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Auto Maintenance Tips and Car Care
Routine maintenance is an ongoing process that begins when your car is new. Preventative maintenance is extremely important and will prolong the life of your car as well as lessen the chances, frustration and expense of an unexpected breakdown. Maintenance means keeping the systems and features working as closely as possible to the manufacturer’s original design intentions and specifications.
These basic car maintenance tips will give you a general guide, but so much depends on driving habits. Read our FAQs page for more help.
Cars we service has an extensive list of manufacturers and detailed information about scheduled maintenance by manufacturer.
Every other oil change is a good rule of thumb, or every 6,000 miles. Neglecting tire rotation is a major cause of premature tire wear. Rotation will extend tire life span. Properly inflated tires help fuel efficiency, handling and performance.
Replace your car’s fuel filter.
Approximately every 30,000 miles. Your car's owner's manual provides a recommended schedule.
Replace the air filter.
With our air quality up and down, we recommend every 15,000—30,000 miles.
Service your brakes.
Brakes often make "noise" or "squeak" when they are wearing and it's time to change the pads. They may "feel" different when pressing on them. We can check this for you and let you know how much life is left. Read more about brake service and repair.
We recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles. You may be able to go longer if you're a bit more technical and check under your hood for the levels.
Some automobile manufacturers now offer free scheduled maintenance during the warranty period. They changed the oil change schedule from 5,000 miles to as much as 15,000 miles. It's important to be aware of the trade-off. While this extended period between oil changes may be fine for your car in the beginning (while under warranty), the contaminated oil and sludge build-up contributes to engine damage later, after the warranty expires.
Check engine light.
There are many sensors and computerized components managing your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the "check engine" light comes on. If the light is on steady and doesn't affect your driving, you have time to schedule maintenance. If the light is flashing and you’re having a drivability issue, this needs immediate attention.
Key to maximum fuel economy and optimum engine performance are your spark plugs. Replace these every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum-tipped spark plugs. It's a good idea to check the wear of these at 75,000 miles as some wear better than others.
Replace the timing belt/chain.
In cars with a timing belt, the engine damage will be catastrophic. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is far more expensive than the cost of a timing belt replacement. In recent years, manufacturers have changed from chains to belts, and back again. If you're confused, give us a call.