5 Maintenance Tips That Can Save Your Car’s Life
Car maintenance is more important than ever now that the average price of a new car in Arizona has climbed to well over $30,000 dollars. That’s the average price, not the price of an extraordinary car. No wonder many people are opting to keep their cars longer. Luckily, cars have undergone many improvements over the years, and can now be counted on to last through many more miles than they used to. The key to a long life for your car is regular maintenance.
1. Oil Changes
The number one maintenance procedure needed to keep your car running well is to change the oil faithfully, according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. Every car is different, so every car may have different oil change recommendations. Your owner’s manual is the place to start; it is a wealth of valuable information. Manuals usually give a timeline for ideal conditions and for rough conditions. You probably seldom drive under what the manual considers ideal conditions, so to be on the safe side you should base your schedule on the rougher conditions. What is considered rough conditions are what most people in Arizona drive in every day, such as; extremely hot temperatures, stop-and-go traffic, and mountainous terrain.
It is also important to change your filter with every oil change. It is recommended that you use a high quality filter since if the filter does not do its job it can allow grime to make its way throughout your engine.
It is recommended that you check the level of your oil every one to two hundred miles. Oil is to your car what blood is to your body, it can’t function without it.
Brakes are the most important safety feature of your car. To keep them in top shape, refer to your owner’s manual as to when different tasks should be done. The brake fluid should be checked regularly and changed at least once a year. Again, the stop and go driving and high temperatures in Arizona can damage brake fluid which in turn can cause brake failure. The brake pads also need to be checked regularly to see if they are wearing thin. Many brake pads have a built in safety system. When you brake they emit a high pitched squealing sound when they get thin enough that you need to replace them, but even if you don’t hear anything, have them visually inspected as frequently as the manufacturer suggests. Most brake work should be left to a professional car repair shop.
3. Transmission Fluid
In car maintenance, the transmission is often overlooked, but if it is not working properly you will not be going anywhere. As always, check the owner’s manual as to how often and what types of maintenance are recommended. You should check the transmission fluid often. Although some owner’s manuals say it isn’t necessary to change the transmission fluid regularly, it can save the life of your transmission. Most transmission failures are caused by overheating, most often caused by worn out fluid that should have been replaced. Of course, Arizona heat and mountainous terrain can contribute to the overheating seek advice from a car repair shop as to whether your transmission fluid needs to be changed.
4. Timing Belt Replacement
The timing belt is very important to the functioning of your vehicle, as it synchronizes the camshaft with the crankshaft. Fortunately they do not need to be changed often, but letting it go too long can cause engine failure and expensive repairs. Once again, consult that owner’s manual, as different cars recommend differing times to change the timing belt. It can vary anywhere from every 30,000 miles to every 100,000 miles. The Arizona heat is hard on engine parts and can shorten the life of belts. If you take your car to a reputable car repair shop they can often tell by looking for signs of stretching or wear if your timing belt is in need of replacement.
5. Spark Plugs
Spark plug maintenance is very important to keep your engine running in optimum condition. The function of a spark plug is to ignite the fuel mixture in the cylinders. Issues with spark plugs will affect the way your car runs. If your car is difficult to start, or does not idle smoothly, the spark plugs are a good place to begin looking for the problem. A good car repair shop will be able to tell a lot about your engine by removing and inspecting the spark plugs.
Spark plugs should be removed and checked every 30,000 miles or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. This can prevent the spark plugs from seizing in the cylinder heads, which is a very costly repair. For more information contact us today!
Written By Fred McCurdy
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, Arizona 85281
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