The name “preventative maintenance” speaks for itself. It helps keep your car from requiring more advanced and expensive types of maintenance in the future by fixing small problems early on. You should bring your vehicle to a garage if you notice any shaking. Odd smells, smoke, or weird sounds coming from your engine, brakes, or other parts of the vehicle. Sometimes your vehicle won’t give any physical indication that something is wrong, which is when preventative care comes into play. Having regular maintenance and checks performed on your vehicle will keep it running smoothly and prevent you from shelling out big money on repairs later. Regular preventative maintenance is essential to keep your vehicle running smoothly and extend its lifespan. Here are four types of preventative maintenance you should consider performing each year:
1. Timing Belt Inspection
Your timing belt plays a big role in how well your engine functions. It regulates the pistons and camshaft so that crucial components in your engine don’t bang together and cause unnecessary friction. When the timing belt stops working, grinding and friction ensue, which can mean big repairs and replacements for your engine.
Your timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 miles. But even if you’re not quite ready for a replacement, it helps to have it looked at once a year to make sure everything is in good working order.
2. Oil Change
Possibly the most frequently mentioned preventative maintenance on our blog. An oil change is important to keep your engine running smoothly. Muddy or thick oil will contaminate components in your vehicle. Keeping them from running properly and causing a buildup of grime in the mechanics. You should have your oil changed every 3,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on the look of it.
To determine whether your oil needs to be changed, check your oil. This is something your mechanic can do for you during preventative maintenance, but it’s also a task that you can do at home without worrying about damaging your vehicle with DIY practices. Whether you use an electronic gauge or a classic dipstick, if you own a vehicle, you should learn how to check for clean oil. Changing your engine oil and oil filter regularly is one of the most critical aspects of preventative maintenance. Engine oil lubricates and protects the engine’s internal components, ensuring optimal performance. Over time, oil can become contaminated with dirt and debris, reducing its effectiveness. By changing the oil and filter according to your vehicle’s recommended schedule (usually every 3,000 to 5,000 miles), you help prevent engine wear and potential damage.
3. Battery Check
There’s not much your mechanic can do for your battery other than replace it, but the battery tells us a lot about the life of your vehicle. For example, if your battery should be working like new but is experiencing trouble starting your vehicle systems or maintaining a charge during use, it could be that your starting and charging system is having trouble.
Read more: Why Is The Check Engine Light On?
A trained mechanic will check for leaks, buildup, and any other problems that might be causing the battery to act improperly. Sometimes, something as small as a bit of buildup on the contacts could be keeping it from working. Your mechanic can clean it up for you, make minor adjustments, and have your vehicle back in prime condition in no time.
4. Tyre Alignment
Over time, the way that you drive your vehicle can wear the tread unevenly and cause your tyres to move from where they’re placed on your vehicle. If your tyres aren’t properly lined up, it could cause problems with your steering. Whenever you change your tyres, you should have an alignment done to make sure that everything is sitting properly on your vehicle. Remember to rotate your tyres regularly as well, so that the tread wears evenly on both sides, creating a smooth drive. Proper tire maintenance is vital for safety and fuel efficiency. Regularly check tire pressure, alignment, and tread wear. Underinflated tires can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and uneven tire wear, while misaligned wheels can cause handling issues and premature tire wear. Rotate your tires regularly to ensure even wear across all four tires, extending their lifespan.
5. Brake Inspection and Service
Your vehicle’s braking system is crucial for safety. Have your brakes inspected at least once a year to ensure they are in good working condition. Brake pads and rotors wear out over time and may need replacement. Addressing brake issues early prevents further damage and ensures your vehicle can stop efficiently in emergencies.
6. Fluid Checks and Top-Ups
Regularly inspect and top up essential fluids in your vehicle, including coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. These fluids play vital roles in maintaining your vehicle’s performance and preventing damage. Low or contaminated fluids can lead to overheating, transmission problems, or brake failure.
While these types of preventative maintenance should be performed each year, it’s essential to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific maintenance intervals and requirements based on your vehicle’s make, model, and mileage. Staying proactive with regular maintenance helps you catch potential issues early, save on costly repairs, and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.
It can seem like a lot of time and money when switching tyres out to go ahead and get an alignment and rotation, but it’s well worth it. Vehicles which don’t have their tyres rotated and aligned end up needing brand-new tyres much sooner than is normal.
For more information on preventative maintenance or to book an appointment with one of our certified mechanics, contact us today. By using our preventative maintenance services, you can save yourself a lot of time and money on repairs in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of preventative maintenance your vehicle requires and why it’s important, check out the other posts on our blog page.