Top 5 Vehicle Maintenance Issues You Should Never Skip
Let’s face it, we’ve all done it at some point when our budgets have been tight or we simply didn’t have the time. You know what we mean; yep, we’re talking about putting off vehicle maintenance issues. It’s no secret that even the most diligent vehicle owner has put off that oil change, skipped tire rotation, or delayed paying attention to the check engine light.
It’s understandable that time, money, and convenience can sometimes delay vehicle servicing. However, putting off preventative vehicle maintenance for too long can have serious consequences that can result in the failure of major components. Simply put, it costs a heck of a lot more to repair a corroded engine block full of sludge than it does to change a vehicle’s oil a few times a year.
While we always recommend following your qualified mechanic’s car maintenance plan to keep your vehicle in top working order, but, there are a few items that are more essential than others. Here are the top five preventive maintenance issues that you should never skip if you want to keep your vehicle in prime condition.
One of the simplest and affordable maintenance services you should never skip is the almighty oil change. Regular oil changes for your vehicle is one of the most important maintenance services to keep up with because oil is your engine’s lifeblood.
Most vehicles require a full oil change every 6,000 to 10,000 kilometres, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Many late model cars require less frequent changes, but to ensure you’re on track, check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Oil changes keep your engine clean and extend its life expectancy. Not changing your oil can lead to burning more oil than necessary, decreased gas mileage, and even total engine failure. But, by having regular oil changes done by a qualified vehicle technician, you’re well on your way to helping your vehicle last for a lifetime.
The condition of a vehicle’s tires affects two critical functions of every car, truck, or van you see on the road today: safety and fuel efficiency. Maintaining good tires is important to preserving the safety of your vehicle’s occupants, such as family members and friends, as well as reducing the cost required to operate a vehicle.
Tire pressure is easy to check and should be done regularly. When tires are inflated to optimal pressure, the vehicle is better able to run efficiently and increases the car’s fuel efficiency. Tires with too little air leads to the tires wearing out early and can also increase the chances of a tire blowout.
Routine tire pressure checks also get the driver more familiar with their tire’s tread condition. Visually inspecting tire tread is an easy way to monitor the health of your tires and lets you know if they need replacing. A good rule of thumb for ensuring your tires have good tread is to replace them when tires treadwear indicator bars are almost level with the exterior of the tire.
Tires should receive regular pressure and depth checks as both affect steering smoothness of your ride and handling in inclement weather. Tire pressure fluctuates with temperature, it decreases as temperature plummets in winter meaning tires usually need a fill up of air when seasons are in flux. Rotate tires at least every six months to ensure even wear. Tire rotation also gives technicians a chance to better inspect your vehicle’s brakes.
This service may be the single most important regular preventive maintenance task you should perform. Not only is being able to stop your vehicle while driving essential to the safety of your vehicle and its occupants, but a thorough brake inspection can also head off hundreds of dollars of unnecessary repairs. Instead of using your brakes until they’re worn, schedule maintenance before it’s necessary and save yourself hundreds of dollars.
When you bring your vehicle in to Howie’s Car Corral in Victoria for a routine brake inspection, you can expect our qualified technicians to ensure the health of your vehicle’s braking system by doing the following:
- Check the thickness of brake pads and linings.
- Inspect drums and rotors for signs of damage
- Measure braking fluids and top up as needed
- Guarantee safe working brakes before you leave.
Additionally, if you’ve purchased the vehicle being serviced from Howie’s, you’ll receive a 15% discount on parts and labor for the entire time that you own your car.
Keeping fluids topped off and clean is a major aspect of preventive care and can prevent a vehicle’s engine from experiencing unnecessary wear and tear, reduces expensive repairs, and boosts vehicle safety.
Prevent your transmission from slipping or engine from overheating by staying on top of your engine’s fluids. Every fluid in your vehicle is important and should be monitored. A list of engine fluids to monitor include:
- Transmission fluid
- Brake fluid
- Windshield washing fluid
- Radiator fluid
- Power Steering fluid
Consistently check these levels and be sure to do system flushes when necessary.
Vehicle manufacturers recommend servicing engines at 50,000kms, 100,000kms, and more, for a reason. Hoses wear out, spark plugs and filters need replacing, and fluids need flushing. Performing suggested service at your vehicle’s recommended intervals will keep your vehicle running for years. And, when the time does come to replace your current vehicle or to add another one to your name, visit Victoria’s used car experts at Howie’s Car Corral.