features, like the headlights, are working properly. If you detect anything that concerns you, take your vehicle to the nearest service center for a professional inspection.
During your inspection, wash any dirt or debris off your vehicle. A build-up of dirt doesn’t just look unpleasant, but can also potentially cause harm to some of your vehicle’s components.
Check Your Car’s Fluid Levels
Several key pieces of equipment in your car require fluid to operate. These include the brakes, power steering, and engine coolant. Like engine oil, these fluids can get contaminated over time, reducing their ability to do their job. Additionally, brake fluid may leak if a hose or other component gets damaged. If a fluid leak or contamination goes undetected, you may be faced with problems in the performance of your brakes or power steering.
Change Your Windshield Wipers Once a Year
Windshield wipers are only designed to last for about a year, so it’s vital that you remember to change them. This is especially the case if you notice that they’re damaged or not performing as well as they used to. Damaged windshield wipers can end up being a serious hazard if you get caught in a heavy rain shower or snow storm and lose visibility.
Check Your Brakes
Your brakes work under a lot of strain to bring your car to a stop whenever you hit the brake pedal. Various brake parts can wear down over time and may require replacing. For example, your brake pads will wear out over time due to the friction they’re exposed to when they slow down your car. Luckily, many modern brake pads have a built-in alert system to warn you when they need replacing.
It’s a good idea to have your brakes thoroughly inspected around once a year. A trained mechanic can check your pads, make sure the brake fluid is topped off, and examine the hoses and other components for any sign of damage or wear and tear.
Clean Your Air Filter
Your engine’s air filter needs to be cleaned about once a year. The filter can get clogged up with dust or dirt over time, which can result in less air getting into your engine. The effect of this may be that your engine performs less well or its fuel economy drops. If the filter is too dirty to clean, you can get it replaced at an auto service center.
Test Your Battery
Your car’s battery generates the power necessary to start your engine, so it’s important you ensure it’s in good working order. A typical battery has a working life of about four years. However, cold temperatures can place an extra strain on a battery that may cause it to struggle prior to that timeframe. That’s why you should get your battery tested approximately once a year to check that it’s still operating properly.
Rotate Your Tires
Tire tread wears down over time, with many tires having an expected lifespan of six to seven years. Front tires often wear out more quickly than those at the rear due to the fact that they’re placed under more strain when turning and braking. You can avoid uneven wear on your tires by getting them regularly rotated. Regular tire rotations can also prolong your tires’ life.
Take Your Car to a Service Center for Routine Maintenance
You can perform many of the maintenance tasks we’ve listed yourself. However, there are some significant benefits to bringing your vehicle into a dedicated service center to have routine maintenance performed.
First, the auto technician performing your maintenance is trained to a high standard, helping ensure that each task is performed correctly. Second, service centers have professional equipment to make maintenance tasks like removing tires or replacing engine oil a lot easier.
Another bonus about coming into a service center is that your auto technician can thoroughly inspect your vehicle for any signs of problems. This inspection gives them the opportunity to take preventative measures that may save you a considerable about of money on repair costs over the long term.
Take Care of Your Routine Maintenance Needs at North Coast Auto Mall in Bedford
If you’re looking for a reliable auto service center for your routine maintenance needs, you can contact us at North Coast Auto Mall in Bedford. Our team of trained mechanics has extensive experience working on a wide range of vehicles and can perform all maintenance tasks to a high standard. You can schedule your next appointment online, or drop by our service center in Bedford to talk to one of us in person.