Your car is an expensive investment, which is why it is so important to keep it running smoothly. Most drivers know they need to occasionally take their vehicles in for routine maintenance, but this doesn’t mean they are clear on what specific components need to be maintained or how to go about having this done. Luckily, there are a few major parts of your car that you can focus on to make this decision easier for you.
You know you need to take your car in to have its oil changed, but it can be difficult to know how often to do so. If your car has a substantial amount of miles on it and is running on conventional oil, it should be changed roughly every 3,000 – 4,000 miles. On the other hand, if your car has low mileage and runs on synthetic oil, you’re looking at needing it changed around every 5,000 – 6,000 miles. Other conditions also play a role in deciding your oil change frequency, such as carrying heavy loads or driving in severe weather conditions. Having your oil checked is also an opportune time to check on other fluids. Your transmission, brake, power-steering, as well as antifreeze fluids are also important areas to be conscious of in your vehicle.
As such an important component to your vehicle, you want to make sure you maintain your brakes. Any time you notice something off about them, whether it’s a sound or vibration, you should take your vehicle in to have your brakes inspected to prevent costly repairs.
Hoses and Belts
Although you need to maintain the drive belts as well as hoses in your car, these typically don’t require services as frequently as other areas of your car. Depending on use, you will need to replace the hoses and belts every two or three years. As with your brakes, pay attention to unusual noises, as these may indicate that you need to have a certified technician take a look at them. If your car has a timing belt, you will probably want to replace that every 60,000 to 80,000 miles, but be sure to check your owner’s manual for a specific recommendation.
Any part of your vehicle that is made of rubber, whether it’s the timing belt or caps on components, needs to be checked regularly. The excessive heat produced by your car’s engine leads to increased wear over time. Stay on top of this maintenance by getting familiar with what the area under your hood looks like. Check it periodically and visit a repair center if you notice any changes, such as tears or worn spots on rubber products.