The best way to prevent long-term and costly problems with your vehicle is to keep up with its preventative maintenance schedule. One major key to successfully making sure you are doing all you need to do is to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Regardless of your vehicle’s make or model, its owner’s manual will contain a maintenance schedule. Every make and model is different, and standby beliefs such as “You have to change your oil every 3,000 miles,” may not apply to your car.
The maintenance schedule within your owner’s manual is provided by the people who understand your vehicle the best—the company that built it. The manufacturer provides suggestions for how often you need to change your oil, filters, driving belts, timing belts and more.
While some preventative maintenance—such as topping off fluids—can be performed by the vehicle’s owner, other, more complicated procedures should be done by experts like the team at Gary's Automotive. Our team can keep your vehicle in top shape by performing the following maintenance:
- Inspecting and replacing timing belts (preventing damage to other accessories)
- Inspecting and replacing serpentine belts (preventing damage to other accessories)
- Checking and changing oil
- Checking, repairing and replacing battery connection components
- Checking and replacing batteries
- Checking and replacing cabin air filters: This can keep your car comfortable during the hot summer months.
- Checking and replacing your engine air filter, You may need to replace your engine air filter more frequently if you drive in stop-and-go traffic or have a long commute.
- Checking and replacing spark plugs
- Tire rotation: This helps ensure even wear on your tires, which can help prevent blowouts and leaking. It also helps make your ride smoother.
- Tire balancing: Balancing your tires prevents wear, which can significantly improve their life and save you money.
- Wheel alignment
By following your vehicle’s owner’s manual and having your vehicle inspected and maintained regularly, you can greatly reduce problems and save money in the long run. Let the expert team at Gary's Automotive help your vehicle stay in good condition.
Car Health Tips
Use these helpful Preventative Maintenance tips to keep your car running at its optimal performance
- Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil filter changed regularly – every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
- Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
- Check tire inflation. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
- Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
- Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.
- Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. The battery fluid also should be checked and filled if it is low, unless it is a maintenance-free battery.
- Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights.
- Check windshield washer blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year, or sooner if streaking begins.
- Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.
- Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.
Use this as a guideline to create a Preventative Maintenance schedule that works for you
|Vehicle System or Component||Check Monthly||Check Every 3,000 Miles|
|Automatic Transmission Fluid|
|Battery and Cables|
|Brakes and Brake Fluid|
|Cabin Air Filter|
|Check Engine Light On|
|Engine Air Filter|
|Engine Oil and Filter|
|Power Steering Fluid|
|Shock Absorbers and Struts|
|Tire Inflation and Condition|
|Windshield Washer Fluid|