Regular vehicle maintenance, preventative maintenance for your car, can go a long way in making sure that your vehicle runs at optimal condition. The best alternate of course is to get the best auto warranty plan. No one wants that awful drive or forbidden tow to the local mechanic because your rotor is shot, the brake pads squeak, or the transmission clunks. Regular preventative maintenance for our vehicles is the key. Here is a regular maintenance checklist that you can use for your car. The mechanics know full well of the… you can ‘pay me now or pay me later’ cliche, and when it comes to auto maintenance and repair, it’s never more true.
Tips On Keeping Your Vehicle In Tip-Top Mechanical Shape
Regular Oil Changes
One of the most important maintenance tips any mechanic or dealership can give is to have regular oil changes and oil filter replacement for your car. They recommend anywhere in the 2,000 mile range, although car manufacturers recommend around every 3, 000 miles. Lubing of the chassis or a “lube job” should also be performed at the same time you have the oil changed.
Check The Filters
The air filter, when it’s dirty, is a common problem when you notice your car has less power and is using more fuel. A simple check of the filter will give you an idea of how dirty it is. Mechanics will almost always agree that this simple step can go a long way in improving your vehicle’s performance. Air filters are instrumental in decreasing the amount of dirt, dust and other damaging contaminants going into the engine. Your vehicle runs less efficiently when the filter is clogged with dirt and grime. Filters should be replaced every 3,000 miles. You can get the air filter changed the same time you get a oil change on your vehicle to save time.
The fuel filter is probably the most overlooked or forgotten item for regular maintenance. Getting the fuel filter changed regularly can get you approximately two more miles to the gallon in the long run. Whenever you notice or think to yourself, “Wow, this car is using more gas lately”, check the fuel filter.
Regular replacement of the brake pads is vitally important. Mechanics all agree that the regular maintenance of the braking system is the most important safety feature on an automobile. Being able to stop your vehicle quickly and safely is obviously a top priority. Brake pads are always the first to wear out. If you start hearing squeaking sounds, or the feel of the pedal upon braking is a bit “mushy”, the brake pads are beginning to wear out. The responsibility of the brake pads is to provide friction with the pad to make braking or stopping possible. Brake pads can be easily diagnosed for wear and tear with regular examinations.
Automotive Electrical Wiring System
Between the distributor, spark plug wire malfunctions and the ignition coils, a lot of things can indicate problems with your cars electrical wiring system. There may be corrosion at the wires or connectors due to condensation. Resistance can increase as the wires get older. The material encasing the wires may be shredding or begin wearing out.
The first sign of trouble generally comes when you start noticing a missing or stuttering type of action when the vehicle is operating. There can be significant tugging like symptoms that feels your vehicle can’t get the energy to move. Always keep your spark plug wires clean. Always troubleshoot for wires that look worn out or are not properly applied to the spark plugs. Replacing your spark plug wires will mean efficient starting and less ignition type problems because they are worn out.
Wash The Car!
This may not fall under the vehicle “maintenance” category, but doesn’t a clean shiny vehicle make you feel better? Have you ever noticed the vehicle seems to run smoother and faster when it’s clean? Having the engine steam cleaned regularly can also go a long way in extending the life of your engine. Engine cleaning will keep the corrosion and grime from building up on your spark plug wires as well. It will also help when you’re looking for engine leaks, unplugged or loose wiring and keeps the corrosion off your vehicle’s battery.
While these are just the basic “regular maintenance” tips, there are obviously others such as keeping your ties inflated at the recommended pounds etc. If you have an older car, it is recommended that you consider an extended warranty plan for your car, to cover major repairs such as expensive engine and transmission repairs.