In 2017 there were a total of 237 different vehicle models in production. And Every vehicle is different. Each one has its unique scheduled maintenance regimen.
Plus, technology is expanding by leaps and bounds. So, it is getting more and more difficult to put a firm timeframe or mileage number on your maintenance routine.
For this reason, it is best to read your owner’s manual to gain a full understanding of your car’s needs. But, in the meantime, we are here to give you an idea of what you can expect to happen during your most pivotal maintenance sessions. Read on to learn more!
Routine car maintenance keeps your vehicle on the road. The Inspections tell you if you need to do anything else before it is normally scheduled.
Like you, your car ages. It gets sick. It even gets injured.
Sometimes the damage is visible. Sometimes only an expert can see the damage. And yet at other times, special instruments are required to understand the problem.
Often there is no problem at all. But what happens when you don’t check and there is an issue?
It can lead to breakdowns, costly repairs, and even accidents. Not getting auto maintenance can also cause your car’s warranty to be voided. To make it easier to track the maintenance done to your vehicle or to create your own vehicle maintenance schedule try using an auto maintenance log.
As we mentioned earlier, the details of each car’s needs are specific to its make and model. But there are certain things you can expect always happen at particular stages of your vehicles life.
There are certain things you can expect almost every vehicle to need at each of its major scheduled maintenance sessions.
Many of them you are already familiar with and even request each time you go have your oil changed. Others you may have forgotten they need to be done at all.
No matter your car’s recommended maintenance schedule, you can always expect an oil change to be at the top of that list. The oil change is one of your most frequent duties as a car owner and it should never be ignored or postponed.
That said, it is a common misconception that oil changes are required every 3,000 miles. At one time this was quite true, But with current technology, this is no longer the case. Because of vehicle efficiency, today’s oil changes are often only required at 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
As with every rule, there are exceptions. If you drive in a lot of stop-and-go or slow-moving traffic, it would be in your best interest to continue your oil change routine at ever 3,000 miles. Otherwise, changing it so often is wasteful.
As far as importance is concerned, evaluating the health of your car’s tire system is at least as important as an oil change. It doesn’t take much to see why. Your tires are what connect your vehicle to the road, after all.
A regular tire rotation ensures your tires will wear evenly. As a rule of thumb, the front tires will wear out quicker than the back tires because the engine is usually found at the front of the car. If left untended this type of wear could cause a tire blowout that leads to an accident.
If the balance weights on your vehicle’s wheels fall off then the wheel will become unbalanced. This can cause the vehicle to shake leading to increased tire and suspension wear.
Improperly inflated tires will also cause the vehicle to become unstable. It can affect the way your car handles and can cause your tires to wear out faster. A tire pressure adjustment will help ensure your tires are not over or under-inflated.
Filters are used to remove impurities. It does not matter what type of filter you are referencing, that is the job of every filter. If a filter is dirty then it can’t be expected to remove anything.
Oil filters ensure the oil is clean when it circulates through your engine. When the filter is dirty, the circulated oil passes through and comes out with tiny, hard particles.
These particles damage to the oil pump and bearings in the engine. The oil filter should get replaced during an oil change.
Similar to oil filters, fuel filters remove impurities from the fuel lines to keep the fuel pump and injectors from wearing down too quickly. The fuel filter should get changed during a tuneup.
Cabin filters are a lot like HVAC filters. Left unchanged, they will build up with mildew and other allergins making your car stink and could potentially make you sick.
During each auto maintenance session, there are certain things that should be inspected every time:
Brakes – Check the brake pedal, fluid, lines, hoses, and assemblies.
Lights – Includes headlights, taillights and brake lights.
Belts and Hoses – Inspect the timing and serpentine belts for wear and hoses for cracks. Also, ensure the hose clamps are mounted properly.
Drive-Train – An audit of the transmission and related parts is required.
Fuel System – Check the fuel system for cleanliness and leaks.
TuneUp – Change the spark plugs, plug wires, as well as the air and fuel filters.
Other inspections may be required depending on your car, but these are the key points for your mechanic to look at.
Once you hit the 90K or 120K mile marker, you may think you are in for an inexpensive visit to the mechanic, but you would be wrong. Assuming you have stayed on top of your auto maintenance, it really shouldn’t be too bad.
There are a few things that get added to the itinerary, but all in all, it isn’t too bad.
These days, many vehicles come with long-life Spark Plugs that do not need replacement until they hit the 100K or 120K mark. Most extended life plugs are made of platinum or iridium. The life of these plugs can be shortened with excessive idling.
Some coolants are another item that has received a bit of an upgrade with regard to lifespan. Orange coolants are now available for certain vehicles that will last for up to 150K miles.
Be warned, these new products still have some issues. The acid in orange coolants is known to erode gaskets and cause rust buildup.