Preventative Maintenance

Regular automobile preventative inspections are a visual and intuitive inspection that costs you nothing. If upon inspection you see something that needs attention, you can initiate the proper care immediately, at a lower maintenance cost rather than a higher repair cost. Regular maintenance inspections include checking for wear and tear on various engine parts, replenishing air and fluids, and cleaning the interior and exterior of the automobile.

 

The Service Schedule identifies inspections that should be considered every month, every six months, and every year. Generally, every 3,000 miles, you should take an inspection of your vehicle for one condition or another.

 

Checking your vehicle regularly costs nothing more than your time. However, if after inspecting your vehicle, you discover issues that need attention, you are wise to service these areas immediately. The Service Schedule also includes the average cost of repairing or replacing parts yourself, compared to taking the vehicle to an auto mechanic. The average cost ranges from a low average to a high average.

AUTO CARE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

OIL CHANGES

Check your owner’s manual to determine how often your oil does indeed need to be changed. Many people believe it is every 3,000 miles, but that may not be true in your case. It will also tell you the right type of oil to use as well as filters and other parts. This can be helpful for you, more than the auto mechanic, who likely already has access and knowledge about these things

 

FLUID & BELT INSPECTION

Have an inspection performed, or do it yourself if you are able. Check your fluids including:

  • Antifreeze/ Coolant
  • Wiper fluid
  • Power Steering
  • Transmission Fluid

 

Check your timing and serpentine belt. Most vehicles need these replaced every 60,000 and 40,000 miles respectively. Your owner’s manual will give you a specific range for your vehicle, and if you don’t do the preventative maintenance on these, you will break down and the belts can cause additional damage to other areas.

 

CHECK YOUR TIRES

Check the tread on your tires to see if it is low and wearing evenly. If the tread is low, replace the tires- they are not something to wait on. Worn tires are very dangerous to drive on. Getting tires rotated and balanced will help them last longer. Your manual will tell you how often to get that done. An alignment on your car is needed if the tread isn’t wearing equally on the tire.

 

 

CHANGE FILTERS

Your engine’s air filter needs to be replaced according to your owner’s manual and is based on mileage. Likewise the type of driving you do and the location of where you are driving can impact how dirty the air filter gets and how often it will need to be changed.

Replacing a dirty air filter in the cabin is something easy you can do yourself. Get a replacement filter at your auto parts store and check your manual for the replacement instructions. This won’t cause your car to break down, but it does keep your car more comfortable.

 

INSPECT & CLEAN BATTERY

Take a look at your battery and notice if there is any mineral buildup on the contacts. Clean it with a battery cleaning brush. Make sure your jumper cables are in good working order and consider purchasing a battery tester. Automotive shops as well as auto supply stores can test your battery level as well.

 

SPARK PLUGS

Worn or damaged spark plugs can lead to a breakdown, therefore they need to be checked and changed regularly. Ignoring them causes your engine to not work efficiently, about every 30,000 miles, or in accordance with your manual.

 

KEEPING IT CLEAN

Replace windshield wipers if they are not doing a good job of clearing your windshield. This can become very dangerous quickly if not. They are rather inexpensive and are easy to replace. Keeping the exterior of your vehicle clean is important to prevent rust. In the case of an accident, anything in the cab of your vehicle can become a projectile, therefore not having unneeded items, is good. Remove or discard anything that doesn’t need to be in the car or isn’t secured.

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