Happy New Year! Did you make any resolutions? Maybe one about performing regular maintenance on your car or truck? That may not sound as dramatic as a pledge to give up cigarettes, but this measure can prevent future costly repairs and extend the life of your vehicle.
Not sure where to begin? Believe it or not, a good deal of preventive maintenance is so simple, even someone who has never popped the hood of his or her vehicle can do it. However, a professional mechanic should perform the more complex preventive jobs.
Car Maintenance Tips
Routine car maintenance procedures that you can perform yourself include:
- A monthly check of the condition of tires and tire pressure. Many auto shops will do this for you for no cost.
- Check all of the lights
- A monthly check of your vehicle’s front and rear headlights. (Remember, you can’t tell if a rear brake light is out unless you have someone else watch as you test it.)
- Every 3-6 months and/or 3-5,000 miles or per owner’s manual, or per your owner’s manual, check the engine oil and oil filter, battery and cables, belts and hoses. If you’re not sure how to safely check your battery, bring your car to a trusted mechanic for guidance.
- Rotate tires every other oil change.
Refer to your owner’s manual to determine when to check your fluids, including automatic transmission, power steering, brake, and coolant (even in the winter). And don’t forget to check your windshield wiper fluid.
Routine car maintenance that should done by a professional includes:
- Checking the chassis lubrication and windshield wipers every six months or 6,000 miles.
- Checking brakes, spark plugs, steering, and suspension every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
How to Maintain Your Transmission
Your car or truck’s transmission uses a combination of complex hydraulics and computer-controlled components to transmit power from the engine to the wheels. It is designed to consistently reduce load on your engine and increase your vehicle’s speed and fuel economy.
Routine transmission maintenance should be done every 30,000 miles, and will help prevent the need for major repairs. (A new transmission can cost between four and six thousand dollars, whereas as a checkup will only cost you a few hundred dollars.)
Routine maintenance includes checking your vehicle’s transmission, transfer case, 4 X 4 system, and front and rear differentials. In the event there is damage to your transmission, Colony One’s expert staff will advise you as to whether it should be repaired, rebuilt, or replaced completely.