Preventive maintenance for your car is like going into the doctor before joining a sports team. A simple checkup can catch a little issue before it becomes a big issue. We all know it is a good idea to get a checkup now and then, so give your car the same care and plan a time to take your vehicle into the shop. Mechanics have a trained eye to catch any warning signs on your car before things get out of hand. Take the time to form a relationship with a repair shop before you need one; it is the ace-in-the-hole move you can make. Knowing they have your car in their system means that you are more likely to get in and back out when time is of the essence.
There are simple things you can regularly do yourself to help prevent damages to your car, things like replacing your cabin filter, washing your car, and replacing your wiper blades. If you are handy, more significant things like oil changes belt, hose, tire, and battery inspections need to be performed. These items are often best left to the professionals, trained to notice every small irregularity, and know precisely what to look for.
Here is a 7-point checklist to help you with preventive maintenance.
Change your oil
By changing fluids in your car on a regularly scheduled maintenance plan, you can avoid unnecessary pollutants from getting into your engine. Technology in oil has changed quite a bit. It uses to be that every 3,000 miles, your car would need an oil change, and that is a good number of miles between inspections. Nowadays, with synthetic oils and the like, some fluid changes are only required ½ that often. Does this mean your car needs fewer inspections? Nope. Your car is missing out on professional eyes scanning under the hood looking for potential issues, so pop your hood now and then and be sure to take a look.
Eyeball your belts and fluids
Take a flashlight and look at the belts in your engine compartment. It only takes a minute if you know what you are looking for. Pop the lid on each of your fluid reservoirs and make sure that your transmission, power steering, and wiper fluids are all topped off along with your engine oil. We all know that every 60,000 miles or so, our cars are due for new belts. Belt replacement can feel like an elective expense; however, changing a belt before it breaks can save your car from becoming a total loss.
Inspect Those Tires
Have a penny? Drop-in inside your tire tread and see if you can see all of Lincoln'sLincoln's head. If so, then driving has become borderline hazardous, and you are past due for a new set of tires. Excellent traction is vital to keeping you and your family safe on the road. Take a good look at the tread and see if there is any uneven wear. Is your steering wheel straight? These are warning signs that your alignment might be off, or your tires are in need of rotation. Most tire shops offer free rotations and inspections, so take advantage of their offer and head in for a tire inspection today.
An excellent way for both you and your car to stay healthy. Check with your owners manual to see how often these filters should be changed or ask your mechanic to check for you. Engine air and cabin filters are inexpensive and quick and easy to replace. They can prevent long term damages to your car.
Pop your hood and check out that battery. Your car's scar's battery is on the front line and makes the difference between you getting to work on time, or having a terrible start to your day. If you find corrosion on your battery terminals, take a brush or cloth, and wipe it clean, make sure your battery connections are secure. It is a good idea to have your battery tested periodically to make sure it still has plenty of life in it, and it is not low on fluids. While you are at it, give you jumper cables a good once over and top off the charge on your battery booster, you will be glad that you did.
We don't often think of spark plugs when we think of standard maintenance. However, spark plugs require replacement from time to time and play a key role in your cylinders firing off correctly. Your local mechanic shop can tell you what the recommended intervals are for spark plug replacement, or you can pull out your owner's manual and get the information there.
Windshield Wiper Blades
Something as simple as having a clean windshield to look out of when driving can make the difference between slowing and stopping for a critter. It is generally recommended that your blades are replaced twice per year, however, to extend the life of your wiper blades, you can take denatured alcohol and give them a rub down. Those streaks are often from gunk build-up, a simple cleaning of your blade can improve their performance and extend the life of your blade.
Wash Your Baby
Giving your car a bath on the regular is a simple thing that we often overlook as maintenance, thinking that it is strictly a cosmetic improvement. The fact of the matter is that salt and debris collected over time and can erode or even rust out your car. Giving your vehicle a regular clean up inside and out can prevent rusting and decay, it also helps you enjoy your car more when you are out on the town.
Show your vehicle some kindness with a service this spring, Larry'sLarry's Independent Service is here to help. When you're in need of auto repair or ongoing maintenance for your vehicle, stop into to see the well-qualified auto mechanics at Larry's Independent Service in Mission Viejo, CA, and we will help make sure everything is running smoothly. Make your appointment today!