A big part of car ownership is the responsibility of routine maintenance, which helps keep your car running smoothly for years to come. The other side of maintenance is knowing when it’s time to take a car in for service.
Regular maintenance of your vehicle will help ensure that it is always at its best. You also can save a lot of money by keeping up with routine servicing. Apart from that, you will also reap plenty of benefits from servicing your car routinely.
But before we get to the nitty-gritty of servicing your car, it is worth mentioning that you should understand the parts of your vehicle as a car owner. This will help you know when they need to be cleaned and if they are in good shape. Knowing the parts of your vehicle will also ensure important parts are not left out during maintenance.
As much as you can take your car to a mechanic, it is still important to know your vehicle in and out to ensure it is healthy. Remember, not all car parts will be maintained or cleaned simultaneously. Some parts rely on short-term checkups and others on long-term to function effectively. You will sometimes want to fix or clean some car parts to save time and money. Therefore, it is essential to have a well-created car maintenance checklist to keep up with your car maintenance demands and ensure no parts have been left out.
Importance of Regular Car Maintenance Service
Regular car maintenance service is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of helping your car last longer. It has been proven that regular maintenance can double or even triple the life of a car.
Naturally, several factors can affect the lifespan of a vehicle. The manufacturer is partly responsible for its lifespan due to the materials and parts used in building it. The environment in which the car is used can also be a factor as cars tend to deteriorate faster when exposed to extreme weather conditions such as excessive heat or cold. On the other hand, regular maintenance can help keep the car in excellent condition by detecting and repairing problems before they turn into major issues.
By paying attention to a few key details at every visit to your mechanic, you will be able to extend your car’s life significantly, with little effort on your part. One way is by having your tires checked regularly. It could be that an issue with your tires could cause you problems later on, possibly even resulting in an accident. According to Automotive Fleet, 11,000 accidents occur annually due to poor tires.
Your mechanic can check for proper inflation levels, which is important because tread wear and tear may be minimized if tires are inflated properly. Some of the other things included in regular car maintenance service are:
- Oil changes
- Tire rotation
- Car battery inspection
- Oil and coolant levels
- Headlights and parking lights inspection, etc.
Top Car Maintenance Tips & Services Checklist
1. Make Sure You Go Through the Manufacturer’s Manual
This is one thing most car owners overlook. It is important to keep your car’s manual with you as it will help you understand how to clean and maintain your car parts. Some manuals usually come with a scheduled car maintenance service. They clearly explain how specific parts of your vehicle should be maintained and after how long. Keeping the manual will ease your work of trying to figure out how your vehicle should be maintained.
2. Check Your Car Frequently and Cover It
Checking your car will help ensure everything is intact, and the car is well-maintained. During your daily inspection routine, you may spot some loose bolts or any other damaged parts that may need to be fixed immediately. Also, covering your car will help increase the lifespan of your vehicle and ensure the paint job is well-maintained.
3. Take Your Vehicle for All Scheduled Services
As mentioned earlier, some car parts rely on short-term maintenance while others long-term to function optimally. Normally, the car parts that need short-term checkups come with scheduled maintenance service, and it is important to be keen on those as they may easily be forgotten.
Check your car’s manual to know how often you should see a mechanic. The manufacturer of your vehicle knows the quality of your vehicle parts better than you. That is why it is crucial to follow through with the scheduled maintenance service indicated by your manufacturer to keep your vehicle healthy.
Some automotive components that have a short-term maintenance plan include;
- Air Filter: Your vehicle’s air filter is important in removing small particles and debris from your car parts like the engine. The air filter should be well maintained to ensure the engine functions well, and fuel is used efficiently. You do not necessarily have to go to your mechanic as you can maintain your car’s air filter at home.
- Oil Changes: Oil lubricates several moving parts within your engine and should be changed regularly to maintain performance. These include pistons’ rings and sleeve bearings, camshafts, lifters, rocker arms, and valves. The oil helps keep these parts functioning as they should by reducing friction and keeping them clean to promote maximum performance. The good thing is that with today’s vehicles, you do not need to change the oil now and then. With high-quality engines and oil, oil changes are done after every 3,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on the vehicle you are using.
- Tire Pressure: You should check your car’s tire pressure at least once a month and before a long trip. When it comes to tire pressure, there are two important things to remember; First, tires lose air naturally over time through regular wear and tear. Second, most cars undergo constant leakage through moving parts of the tire, such as the valve stem. In short, it is essential to understand that your tires lose pressure now and then, and they should regularly be maintained to avoid tire damage.
- Rotate Tires: Rotating your tires once in a while is necessary to ensure wear and tear on all tires are even. Most drivers overlook this, and before they know it, they have two tires to replace at the same time. The front tires usually wear and tear faster compared to the back ones due to the heavy engine load they carry. This is why they should be rotated to prevent fast damage.
- Car Lights: It is crucial to ensure your car lights are working properly. Ensure the turn lights, headlights, parking, and brake light are positioned well and functioning well.
4. Ask About the Other Car Parts
Unlike traditional cars, modern vehicles come with more parts. The list of components in a developed car is more, and some may be easily neglected, causing the vehicle to slow down. It is important to ask your mechanic or check the vehicle’s manual to know other parts that need maintenance. Some of these other parts may include;
- Brake fluid
- Spark plugs
- Serpentine belt
- Windshield Wipers
- Coolant levels
- Horn, etc.
Is It Necessary to Take Your Vehicle for Servicing?
If you love to drive, it is important to take your car for servicing to maintain and improve its lifespan. However, there are other maintenance services that you can do at home so long as you have the right tools and understand how to do it. But all in all, it is necessary to take your vehicle for servicing to avoid incurring extra costs and improves your vehicle’s performance.