Vehicle maintenance is extremely important to keep your vehicle running safely, and also keep to your warranty valid. However, what is truly necessary maintenance, compared to optional and nice to have? Below are specific maintenance items that need regular attention.
The most important component of your vehicle is the engine, and it requires regular oil changes in order to operate properly. The engine is also the most expensive item on your vehicle to replace if it ever fails. So you are best to take care of it.
Your oil change frequency depends on the type of vehicle you drive. Some automakers, such as Hyundai, recommend a semi-synthetic oil blend, with changes required every four months. However, many European automakers like Mercedes require a super synthetic oil blend, but changes are only needed once a year. Whatever your manufacturer recommends, that is what’s required. By not following their service schedule, you could be jeopardizing your warranty coverage and/or lease agreement.
An important safety component of your vehicle that is often neglected is the tires. Think about it – the only thing between the road and the car are the tires! Your tires should be rotated every six months. And of course if you live in a cold climate like Canada, you should have a separate set of rims/tires for the winter months.
A fact about tires that many people don’t recognize is they have an expiry date. Although you may not drive much, tires should not be used beyond five years from their manufacture date. After five years, the rubber compound in the tires begins to breakdown, making them unsafe for the road.
Along with tires, another crucial part of your vehicle’s safety system are the brakes. A terrible feeling is slamming on the brake pedal in an emergency, and not getting the immediate stopping power you need.
Your brakes should be inspected every six months to ensure they are operating properly. Additionally, your brakes should be serviced once a year. A brake service is not a replacement of any brake parts, however it’s a cleaning and adjustment of the brake system. As you drive the vehicle through warm and cool temperatures, corrosion begins to develop on the metal components, limiting the braking performance of the vehicle. A brake service will clean up the brakes, increasing the stopping power of the vehicle, and increasing the lifespan of the components.
We have all experienced this situation, or we have seen it happen. You get in the car ready to go (usually in a rush) only to hear a clicking noise coming from your vehicle, and not the starting of an engine. 99% of the time a dead battery is the culprit. Every time your oil is changed, ask the technicians to check the connections on the battery, and clean off any corrosion on the terminals.
Also, like anything else, batteries have a lifespan. With vehicles coming equipped with so many electrical features being powered by your battery, expect to replace your battery every four to five years.
A vehicle’s engine is powered by a mixture of air and gasoline. In order for that mixture to occur, the air filter must allow for enough air to reach the engine. However if the air filter is clogged, the engine will struggle to obtain enough air.
In normal operating circumstances, its not unreasonable to replace the air filter once a year. And it should be inspected every time the oil is changed.
Do you need vehicle maintenance? Do you have a car question? WeeL can help. Email us at [email protected]or call 1 (888) 657-3296.