The term “routine maintenance” might make you cringe over the thought of spending more money on your vehicle, but we’re here to show you how routine maintenance will help you go further. Many people strive to keep their car in shape when they first purchase it, but in most cases, the importance of it loses validity after a couple of months. With proper care, your vehicles life span can increase by thousands of miles. Spending a couple bucks every few months will pay off in the long run when it’s the difference between changing fluids or replacing your whole transmission. In this article, we want to highlight the pros of routine maintenance and provide a simple, easy-to-follow guideline of when to perform these maintenance items.
The first thing that comes to mind when someone ponders about maintaining a vehicle is oil changes. Performing oil changes at regular intervals is one of the easiest tasks to stay on top of with the biggest pay off towards increasing the longevity of your vehicle. I don’t have to tell you that the most important part of your vehicle is the engine. Oil changes will keep your engine running smooth and prevent build up of muck that can cause serious failure over time. Staying on top of the quality and levels of your fluids such as transmission, power-steering, coolant, and brakes are all part of a routine maintenance plan that will work for you. For example, transmission fluid uses hydraulic power to help your transmission shift as the correct times, while also lubricating the gears and keeping the transmission at the correct temperature. Failure to maintain your fluids will cause faster deterioration of all your components.
Physical components such as your battery, hoses, belts, spark plugs, brakes, tires, and filters are also all part of a solid lifetime maintenance routine. Inspecting and maintaining the quality of these elements at the appropriate times listed below in our guideline will save you money on serious parts failure, and preserve your vehicle’s value for resale or trade-in. Hoses and belts should be replaced when there are signs of wear and tear. If these secondary parts fail due to negligence, you could end up paying for a new radiator which will be much more expensive than a small hose. Staying on top of your tire wear and vehicles alignment will add those extra miles extending your tires’ life and saving you money at the pump as well.
Saving you money and protecting your investment by performing scheduled maintenance also rolls over into keeping your vehicle and your person as safe as possible. Safe driving can only take you so far, but if your brakes aren’t operational an accident may be on the horizon. Visibility and driver-to-driver communication are key elements in keeping you and others safe on the road. Windshield wipers allow you to see other cars, road signs, and pedestrians during bad weather conditions, which is why you should maintain their integrity. Vehicle lights allow you to see at night and alert other drivers of your presence and navigational intentions. A dirty, cracked windshield can obscure your vision and increase the risk of windshield fragmentation in an accident. Improperly aligned or threadbare tires can cause hazardous blowouts while driving. All of this can be prevented with proper vehicle maintenance.
Every vehicle has its own prescription of maintenance dates and mileage in the owners manual. This should be your first source of information for when to schedule and perform maintenance, since it is tailored for that specific make and model. If you cannot find your owners manual, don’t worry! Below we list a general guideline with safe estimates you can follow to keep your vehicle in top shape.
Every 6 Months or 5,000 to 10,000 Miles
– Oil and filter change
– Inspection of battery terminals and cables
– Inspection of transmission fluid, coolant, power-steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and wiper blades
– Walk around inspection of tires and exterior lights
– Inspection of brake pads
Every Year or 15,000 to 30,000 Miles
– Replace cabin air filter
– At 20,000 miles, inspect battery and coolant
– Replace fuel filter at 25,000 miles
– Replace air filter and power-steering fluid, inspect coolant, brakes, and hoses at 30,000 miles
Every 35,000 to 50,000 Miles
– Replace battery
– Replace spark plugs
– Inspect ignition system
– Inspect suspension
Every 60,000 Miles
– Replace brake pads and fluid
– Replace radiator hoses
– Replace coolant
– Replace power-steering fluid
– Replace timing belt
If you need vehicle maintenance at the moment, Tom’s Ford Express Service Lane just had its grand opening this month. You can stop in anytime for our No Appointment and While-You-Wait services performed by our fully trained technicians for simple routine maintenance or light repairs. Or, you can schedule service with us as well.