Many of us wonder when the best time is for car maintenance. Others just get by without getting their car checked for years. Such a habit may lead to surprise problems, which will also compromise your safety on the road. Take note that keeping your vehicle in good condition is a great way to increase its lifespan and to prevent expensive repairs in the future.
What repairs do my car needs?
It’s quite difficult to know what repairs a vehicle needs until you have it checked by a technician. Although your car may look good, a quick inspection may reveal a different thing.
A survey from the Car Care Council found that about 90% of vehicles require at least one repair or maintenance service. The most common is contaminated washer fluid, which was found on 27% of the cars surveyed. This is followed by the dirty engine oil, worn-out belts, dirty air filters, and low coolant levels.
How often should you get your car checked?
If you’re at a loss of the proper maintenance schedule, the following list will serve as your guide:
At least once a week
At least once a week, check your engine oil level, headlights, dashboard lights, washer fluid, and tire inflation. If you’re going for a long drive, it’s best to check these areas first.
Every 3,000 miles or three months
For this timeframe, you should check the engine oil, cables and battery, belts, transmission fluids, exhaust, engine air filter, and dashboard indicator light. Aside from that, it pays to inspect the power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, lights, and hoses.
Every 6,000 miles or six months/ Every 9,000 miles or nine months
Once the first half of the year lapsed, it’s time to check the indicated parts on the 3-month schedule above. Do the same after another three months.
Every 12,000 miles or 12 months
Aside from the mentioned parts above, you should check the cabin air filter, brake, chassis lubrication, and coolant after a year. Also, you should get wheel alignment, steering and suspension, and wiper blades checked.
Should I visit an auto shop every time?
The answer is no. Even newbie car owners can perform most of the maintenance needs mentioned above. Always utilize the manual of your car to conduct the right inspection.
If there are major problems like poor brakes, erratic ignition, or weird sounds coming out of your car, it’s best to visit an auto body shop. Take note that there’s only so much you can fix at home, except if you have in-depth knowledge about vehicle troubleshooting.
Always look for a trustworthy mechanic who will give you proper diagnostics of your car. Some auto shops tend to inflate minor problems to milk money from its customers.
Car maintenance is a crucial process of owning a vehicle. It’s not a one-time task, but an ongoing habit that you have to perform. As much as it takes time, following a maintenance schedule for your car will save you from the hassle. In the long run, you may spend more on repairs if you let minor problems sitting.