Keeping Your Vehicle Running and Driving at Its Best

Keeping your vehicle running right and avoiding costly repairs can come down to some essential preventative maintenance tasks that you can do at home or have our local auto repair shop handle for you. Often, small things that get overlooked contribute to more significant problems, so it is vital to follow the maintenance schedule for your vehicle as closely as possible.

Maintenance Schedules

Vehicle manufacturers will typically publish a preventative maintenance schedule in the owner's manual that comes with your vehicle to help you keep things working correctly. Often these schedules include oil changes, tire rotation, and transmission service, but they do not always cover things like chassis lubrication schedules and when to change things like the air filter or belts on your vehicle. 

It is critical to maintain all the components on your vehicle, not just the major ones, so hiring auto repair services to do some preventative maintenance can help. The shop or technician there can work with you to develop a schedule that ensures your car gets the care it needs to run correctly but is also safe to drive and is dependable. 

Beyond the Oil Change

While the oil and filter change is critical to maintaining your car or truck, other items often get overlooked. The engine air filter is crucial to proper engine performance and fuel economy. While most people can handle this type of preventative maintenance at home, you will need to visit an auto parts store to get the right filter.

Typically you should inspect the air filter with every oil change, and if the filter is dirty, replacing it is vital. A dirty air filter will reduce the amount of air passing through it and create a rich condition inside the engine where more fuel than air is getting to the cylinders, and the engine may start to run rough. 

Another critical area for preventative maintenance includes the belts on the front of the engine in your vehicle. Often the drive belts for the accessories get neglected, but they play a critical role, and on most vehicles, drive the alternator, water pump, and power steering pump, so a broken belt can leave you stranded on the roadside waiting for assistance. 

Like the air filter, check the belts every time the oil is changed and replace any belt that is dry rotted, cracked, has sections with damage like chucks missing, or are heavily glazed and could be slipping on the pulleys. If you are more comfortable with the repair tech at your local repair shop checking them, ask them to look over all the preventative maintenance items like filters, belts, and lubrication while they have the vehicle in the shop. Most garages are happy to inspect the car for you, and typically there is no cost for the check-up.