If you want to celebrate more milestones with your vehicle’s odometer, the only thing you need to remember is servicing, maintenance and upkeep. The secret to prolonging the life of a vehicle has always been its well-groomed history. Whether you’re looking for a new truck that you’ll need to use for a long time until you can pay off a large loan to buy another car, or a new car you’ve been using. applications where you want to safely transport your college kid — a serviced vehicle is the solution.
Repairs can add up, especially when a small error leads to a major fix. Forgot to change the oil a few times and you might be looking at a new engine. Don’t keep an eye on the liquid level and you may need a new transmission. Leave your tires empty and you might slip off the road and need a new front end!
There are some standard maintenance items that you should have a professional check regularly. If you have the know-how, you can test them yourself, but often the cost of using a forklift as well as the time and experience of using the vehicle by a certified mechanic is well worth it.
The time it takes to perform these maintenance items will vary from vehicle to vehicle and may even depend on how well you drive a car or truck. The way to find the recommended repair and inspection times is to look for the handy item we all have in our glove boxes: the Owner’s Manual. See the manual for a maintenance schedule to check regularly and get optimal performance.
Items to check frequent
- Steering and suspension systems
- Oils and lubricants/liquids
- Air filter
- Electrical systems
- cooling water
- Tires and wheels
Components that are important to the budget for
- Shoes and brake pads
- Steering control handle
- Springs, shock absorbers and struts
- Belts and tubes
- Windshield wiper blade
Items to check before your trip
Finally, before a big road trip, you should check a few items on your car. It may sound silly at first, but if you add testing to your regular routine, it will help you avoid midway crashes. If possible, carry spare supplies for quick road repairs, such as belts, light bulbs, and small tools.
- System gauges, warning lights and buzzers/warnings
- Windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid
- Heaters, defrosters and/or air conditioners
- Mirror (rearview mirror and rearview mirror)
- Lights (includes clearance and ID lights on some large vehicles)
- Turn signal lights and hazard lights
- Tires and wheels
- Equipment for tying and fixing goods
- Emergency equipment includes fire extinguishers, flares and reflectors, first aid kits, snow chains, emergency survival equipment, food and water.
Routine maintenance will not only help you avoid costly repairs, but it can also help you keep your vehicle in sync (no pun intended). By recognizing when a certain vehicle sound or vibration is normal and what is a sign of an emergency, you can avoid surprises on the road. As you become more familiar with your vehicle through regular inspection and maintenance, you can tweak parts to better suit your vehicle’s needs, such as adjusting fluids to performance match or tires to match your typical driving conditions. A regularly serviced car with paperwork also becomes an easy car to sell for a good price later on, so keep those records!
Finally, don’t forget to wash your car thoroughly and apply wax to protect your paintwork, and your well-maintained vehicle will be shiny inside and out.