We all want a vehicle that will provide dependable service year after year. One way to make sure that happens is to give your car what it wants: regular maintenance before things go wrong, not after a problem occurs. Here are three ways you can help your car go the distance.
1. Stick to the Schedule
Your car came with a specific maintenance schedule that’s intended to help it run trouble-free for as long as possible. Preventive maintenance is the best thing you can do for your car to keep it running and to stay one step ahead of a maintenance calamity. Check your owner’s manual for the specifics, or use this general guide if you are unable to locate it.
30,000 Miles: Change the oil if needed, replace the fuel filter, change the engine coolant, flush the power steering, flush the transmission, and check the wiper blades and replace them as needed. A trusted mechanic will be able to let you know if these services are needed or not.
50,000 Miles: Check the fuel system for leaks, inspect the exhaust system, change the transmission fluid filter, and inspect the suspension, shocks, and struts.
100,000 Miles: This is where you’ll want to go all out and make sure all fluid levels look good and all hoses and belts are in working order, especially the timing belt. Check the water pump, tires, and brakes to make sure there are no big-time expenses on the horizon. Replace worn out parts before they go bad to prevent bigger problems in the future.
2. Use Your Senses
Being aware of what your car is trying to tell you is the number one tip for keeping it running well and avoiding the costly expense of major problems that go undetected.
Listen: Is your car making any new sounds that it wasn’t making last week or last month? Listening to how your car is running is one of the easiest and surest ways to catch problems before they get worse.
Smell: If there is a new smell emanating from your engine, it could mean you’ve got a loose hose or something is malfunctioning under the hood.
Look: If you see smoke coming from under the hood or notice something hanging down under your car, then good work! You’ve likely spotted an issue in its early stages, and you could save yourself hundreds in repairs.
Feel: When you’re holding onto the steering wheel, do you feel any new sensations? When you make a turn, does the car feel good or does something feel loose? When you go over bumps, does it feel the same as it used to or has something changed?
3. Take It Easy
Babying your car is the way to go if you want it to last for a long time. Keep that in mind every time you drive your car. Remember that the harder you are on your vehicle, the harder it will be to keep it well maintained over time.
Starting: When you start your car, it’s best to give it a few seconds to warm up before you pull away and start driving it. This is especially true in colder months and after your car has been sitting untouched for a long period of time.
Accelerating: Jackrabbit starts will only make your car wear out faster. Unless there’s some sort of emergency, you should always accelerate at a reasonable pace.
Stopping: Slamming on the brakes every time you come to a stop sign or stoplight will quickly wear out your brakes and other parts of the car, as well. Always give yourself adequate time to stop. You don’t have to worry about the occasional emergency stop because your car is designed to handle those. It’s frequent hard stopping that can really wear things down quickly.
Extra Tip: Take It to the Experts
When your car does act up, be sure to get quality service from a place that really knows cars. At Ride Time, we have a sophisticated service station. We can handle anything from a regularly scheduled tune-up to a specific problem or part you may need. Bring your car in the next time it needs regular or spur-of-the-moment service!