Routine Maintenance Extends Your Car’s Life
The best thing you can do for your vehicle is to stay on top of routine maintenance. Humans don’t go long in between medical check-ups or dental cleanings, and your car shouldn’t be neglected either. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common maintenance areas of which to be mindful, and how often they should be addressed.
Oil is the most important fluid your vehicle needs to function. Oil lubricates the engine and prevents catastrophic engine damage from heat and friction. Over time, however, the oil filter gets dirty, and the oil starts collecting engine debris. To keep your engine functioning properly, your car needs regular oil changes.
Tradition is your car should get an oil change every 3,000 miles, but the reality is that it depends on your specific car and the way you drive it. To start, check your owner’s manual. Your manual will be able to tell you your limit, which could actually be every 3,000 miles, but it could be 10,000 miles. Alternatively, you can talk to a service center, and they may ask you questions about how much stress you put on your vehicle, which can also impact oil change intervals.
Engine Air Filter
Every engine has an air filter that stops larger particles from getting into the engine. A clogged air filter can have a minor impact on fuel economy, and it can impact acceleration. Either visually inspect the filter or have a service technician make a recommendation. The owner’s manual will offer a recommended interval, which is often around 30,000 to 45,000 miles, but varies based on the severity of driving conditions. If you find yourself faced with a technician who recommends a new air filter every time you go in for an oil change, you may want to look for a new service center, as an air filter change doesn’t typically happen multiple times a year.
Not all cars have one, but if yours does, it needs to be replaced every 50,000-75,000 miles, or as your owner’s manual recommends. This is a critical piece of maintenance—if the timing belt breaks, you’ll be left stranded on the side of the road and faced with repairs that can cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.
Longmont residents who expect their car to live a long life need to stay on top of maintenance. Write a schedule or talk to your service center to estimate when you might need to take your auto in for maintenance over the course of the year. What you spend on maintenance will pay you back in an extended lifespan and an absence of surprise repairs.