The following simple and inexpensive preventive inspections may extend the life of your vehicle, ensure safer operation and even benefit the environment.
Even though your vehicle may still be under warranty you are not required to return to a dealership for scheduled maintenance. You may have the service facility of your choice maintain your vehicle and not void your warranty.
Always refer to the manufacturer's specifications in your vehicle owner's manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil and filter changed regularly, every 3,000 to 4,000 miles when using conventional engine oil and every 5,000 to 6,000 miles when using synthetic engine oil.
Keep up-to-date records and receipts on all car maintenance you perform – and if possible, keep them in your car. It’s a great tool to share with your service technician and may help diagnose any problems you have quickly or avoid unnecessary, repetitive repairs. Keeping good records may indeed mean keeping more of your money.
Have all fluids inspected, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. These fluids play a vital role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
Inspect tires and inflation once a month. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency and premature tire wear. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance.
Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle's suspension system.
Inspect battery, cables and posts for corrosion and clean as needed.
Have the lighting system inspected frequently, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights and tail lights.
Inspect windshield wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year or sooner if streaking begins.
Inspect engine belts and hoses regularly. Look for wear, cracks and missing sections or segments. Worn belts and hoses can affect the safe operation of your vehicle.
Have the air filtration system inspected frequently. The air filter should be inspected approximately every other oil change for clogging or damage.
Inspect and replace your vehicle's cabin air filter regularly. The cabin air filter cleans the air to the heater and A/C system and affects the air you breathe while driving your vehicle.
Your car is a valuable investment and you have every right to know everything about it. Don’t be afraid to question why a repair is necessary or how something works. True automotive professionals will be happy to answer any of your automotive questions.
Always consult your vehicle owner's manual for individual service schedules as manufacturer maintenance requirements may vary greatly.
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