FULL VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

You might be wondering why you need to take your vehicle in for maintenance. It might seem like a hassle to set aside some time just to take your vehicle to the mechanic to ensure everything is working. You might think, “Why do I need to check when nothing feels wrong?”

When you regularly take your car in for maintenance, you are ensuring that your vehicle stays in good condition. Regular vehicle maintenance will also save from spending extra money on expensive repairs in the future. You will also have a detailed service record to help you boost the value of your car if you decide to sell it later.

You should also remember that if you don’t do regular maintenance on your vehicle, you might void your vehicle’s warranty. You may have heard the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevent costly repairs before they turn into a larger problem.

Vehicle Maintenance

Signs that your vehicle needs maintenance

You might take excellent care of your car, but even the best-kept cars will have a snag. Most vehicles will often have tell-tale signs that something is wrong and that it needs to go in for full vehicle maintenance.

For example, there’s the “check engine” light or “service engine soon” indicator on your dashboard, which are just some of the clues that your vehicle will let you know when you need to take your vehicle in for full maintenance. The other clues would include the following:

Fuel efficiency - If you’ve noticed that your fuel bill has gone up recently, it could be due to leaky fuel injectors and bad sensors, not just the economy. To fix these issues, you’ll need full vehicle maintenance to determine if it’s a factor.

Braking - One of the biggest, and most dangerous vehicle issues, are brake issues. You should take your vehicle in for maintenance if there are any scraping or squeaking sounds or if there is a “soft” brake pedal.

Inadquate acceleration - If you’ve noticed that your vehicle isn’t performing as well as it should, it could be time to take your vehicle in for maintenance.

Lurching or hard shifting - Changing gears is meant to be done in a smooth motion, so if you feel that you have to force a gear change, your car will need a tune-up.

Stalling or trouble starting - When your vehicle is having trouble going, or it starts to stall more often, you will need to take your vehicle in for a tune-up.

Shaking car - If you feel the vehicle shake while turning, starting, or stopping, you should have a qualified mechanic check it out.

Remember that there will also be some not-so-obvious signs that your vehicle will need to go in for full maintenance. Sometimes these signs can be vague and intermittent, but no one else will know your vehicle better than you do.

Prevention is better than cure

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, remember that prevention will often be less expensive than the cure. Regular maintenance and check-ups will give your vehicle a longer lifespan and keep performing well.

You will need to check your vehicle’s manual to check how often you will need to take your vehicle in for full maintenance. However, you should take your vehicle in for maintenance immediately if you notice the following:

  • Check engine light is on
  • Taillights or headlights go out
  • The Tire pressure light is on
  • Any significant noises

Monthly full vehicle maintenance

At your monthly full vehicle maintenance check, you can expect the following in your vehicle to be checked:

  • Oil and coolant levels
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Tread depth and tire pressure
  • Parking lights, fog lights, turn signals, and the brakes

Three-month full vehicle maintenance

At a three-month full vehicle maintenance check, you can expect the following in your vehicle to be checked:

  • Battery and cables
  • Belts and hoses
  • Oil and filters
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield wiper blades

Six-month full vehicle maintenance

At a six-month full vehicle maintenance check, you can expect the following in your vehicle to be checked:

  • Battery performance
  • Chassis lubrication
  • Exhaust system
  • Rotate your tires
  • Vehicle waxing

One-year full vehicle maintenance

At the one-year mark, you can expect the following in your vehicle to be checked:

  • Brakes
  • Air filters
  • Coolant / antifreeze
  • Struts and shocks will be inspected

Two-year full vehicle maintenance

When you’ve had your vehicle for two years, or it’s two years old, you will get the following checked:

  • Fuel filter
  • Ignition system
  • Transmission fluid

Long-term full vehicle maintenance

When you take your vehicle in for full long-term maintenance, the following will be checked and done:

  • Tires will be changed
  • Battery testing
  • Possible timing belt change (this will depend on the vehicle’s manual)
  • Front and rear differential
  • Transfer case fluid

Final thoughts on full vehicle maintenance

It’s important to remember that the signs and the checklists mentioned above are meant to be general guidelines on what to expect. It’s always a good idea to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to check how often you will need to take it in for maintenance. Call our office to schedule an appointment and we will be happy to take a look.