Car Maintenance Schedule
We all know we need to get our oil changed every 3,000 miles, but beyond that it can seem rather intimidating to keep track of all the things we need to do to keep our cars on the road; after all, the vehicles we drive are often one of our biggest monetary investments. Nothing is a punch to the wallet as much as an unexpected major car repair. We’ve prepared an inclusive info-graphic to help you keep track of it all. To make it even simpler, there are basically 3 categories of maintenance you need to remember: liquid, soft, and hard.
- Tire Pressure: Check your manufacturer’s recommendations to maximize your ride and fuel efficiency.
- Check Engine Light: The simplest thing to check, this is your car basically calling you by name and asking for a mechanic. Don’t ignore this light and you’ll prevent damage later on. Lights: Failure to have all working lights can result in a citation or a crash. Please be aware of your lights and replace when needed. Windshield Wiper Fluid: A dirty windshield is a serious road hazard. Make sure to fill your wiper fluid every month.
- Power Steering Fluid: The loss of power steering makes a vehicle at high speeds nearly impossible to control. Check this every 3 months.
- Oil: The life-blood of a vehicle, this one should not be ignored.
3 Months or 3,000 Miles
- Transmission Fluid: If you have an automatic, it is vital to your vehicle’s drive train to replace and replenish your automatic transmission fluid. Transmission damage can be very costly.
- Battery: Often battery problems can be traced to corrosion on the connectors. This is an easy fix that will make starting your car easier. If that doesn’t help, make sure to check the cranking amps of your battery. If less than half of standard, it should be replaced.
- Exhaust System: Having a poor or out-of-date exhaust system can give your car bad performance, increased emissions, and create large decibels of sound. It is important to check this, problems with your car’s exhaust can warrant a ticket from the authorities.
- Filters (Exhaust, Engine, and Fuel): Your engine’s performance will be seriously hampered if it can’t breath. Engine air filters are crucial to let your car get the best fuel to air ration for power and economy. Cabin air filters keep the air circulating in your AC and heater clean and will keep the air you breath fresh. Fuel filters keep grit and dirt from entering the engine, which can cause serious irreparable damage.
- Power Steering Fluid: The power steering fluid should be checked annually, depending on what kind of driving you do. Normal wear and tear can begin to seriously dampen your car’s handling ability, and can be dangerous.
- Belts: From serpentine to timing, belts connect all the different moving parts of your engine and need to be maintained or replaced before breaking and messing up the intricate balance your car needs to work. Belts help run everything from AC to engine power. Major damage can result from not checking these every 3 months or so.
- Steering and Suspension: These systems should be checked annually, depending on what kind of driving you do. Normal wear and tear can begin to seriously dampen your car’s handling ability, and can be dangerous
- Oil and Oil Filters: Oil helps a car run smoothly and keeps the engine clean. Without the proper oil changes, your car can run slower and with less control. The filter also regulates the car; if the oil or oil filter is bad, this can cause larger internal car problems.
- Hoses: These are the veins and arteries of your car. They get all the necessary fluids where they need to be. They can become brittle with age, and could start spilling your cars vital fluids. Check these with your oil to prevent long lasting problems.
6 Months or 6,000 Miles
- Lubricate your Chassis: Most people don’t know about this one. Lubricating all your flex points will cut down on wear and tear and make for a smoother ride.
- Wiper Blades: Wiper blades are used to keep your windshield clear in storms. If you have bad wiper blades, your driving could be seriously impaired in bad weather.
- Polish: Taking car of your car on the outside is just as important as taking care of the inside. A good polish can save the car’s paint job for years to come.
12 Months or 12,000 Miles
- Cabin Air Filter: This filter regulates all of the incoming air to your car. If this filter is bad it can seriously harm the air you personally, as the air you are breathing in is usual poor if the filter is poor.
- Steering and Suspension: These systems should be checked annually, depending on what kind of driving you do. Normal wear and tear can begin to seriously dampen your cars handling ability, and can be dangerous. Lights: Failure to have all working lights can result in a citation or a crash. Please be aware of your lights and replace when needed.
- Antifreeze/Coolant: This system of the car keeps the car from overheating and burning up. Antifreeze is a very powerful solution, and without its use, the car would be permanently damaged.
- Spark Plugs: Over time, spark plugs become corroded and begin to affect your cars effectiveness. If they are bad enough, your engine can even become flooded when trying to start it. Sometimes simply replacing the spark plugs, an inexpensive fix, can increase fuel efficiency by up to 10%.
A maintained car is a more affordable and safer car. There is a lot of things to remember, but it is easier than paying for expensive and time consuming repairs down the road. We recommend printing out this page or the attached info-graphic for quick reference. If you find yourself in a Utah accident from somebody who failed to give their car the correct maintenance checks, and you have suffered; please do not hesitate to contact us at Christensen & Hymas. We offer free confidential consultations that can put your mind at ease quicker.
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