Car Maintenance: Essential Tips to Keep Your Car Feeling New

For most of us, our cars are near the top of the list of the largest purchases we’ll ever make. They can also be the cause of unexpected expenses when something goes wrong. To protect your investment in your vehicle and prevent costly repairs, having a plan for regular maintenance is the key. It’s important to your safety and can help improve your resale value, too.

Start your maintenance plan by referring to your owner’s manual. Most manufacturers offer recommendations for how often major systems should be checked and/or serviced. Keep in mind that you are not required to have the dealership handle all of the service on your vehicle—you can bring it to any professional mechanic and still keep your warranty intact.

Here are some car maintenance tasks that will help you keep your car in great condition.

Have your oil changed regularly.

Oil and filter changes are one of the least expensive but most important maintenance tasks. Clean oil helps keep your car running longer as it lubricates thousands of parts, picks up debris and dirt, and transfers heat away from your engine. When your oil gets too dirty and your filter becomes clogged, it can lead to engine damage or even engine failure.

We recommend that our customers have an oil change and filter change every 3,000 miles with conventional oil, and 5,000 miles for synthetic blends. 

Keep fluids at the proper levels.

Your car’s systems depend on a variety of fluids and oils in order to function properly. In addition to motor oil, here are some other fluids that should be part of your car maintenance plan:

Transmission oil: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often your transmission fluid should be changed. Depending upon the type of vehicle and transmission you have, you may need to have it changed every 30,000 miles or 60,000 miles. Note that this is one type of fluid that should be changed by a full-service automotive repair shop rather than a quick-lube oil change shop. At BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers, we offer transmission flushes and transmission service, and we also check your transmission fluid levels as part of our preventative maintenance plans.

Coolant: This fluid—also referred to as radiator fluid or antifreeze—is critical for preventing your engine from overheating. In our severe heat, we recommend that your engine coolant be replaced every 24 months. If your temperature gauge reads too low or too high, your heater doesn’t work, or your car overheats, schedule an appointment at your nearest BRAKEmax location. Our cooling system service and radiator flush includes an inspection, pressure test for leaks, removal of the old coolant, and a refill.

Differential fluid: You should check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation on when to replace differential fluid, which is often a minimum of 15,000 miles. We check your differential fluid to see if it’s dirty, and will change it as part of our differential service

Have your brakes inspected.

Properly functioning brakes are essential, of course, to the overall safety of your car or truck. Although most people don’t think about their brakes until a problem such as squeals or less pedal resistance becomes apparent, maintaining your brakes with regular service can help you make sure your brakes are always there when you need them. We recommend having your brakes checked every 6,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first.

BRAKEmax offers a free brake check at all of our locations, and we also check your brakes with every oil change or tire rotation if requested. Our brake services include a complete inspection, shoe or brake pad replacement, brake fluid flush, and more.

Have your air filter replaced.

Your engine air filter has to be clean in order to do its important jobs. This filter cleans the air that flows into the engine and contributes to the combustion process; when it becomes clogged, your engine may run rough, your power may be reduced, and your fuel mileage may decrease. 

Check hoses and belts.

Several belts and hoses are part of what makes your engine run. As part of regular car maintenance, these should be checked for excessive wear or, in the case of hoses, leaks. Our technicians will be glad to check belts and hoses when we’re under the hood for other services, and inspecting these parts is included in our mileage maintenance packages.

Maintain your tires.

Tires aren’t inexpensive, so keeping an eye on their condition and having regular tire maintenance services performed can help protect your budget as well as your safety.

Your tire maintenance plan should include:

  • Regular air pressure checks: Proper inflation is at the top of the list for getting more life from your tires, and checking it takes just seconds per tire. Look inside your driver’s side door for the recommended PSI for your tires, and use a high-quality gauge to check your pressure about once a month.
  • Tread depth checks: There’s a fast, easy test to see if you have sufficient tread on your tires. Take a Lincoln penny and put it head-first into the tread. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, the tread is too worn to continue driving on the tire.
  • Tire rotation: Preventing uneven wear is key to making your tires last and ensuring they are safe to drive on. Having your tires regularly rotated helps keep normal wear even across all of your tires, making them last longer and be less susceptible to blowouts.
  • Tire balancing: If you’ve noticed vibrations as you drive, your tires may be out of balance. When weight is unevenly distributed, your tires will wear more quickly.

BRAKEmax offers complete tire services, tire repair, and tire sales at all locations. If you’re unsure what the correct air pressure is for your tires, are concerned about tire damage you’ve sustained, or need a price on the new set of tires that’s right for your car or truck, make an appointment with our ASE-certified technicians today. 

Have your battery checked.

A battery is out of sight, out of mind until the day comes when your car won’t start and you’re stranded. In Arizona, that day can come sooner rather than later, thanks to our long stretches of high temperatures that can shorten battery life.

Since you can open and add water to most of today’s batteries, battery maintenance needs to be done by professional mechanics. If your vehicle has become slow to crank, you see whitish or greenish corrosion buildup on the battery terminals, or you have to give your car plenty of gas to get it started, come into BRAKEmax for a free battery check. We’ll determine if a weak battery or weak spark plug is the cause of your problems.

Get your car AC checked.

Every Tucson vehicle owner knows how important it is to have their air conditioners in top form. Having regular AC system checks can prevent small issues from becoming problems that require expensive repairs. At BRAKEmax, we have comprehensive AC repair and services, including compressor checks, performance and leak tests, belt and hose connection checks, complete refrigerant evacuation and recharge, and much more. 

Let us take care of all of your car maintenance needs.

Enjoy a car you can count on with regular maintenance services from BRAKEmax. In addition to tire, battery, AC, oil change, and brake services, we’re also your one-stop shop for additional services, including:

Book your appointment or stop by your nearest BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers location soon.

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The BRAKEmax Difference
  • Southern Arizona’s trusted auto service company since 1997
  • ASE-Certified Master Technicians
  • Commitment to superior Customer Service
  • 15 convenient neighborhood locations
  • Hours: Open Monday – Saturday 7:30am – 5:30pm; CLOSED on Sunday
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