Preventive car maintenance is perhaps the most important part of owning a vehicle. Like humans, cars need regular checkups and maintenance to avoid serious problems. An owner’s manual is the best place to begin when it comes to knowing precisely what a particular vehicle needs. Here are some tips to ensure that nothing slips by unnoticed.
The Oil Question
Vehicle oil change intervals vary from one manufacturer to the next. The old standard used to be every 3,000 miles, but times have changed. Some cars can now go up to 15,000 miles between oil changes! Changing oil on time is critical, but changing it too often has some oft-overlooked drawbacks. Oil is a non-renewable resource, and drivers who blindly follow the 3,000 mile rule might be changing their oil two or three times more often than the car really needs. This will result in two or three times the necessary financial cost and environmental impact. Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations will prevent unnecessary waste and expense.
Tires, Gas Mileage, and More
Preventive car maintenance is not only important for keeping the vehicle running; it is also about saving money and extending the car’s life. Since fuel is the most persistent expense with a vehicle, it is good to know ways to optimize fuel efficiency. Maintaining proper tire pressure can add up to real savings over time. It will extend the life of the tires and keep gas mileage at the highest level. Pressure should be checked a few times per month and once per week during the cold months. Tire rotation will also extend the life of the tires. Other gas savers include clean air and oil filters, good spark plugs, and even an occasional fuel injector cleaning agent. Again, the car’s manual will list the proper intervals for these items to be changed.
Whether it’s DIY or trusted to a professional, preventive car maintenance will keep a vehicle running smoothly for many years.