Taking care of your vehicle is the best way to ensure that it lasts long after you’ve made your last car payment. Extend the life of a car by following a routine maintenance schedule and keeping track of when certain parts need to be inspected or replaced. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; we’ve compiled some common questions below.
Your vehicle should come with an owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is tailored to the unique needs of your car and will contain the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. That schedule will tell you when and how often to service your car. Also, make sure you take your vehicle to be inspected as soon as possible if your engine light comes on.
Tires have an estimated life of anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles. If you want a more accurate way to know when to change them, keep an eye on the tread depth of your tires. As soon as the tread wears down enough to reveal the tread bars underneath the rubber, replace them.
Anything from erratic driving to objects on the road can cause tire damage, but the most common perpetrator is improper inflation. You should always keep a tire pressure gauge around and make sure your tires are inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. These specs can be found on the side of your tire.
Oil should be checked at least once a month, and replaced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on whether you use regular or synthetic oil.
Just like oil, antifreeze and any other fluid vital to the life of your vehicle’s engine should be checked once a month.
Brakes should not make noise. Any grinding or squealing noises heard when applying brakes could be indicative of an issue with the brake shoes or pads. Even if the problem is minor, having your brakes inspected and serviced as soon as they begin making noise can save lots of money down the road—and possibly your life.