Basic Maintenance and Why It Is Important for Your Vehicle
Maintaining your car, truck, or SUV is the best way to extend the life of the vehicle and improve the reliability of it. Changing the engine oil once in a while is not enough. Many other parts of the car need maintenance as well. Learn about some of the maintenance tasks you should complete regularly.
Engine Oil and Filter
The most basic maintenance item that people think of when considering maintenance for their car is the engine oil. Changing the oil and filter every three to five thousand miles is essential. The oil protects the engine by lubricating all the moving parts, and the filter will catch small particles of dirt or metal in the oil.
If the car uses synthetic oil, you may be able to go seven thousand miles between oil changes, but follow the recommendation of the manufacturer.
Sometimes overlooked, the tires on your vehicle need rotating to keep the wear even on all four tires. If one tire is wearing a little faster than the others, moving them around can slow the process but may also be an indication that something is out of alignment or worn in the suspension.
Rotating the tires when you have an oil change will preserve the life of the tires, and it is an excellent habit to develop. It ensures that the tires are not forgotten, and most shops will do it for a few dollars during regular maintenance.
Engine Air Filter
Another item that is sometimes forgotten is the engine air filter. Your car needs clean air flowing into the engine to support the combustion process. If the engine is not getting air, the engine may run rich and damage the pistons inside the engine. If the air filter is clogged, the air cannot pass through it, and the engine will run rough, the fuel mileage will decrease, and the power will drop.
Change the engine air filter when you can no longer see light through the mesh on the screen. Have the shop check your air filter when changing the oil. The more basic maintenance items you do at the same time, the less likely you are to forget them.
Check the Brakes
While the mechanic has the tires off the car during rotation, have them check the brakes on your vehicle. If the brakes wear too much, they can start to lose effectiveness. Worn pads can also begin causing damage to the rotors on the car, increasing the cost of repair.
Checking the brakes is a simple matter of looking through the inspection opening on the rotors and checking the condition of the pads. If your vehicle has drum brakes on the rear, the technician needs to remove the drum to check the shoes, but it slides off once the tire is off the car.
Belts and Hoses
When the technician is changing the oil, they have to go under the hood of the car. While they are there, they can quickly asses the condition of the belts and hoses on the engine. Any damage or excessive wear indicates the belt or hose affected needs changing.
All of these items should be part of the regular maintenance of your vehicle and will help extend the life of the car.
BRAKEmax can help you keep your car safe and reliable and will work with you to set up regular maintenance. Our highly skilled technicians can handle all of your automotive needs, so come by and see us or set up an appointment for your vehicle today. We are happy to be your go-to service center in the Tucson, AZ, area.