Even if you have no idea what’s going on under the hood of an automobile, you probably know that periodic oil changes are necessary. Most people have a sticker on the windshield that tells them when the next oil change is scheduled to occur. Taking care of this vital requirement is important in order to keep your engine lubricated and functional.
But oil changes are only one aspect of automotive maintenance. Many people figure they’ll be fine as long as they change the oil on time and keep the gas tank full—but this simply isn’t the case. There are a number of other tests and tune ups that need to be considered on a semi-regular basis in order to keep your automobile road worthy, safe, and performing to the highest possible standard. Here are five more aspects of auto care you need to be aware of:
A large number of minor accidents involve one vehicle “rear ending” another. Even in difficult traffic situations, the blame is almost always assigned to the driver who failed to stop in time. And when these situations happen, faulty brakes are often the cause. The problem could be worn out pads, shoes, rotors, or other brake-related components. Whatever the case, having a trusted professional inspect your brakes regularly can prevent problems before they start and keep you safer on the road.
The manufacturer of your vehicle (whatever the make and model) probably recommends a complete transmission flush every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. This is a reasonably wide range, but every 60,000 miles is usually seen as the outer limit. When you consider what happens when your transmission freezes up and stops working (this is a very expensive repair, sometimes costing even more than the car is worth), it’s worthwhile to stay on top of your vehicle’s transmission maintenance.
The more miles you travel, the more likely it is that your vehicle’s alignment will go astray. Pot holes, accidents, and rough roads can all have a marked effect on both alignment and tire condition, so it’s important to have both of these things checked regularly. You’ll also notice your car driving much more smoothly, and getting better MPG, after having your wheels aligned and your tires rotated.
Keeping your emissions and exhaust systems in good working order is not only the right thing to do for the planet—it’s the law in many U.S. States. Your vehicle’s emissions can change and worsen over time, and regular diagnostics are required in order to make sure your vehicle is operating normally. Many people neglect or forget about this aspect of automotive maintenance and end up paying the price later, when their vehicle is determined unfit for the road due to excess emissions or exhaust problems.
5. Cooling and Heating
The choice here is simple: Either you can wait until your vehicle’s heating/cooling systems break down during a heat wave or cold spell, or you can have your filters changed regularly and have your systems checked and signed off by a qualified professional. In States like New Jersey where the summers are hot and the winters cold, the choice is fairly obvious!
Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape
Most people are wary of technicians and garages who try to sell them more maintenance than is really required. This is only natural. That’s why it’s important to find a fully qualified automotive center who will give you straight information and perform quality maintenance without trying to run up your bill.
Best of luck with your automotive maintenance! Please feel free to leave questions or comments right here.