Cars. You can’t live with them and you can’t shoot them. You probably have no choice but to own a running vehicle (and maybe you even like owning a car), but sometimes the never-ending vehicle maintenance and vehicle repairs are enough to make a person crazy.
While auto repair services are an unavoidable part of car ownership, you can avoid a lot of headaches, heartaches, and wallet-aches if you stay on top of your car maintenance services. We know, we know. Your car maintenance services alone can be an overwhelming list to manage. Which car maintenance services are important and which car maintenance services is it okay to skimp on? If this questions is crossing your mind, you came to the right place. Hang tight for our list of vehicle maintenance services you should never skip:
Three Vehicle Maintenance Services You Should Never Skip
- Changing Your Oil
Just like blood pumping through your veins keeps you alive, the oil in your car keeps your car alive. And just like your blood has to be cleaned and renewed by oxygen and processing through your heart, over time, the oil in your vehicle picks up crud and turns into a black sludge. That cruddy oil screws up your fuel efficiency and the way your car operates. The sludge doesn’t pump through your car efficiently, nor does it do its vital job of lubricating the vital organs of your car, so that your car keeps running smoothly. If you neglect getting your oil changed, eventually, you’ll be cruising down the road and the steering wheel will lock up. You’ll coast to the side of the road and have it towed to your local auto mechanic. He’ll tell you that your oil went dry and it caused your engine to lock up. There’s no recovering from this diagnosis.
How Often? The good news is you don’t have to change your oil as much as you used to. Twenty years ago or so, they told you you needed to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Through changes in the way oil is processed and additives that make it more efficient, you now only have to change your oil every 10,000 miles or so. When in doubt, ask your mechanic.
- Tire Replacement
Keeping up with your tire maintenance should be a no-brainer. You have thousands of pounds of machinery (and human lives) traveling at high speeds and all that is supporting this whole charade is air and a pile of rubber. While driving on worn out tires impacts the way your car drives and your fuel economy, replacing your tires as needed isn’t just important for the sake of your vehicle, it’s important for the safety of your passengers and the other commuters that share the road with you. Tire failure is the most common reason for fatal accidents from vehicle failure. If you’re going to be lax about any vehicle maintenance, you shouldn’t let it be tires!
How Often? You should replace your tires as the tread wears thin, or every five to seven years, even if the tread is still there. The year that the tire is made is printed on the outer wall of the tire.
- Brake Maintenance
To be honest, it’s hard to ignore brake maintenance anyways, because your brakes get really annoying when they need some attention. When your brake pads need to be replaced, you start noticing that irritating screeching noise at stop lights. Even if you ignore it at first, eventually the rotors will come in contact with the brake pads and then it really screeches when you try to brake. If you let it go too long, you’ll have to replace the whole braking system, which costs a whole lot more dollar signs than if you’d just taken it to your mechanic for maintenance earlier.
How Often? The lifespan of your brakes vary from one manufacturer to the next, and depending on the wear and tear of your vehicle. Certainly take it in as soon as the squeaking starts when you slow down, but it’s best if you ask your mechanic about specific brake maintenance timelines. The point is, don’t skip out on brake care!
Do you have any questions or comments to add on this topic? Please share in the comment section below!