Vehicle Maintenance schedules aren’t something that you want to skip over. They are an essential part of keeping your vehicle ready and in good working order, anytime you need it. Most of us drive our vehicles at least 10,000 miles each year – some even more than that. If we were to forego giving it a checkup, we run the risk of spending a whole lot of money, on something that could have only cost a few bucks and a few minutes of our time.
Your owner’s manual will let you know how often you need to change things like the oil, but there is more to a proper checkup than just the oil. For my husband, my resident car guy, giving the vehicle a once over happens every time we are going a long distance. He checks the oil, brake fluid, power steering pump fluid, and coolant. He makes sure that the tires are good, with no excessive wear, and are aired to the correct PSI, and he makes sure that the brakes are in proper working order.
His advice is to always learn what on your vehicle can be fixed on your own, and maintain a great relationship with your mechanic for everything else. But what can you fix?
- Checking your fluids is easy, as most can be checked via the dipstick located under the hood. Others can be seen in their plastic reservoirs. Fill as needed, and make sure you check at least once a month, but more often if you are frequently taking long trips.
- Changing your air filters is very simple you can purchase new ones at your local auto parts store, then you simply switch them out.
- Cleaning your battery posts to ensure a proper connection.
- Changing your windshield wipers; most these days are the snap on variety.
- Inspecting your belts; easy to do, but can be more difficult to replace if you are unfamiliar with how they are routed.
A few things that you might want to have a mechanic handy for if you aren’t mechanically inclined.
- Oil Change; this consists of draining the oil pan, removing the oil filter, then replacing the filter and the proper oil.
- Spark plugs and wires; changing the plugs is easy with the right tools, but be sure that when replacing the wires, that you are doing them individually so that you don’t mess up the firing order.
- Brakes; depending on whether your vehicle has disc brakes, or shoes, the difficulty changes.
- Replacing timing and/or serpentine belts; this goes back to the proper routing of the belts.
- Replacing things such as the radiator, shocks, struts, alternators, and starters.
- Balancing the tires, and adjusting the alignment.
While each of these things seems like it is small in the grand scheme of things, having one go out and directly affects the performance of everything else. That is why making sure that you are following the vehicle maintenance schedules for your particular vehicle is so important. One easy way to do this is to schedule to have your vehicle serviced at your local dealership. Most dealerships will allow you to schedule your service online, much like Holden Dodge does. Simply click the link, fill in the information, and show up! Don’t skimp on your vehicle maintenance schedules…your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it later.