Courtesy of the Automotive Service Association
According to recent studies, 5% of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect. There are simple and inexpensive preventative checks that can be done to extend the life of your vehicle, ensure better safety and even benefit the environment!
Maintenance requirements vary by manufacturer so always consult your owner’s manual for individual service schedules.
- Consult your owner’s manual, but generally it is a good rule of thumb to change the oil filter regularly-every 3,000-4,000 miles.
- Check all fluids, including power steering, brake, windshield washer solvent, transmission/transaxle and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the performance and safety of the vehicle.
- Check tire inflation. Tires that are under-inflated can result in fuel efficiency loss. This is the most inexpensive form of preventative and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
- Make sure you engine’s tuned. A plugged/restricted fuel injector or fouled spark plug can decrease fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
- Lubricate the chassis frequently. This extends the life the vehicle’s suspension system’s moving components.
- Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and keep them clean. Also check the battery fluid and fill it if it’s low, unless it’s a maintenance-free battery.
- Lighting system should be checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights.
- Check windshield washer blades for tears, cracks and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year or sooner if streaking begins.
- Engine belts should be inspected regularly. Worn belts will affect engine performance. Look for missing sections or segments and cracks.
- Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked every other oil change for damage or clogging. This ensures the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.
Service Interval Schedule:
|Vehicle System or Component||Check Monthly||Check Every 3,000 Miles|
|Automatic Transmission Fluid|| |
|Battery and Cables|| |
|Brakes and Brake Fluid|| |
|Cabin Air Filter|| |
|Chassis Lubrication|| |
|Check Engine Light On|| |
|Coolant (Antifreeze)|| |
|Engine Air Filter|| |
|Engine Oil and Filter|
|Fuel Filter|| |
|Power Steering Fluid|| |
|Shock Absorbers and Struts|| |
|Tire Inflation and Condition|| |
|Windshield Washer Fluid|| |
|Wiper Blades|| |
Everyone loves fast food, including myself! It’s fast, convenient and cheap. From time-to-time it’s ok to indulge considering most things are okay in moderation. Your body can usually handle it. The same goes for your car. Convenience service centers and quick lubes are like fast food for your vehicle. They are cheap and convenient maintenance for your car. Like your body, your vehicle can handle this in moderation. However, a steady diet of quick lube maintenance CAN NOT and WILL NOT properly maintain your vehicle and can lead to increased repair expenses further down the road. In most cases, these fast food shops only inspect the items they can quickly make money on. Often, services are performed by technicians that aren’t as experienced. Similar to the teenager working the cash register at your favorite fast food joint.
If you don’t like surprise repairs and want only the best care for your vehicle, your vehicle should be serviced by a qualified ASE certified technician. At least have every-other service performed at a “full service” professional shop which employs experienced Master ASE certified technicians. They are trained in servicing your entire vehicle and helping avoid those unforeseen expenses of a repair that usually would go unnoticed by a quick lube. Trust me, it will save you thousands of dollars over the life of your vehicle!
It makes sense when you do the math. Ask yourself, how can someone properly service and inspect your vehicle in 15-30 minutes and offer a price of $20? The answer is-they can’t! Today’s vehicles are complicated and demand more attention to detail in the services required. This high level of detail can only be performed by a quality technician who knows what’s best for you and your car. With the expense of purchasing a new vehicle these days, it’s even more important to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and is reliable for many years from 100-300 thousand miles.
Yes, it is possible. Many of our clients here at Made in Japan/Made in America are enjoying the freedom of no car payment because they have been trusting us to maintain their vehicle, keeping it safe and reliable for well over 200,000 miles! So in summary, fast food service is okay for your vehicle every once in a while, but I encourage you to not put your vehicle on a fast food diet. That way you will be able to maximize on your investment.
Your car will thank you for it!