There is often confusion among our customers on how much regular auto service a car actually needs. While every vehicle comes with manufacturer guidelines, we are willing to offer general suggestions that can be adjusted to your driving needs. Here is an overview of what you should check regularly—and how often—so you can keep your car running at optimal performance.
The monthly check-up
A monthly check-up includes items you can check in your driveway. Some of these will also be reviewed at oil changes. However, if you can locate these parts yourself and not save them for your appointment for auto service in Basalt, CO, you are more likely to catch problems before they become serious.
The oil level, tire pressure and tire tread checks are easy to do. Your owner’s manual will tell you where to locate the dipstick and oil tank, so you can make sure your oil level remains constant. If there are changes, there is likely a leak or your engine is burning oil.
Check tire pressure when temperatures go into the extremes or you notice your fuel efficiency drops. The suggested tire pressure is usually on the label inside your driver’s side door. If the pressure is low, stop at a service station to top it off. You can check tire tread using a penny. Place Lincoln’s head in the tread upside down. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires need replacement.
You can look under your engine for cracks in your hoses and belts. However, be aware that you will not see all of them, so it’s good to know when you last replaced them.
Every three months
Your oil change and filter replacement normally occur every three months. This makes maintenance really handy when it comes to other items, too.
When you take your car in for an oil change, also ask that the transmission fluid, battery charge, power steering fluid and lights be checked, too. Sometimes, depending on the model of your vehicle, a transmission flush or even an air conditioning recharge can happen at the same time. It may actually be prudent to request that all fluid levels be checked, and if your auto shop is willing to do a test drive to see if a mechanic picks up on anything else, take advantage of that opportunity. You may detect a serious problem before it causes a breakdown.
Twice a tear
There are some items that need to be checked less frequently. Wiper blades, the horn, brake pads, the exhaust system, shocks and brakes need to be checked every six months.
You can often combine these checks with other services. If you are rotating tires or installing new ones, have the shocks and brakes looked at, too. When you have your battery replaced, check the horn and other items that run from it.
Another item you should never forget to check at least twice a year is your spare tire. If you end up stranded with no cell phone service, finding that your spare tire is flat will compound your problems.
You can trust Basalt Quick Lube & Tire for major repairs or regular auto service in Basalt, CO. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.