For most of us, the car we drive is a major investment, second perhaps only to our home in terms of cost. With new cars costing man tens of thousands of dollars, and even quality used cars commanding premium prices, it makes sense to protect this valuable investment by creating, and sticking to, a realistic maintenance schedule.
The right maintenance can make all the difference in the world in terms of the lifespan of the car and its resale value, especially when someone hires a mechanic or car inspection service to scrutinize at your car deeper to find how well its been maintained.
Maintaining the car carefully overtime will help it last longer, and presenting would be buyers with meticulously kept maintenance record will make that car easier to sell when the time comes to trade up to the next new model. The time it takes to maintain the car, and carefully record each maintenance event, will be more than amply rewarded, both in creased value and in longer life for the vehicle. We’ve used checklists from top automotive stores, including advance auto has here, that will give you a good understanding of what to look for when going through your car.
Many areas of the country, of course, require all vehicles to be inspected at regular intervals, often once a year or so. These routine car inspections cover various safety and operational aspects of the vehicle, including the functioning of the signal lights, brakes, headlights and tires
How Often should Routine Car Maintenance be Performed?
In addition to these yearly checks, every car owner should regularly have the levels of all automotive fluids checked on a regular basis. A drop in levels of brake fluid, coolant, oil or transmission fluid could be an early warning sign of as serious problem. If the problem can be caught early, it can often be repaired easily and cheaply, but if it is allowed to linger the damage, to your car and your wallet alike, could be much greater.
The optimum time to perform these fluid checks is at every oil change. Depending on the manufacturer, the recommended oil change interval will range from 3,000 to 5,000 miles, and it is important for vehicle owners to follow these recommendations carefully. When the oil is being changed, it is also a good idea to check the air in the tires.
Under-inflated and over-inflated tires are dangerous, and they up fuel mileage. Taking the time to inflate the tires property will help save fuel and money. You can also check your own tire pressure quickly and easily, either at the local service station or in your driveway, using a simple handheld tire pressure gauge.
Important Things to Check when performing Car Maintenance
In addition to the importance of regular oil changes, there are a number of more complex maintenance procedures that need to be performed at regular intervals For instance, the transmission fluid in automatic transmissions should be changed according to the manufacturer”s recommended schedule, as should the coolant. Having these vital fluids flushed and refilled will help to remove impurities from the system and lengthen the life of the transmission, coolant system and other vital automotive mechanisms.
There are a number of belts and filters that will need to be changed at recommended intervals as well. Many modern vehicles have replaced the plethora of fan belts, engine belts and the like with a single serpentine belt which serves the entire vehicle. While this is convenient, it also provides a single point of failure, and so it is important to change that serpentine belt at the proper intervals
The filters too should be change according to the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer. Fuel filters, air filters and the like should be changed as needed. Oil filters, of course, will be replaced at every oil change.
Another important maintenance requirement is tire rotation. Rotating tires on a regular basis is perhaps the most effective way to make them last longer and wear evenly. Front wheel drive vehicles, for instance, will tend to wear the front tires down much more quickly than the rear ones, since those front tires will be doing most of the work. Rotating the tires will help even out the wear and save money on unnecessary tire replacements. When buying tires it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation about the proper interval for tire rotation. Most tire makers suggest rotating the tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Update Feb 2017:
One of our viewers suggested this great video about the things you should look for when inspecting your vehicle. I gave it watch and it was very good, I suggest you all go through it and learn and apply what he’s doing within the video!