Car maintenance is a reality of life. But, knowing what maintenance you should have done regularly and when to do it can be confusing. At NARPRO, we want to make it as easy as possible to navigate so you can feel confident in the state of your vehicle. Here is what you need to know about maintaining your car!
What Car Maintenance is Essential?
- Oil – Most cars use synthetic oil that needs to be replaced every 5,000-10,000 miles.
- Filters – This includes your oil, air, and fuel filters and drastically impacts the performance of your vehicle.
- Battery – Keep in mind that outside temperature, battery age, and long periods of non-use all affect battery life.
- Brake pads/shoes and rotors – If you notice extra noises, such as screeching when stopping, then it’s probably time to get your brakes inspected.
- Fluids – Brake fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant are all essential to the function of your vehicle. They must be checked and replaced on a regular basis to prevent expensive damage.
- Hoses and Belts – These items experience some of the heaviest wear and tear and should frequently be inspected for cracks or other damage.
- Spark Plugs – If there is an issue with your ignition system, your check engine light will come on. Once you take your car in for service, our experts can scan it and receive a code that will indicate what the problem is.
- Power Steering Fluid – Power steering fluid often lasts longer than other fluids and can last 75,000 miles or more.
When Should Maintenance Be Done?
We recommend following the 30-60-90 rule. This refers to maintenance you should have done before you reach that mileage. Each of the above components falls into one of those mileage categories. Filters fall into the 30,000 mile range. Your battery, brakes, and fluids fall into the 60,000 mile range. And, the rest are in the 90,000 mile range. However, keep in mind that factors such as weather and driving frequency can affect this guideline. Additionally, parts like tires or wiper blades can wear out at irregular intervals and are not included in the 30-60-90 rule. Always be sure to discuss any potential maintenance or concerns you have with your technician at your time of service.
You can also look at your owner’s manual to determine a good maintenance schedule for your vehicle. The manual will have various maintenance schedules based on the conditions you typically drive in.
Another good method of setting up a car maintenance schedule is to follow the seasons. Get your car checked after the winter months in prep for summer. Then, get it checked after summer to prep for winter. This averages out to about 2 inspections a year and can be a good place to start if you’re unsure.
Why Regular Maintenance is Important
Remember: maintenance is designed to keep your car in a good functional state and help prevent major brake-downs or repairs. Your car will last longer and perform better with regular service. Most of us use our cars every day. As such, it is worth the investment to create and adhere to a schedule that works to ensure your safety while on the road. Fortunately, our experts are here to help. So, don’t delay. Contact one of our NARPRO approved shops to help you get started today.