Frequently Asked Vehicle Maintenance Questions

Brake services

Many Americans own a personal vehicle. In fact, it is needed in many parts of the country that do not have sufficient public transportation available. Owning a vehicle requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Yet, many vehicle owners are not aware of proper upkeep schedules. These are some of the most common questions when it comes to maintaining a personal vehicle.

How many miles are too many to purchase a vehicle?
Vehicles are often described in terms of mileage. When you look at a for sale listing you probably specifically look for the number of miles. Even upkeep schedules are done by miles. While the number of miles on a vehicle is somewhat important, they are not the most important factor to consider. It is more important to pay attention to the individual parts of the vehicle, including the engine, transmission, and electrical parts. However, you should use miles as an indicator of auto upkeep timelines including oil changes, brake inspections, and wheel alignments.

How often should you get an oil change?
Oil changes are needed to clean out the engine oil and refresh it. You will hear many different mileage recommendations from oil centers. It is also likely that your dealership or preferred car care center will also have their own recommendation for how often the oil should be changed. Although there is not a simple number, it often depends on the vehicle that you are driving and the current condition of it. As a general rule, change your oil every 5,000 miles or every four months, or follow the manufacturer?s recommendations for your specific car.

When to have your brakes repaired?
Your vehicle?s brakes also require upkeep and repairs. Many people wonder when to have your brakes repaired. When brakes require a repair, they usually do not work as well. It might take you longer to come to a full stop. Additionally, you might notice loud squeaks and squeals from the brakes when stopping. Although it is also difficult to give an exact timeline for when to have your brakes repaired, the general rule would be to have them repaired when they are no longer safe. The loud noises coming from your brakes are not as important as the amount of time it takes you to stop at a traffic light or stop sign. If you are questioning when to have your brakes repaired, you should have them repaired before you feel unsafe while driving.

When should you get a tire rotation?
Regularly rotating your tires spread out the wear and tear of your tires and encourages them to last longer. If you do not keep up with regular tire rotations, you are more susceptible to flat tires and you will need to replace them more often. Also, avoiding your tire rotations can decrease your fuel efficiency and cost you more in gas. A tire rotation should generally be done every 7,500 miles, or as often as the car manufacturer recommends. Experts also recommend checking the tire alignment every 6,000 miles, or during your oil change, as a lot can happen in that time.

What other regular auto inspections are required?
Because there are so many working parts of a vehicle, it is best to just schedule an overall vehicle inspection. Car breakdowns can usually be avoided by periodically checking things like the vehicle belts and replacing them when worn. At least one belt was reported as unsatisfactory in about one fifth of the vehicles inspected (19%) and 17% of the vehicles requires at least one new hose.

Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility. It is a huge investment and there are many things that can go wrong with your vehicle. Scheduling regular auto inspections, oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections can prevent costly problems with the vehicle. Protect your investment by following all manufacturer repair and inspection recommendations.

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Alice Stratt

I'm Alice, from Bristol Tennessee, and I love NASCAR. I've never raced myself but I grew up right there off the track, watching my dad race the #94 car and learning how to work on my own engine. Now I'm all grown up and have a shop of my own, but I still help out in the #94 pit for my old man. Want to learn more about NASCAR or auto repair? Read on!

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