We understand cars are expensive, and we aren’t just talking about the upfront costs that come with purchasing a vehicle. Regular car maintenance is definitely necessary, but it is not cheap. To maintain the value of your car and to avoid further depreciation it is important to service your vehicle regularly. Keep track of the services you have done to your car so you know when to have it serviced next. Not only going in when you think your car should be service, but also having your car checked every year by a professional is important.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
Similar to how we should all go to the doctor’s office and dentist multiple times a year, your car needs to see a professional for regular maintenance throughout the year. Some of the most important visits include by are not limited to: oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, wheel alignments and brake checks. Similar to people, all cars are different. Before you get your vehicle serviced it is important to read your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends when it comes to maintaining your car.
Do Your Own Inspection
Getting your car inspected can tack on an additional fee, but it can significantly improve your car’s performance and protect your safety. If you are unable to spare the fee of an inspection, you should do your own inspection. While you may not catch everything that might be wrong with your vehicle by doing your own inspection, it can help spot some potential problems. First, you want to check your car’s vitals. This includes leaks, abnormal engine noises, tire wear, steering, cracked glass, unusual smells and other key components while driving the vehicle. You want to take your car on a thorough test drive, which includes driving at various speeds and roadways. Turn off the radio and really listen to your vehicle. Most importantly, pay attention to how your car steers, brakes and handles. It may also help to have a friend or family member test-drive your car, as you may be use to the way it handles. If you suspect any problems with the way your car drives, it is time to take it to a professional. It definitely does not pay off to wait and ignore car issues.
One important and simple service that car owners neglect is getting their oil changed. Taking the time to change out your oil or getting it serviced regularly is key to your vehicle’s performance. The oil in your car functions as a lubricant in your engine, which allows for metal press against metal without damaging anything in your car. If you are not changing your oil it will accumulate so much dirt that it will not prevent against damage, in turn wearing and breaking your engine.
Typically we suggest that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to change your oil, but this is usually around 7,500 miles. It is important to note that this is based on optimum driving and car conditions. For older cars, extreme weather conditions or when hauling heavy loads you should be changing your oil every 1,000 to 3,000 miles.
Tires and Alignment
Additionally, getting your tires rotated and wheels aligned will improve car functionality. Not only will this improve your car’s performance, but it is also as easy and quick maintenance that should be done at least once a year. If your car alignment is off it can be dangerous, especially at higher speeds. This will also wear your tires unevenly. To make sure your tires are wearing evenly you should get your tires rotated. This small fee will actually pay off by extending the life of your tires. Outside of getting your oil changed, tires rotated and your alignment checked, tune-ups and brake checks are essential for your safety and your car functionality.
Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited offers the best auto repair Columbia MO has to offer, where their expert staff can get your car back on the road in no time.