A car can be a roadside companion and a source of pride for many years if it is well taken care of. As a rule, car owners should schedule a regular automotive service following the maintenance schedule advised by the vehicle’s manufacturer to optimize car performance and longevity. Keep in mind that every car is different. Your car’s same model under alternate weather conditions or driving on better-quality roads may yield different requirements for maintenance, so stay in tune with your car and its needs by checking a few key parts regularly.
Read on for the best – and most overlooked – automotive services to extend your car’s lifespan and enjoy its optimized performance for as long as possible.
1) Car Battery Maintenance
The importance of maintaining your car battery cannot be overstated – your car’s battery keeps the electrical parts of your car running smoothly, including your car’s alternator. It is vital to get the battery regularly tested and checked for damage. Extreme temperatures, corrosion, or even just regular wear and tear can prevent your battery from performing its best. This is a very important automotive service to stay on top of, for obvious reasons.
2) Oil and Fluids Check
If your car was made within the last decade, it most likely will benefit from oil-change intervals at 7,500 to 10,000 miles or every 6 to 12 months. With this parameter in mind, check your car owner’s manual to see your specific vehicle maintenance recommendations. Even if you don’t drive your car frequently, it’s important to keep the oil fresh by changing it once or twice a year – this is because oil degrades over time. If left unchecked, low or poor quality oil can damage your car’s engine.
3) Keep it Clean Inside and Out
Cleaning the inside and outside of your car regularly helps to preserve its appearance and keep it in good condition for longer. This increases your car’s value, and a car is an investment that you need to take care of!
- Car Exterior: Grime, dirt, and salt from the road can wear away at your car’s paint and make the exterior of your car more susceptible to rust. Wash the outside of your car every two weeks at the minimum to prevent the buildup of grime.
- Car Interior: Most automakers recommend cleaning the interior of your car at least once a month. Neglecting to clean the inside of a car can result in bacteria and lingering odors, especially if trash or food wrappers are left sitting in a car.
4) Make Use of your Owner’s Manual
To truly ensure that your car functions optimally, you will have to know some basic car maintenance and parts to check in between professional services. Dust off the owner’s manual that’s been wedged in the back of your glove compartment. Reading through your car’s manual is probably the best thing you can do to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your particular model — plus, you’ll find a recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
Schedule a Professional Automotive Service
Your vehicle transmission plays an important role, but how much do you really know about caring for it? If you’re like most people, the answer is not a whole lot. Of course, you already understand that auto maintenance is essential, so here are a few tips on how to make sure your automatic transmission is reliable so that you can stay safer on the road.
What Does Your Vehicle Transmission Even Do?
Your auto transmission is a complex system with an important job to perform. Essentially, it’s responsible for sending power from the engine to the wheels. The engine generates power, but the transmission delivers it and helps to control your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you’ll have a manual or an automatic transmission. Either way, your vehicle transmission is involved in the process of shifting gears when you speed up or slow down.
This topic could be its own blog post, but you get the gist. Let’s review some key ways to care for your transmission.
Use the Right Vehicle Transmission Fluid
Unfortunately, you can’t just use any transmission fluid in your vehicle, but the owner’s manual will have clear instructions on which products are compatible with your vehicle. You can always talk to a local mechanic for guidance as well. While this step is best left to a professional, do your “homework” if you decide to take a DIY approach.
Come to a Full Stop
Before transitioning from drive to reverse, come to a full stop. Changing gears while you’re still in motion is hard on your vehicle’s transmission, so it’s best to avoid getting into this habit.
Have the Transmission Flushed
From time to time, bring your car in to your local mechanic to have the transmission fluid flushed. Once a year can be a good rule of thumb, but it really depends on how many miles you put on your vehicle. Again, the owner’s manual will provide you with more specific mileage details, or an auto shop can help.
Limit Using Your Vehicle For Towing
Towing heavy loads puts a strain on your vehicle. This is especially true during extreme weather conditions, so try to limit how often you use your vehicle for towing and keep it to a minimum.
Warm Up Your Vehicle Before Driving
Most of us turn the key in the ignition and drive off, but it’s not a bad idea to let your vehicle warm up a little, especially during colder months. Of course, this isn’t relevant if you park in a garage, and you never want to leave your car running in an enclosed space because it can be fatal.
Auto Transmission Repairs
If it’s been a while since you last had your vehicle transmission looked at, be sure to bring it in for a professional inspection. At Lafayette German Car Repair, we want to save you money. Check out our specials by clicking this link, or give us a call at (925) 284-3390. We’re here to help!
If you haven’t thought about automotive maintenance in a while, let this post serve as a friendly reminder. Regular auto maintenance is hands down the best way to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive. These are a few of the most common aspects of basic car care. Let’s review…
Unless you’re a brand new driver, it goes without saying that your vehicle needs its oil changed from time to time. But just in case you are a new driver, how often should you have the gunky oil swapped out for proper automotive maintenance? Every 3,000 miles used to be the standard, but now it really depends on the age and condition of your vehicle, as well as what kind of oil it requires. The best thing to do is talk to your mechanic or look over your vehicle’s manual.
Replace the Air Filter
This probably doesn’t sound very important, but the air filter’s job is to remove debris from the air that’s drawn into your engine. As you can imagine, after several thousand miles, the air filter doesn’t look very pretty. For the best automotive maintenance, go ahead and replace it every 15,000 to 20,000 miles, depending on the air quality in your region. Most auto body shops will check the air filter when you bring your car in for an oil change.
Automotive Maintenance for Tires
It’s so important to take good care of your vehicle’s tires. Be sure to have them periodically rotated by a professional who can check their alignment and air pressure. This is essential for brake safety and reliable steering, so stick to a schedule. Similarly, don’t drive on bald tires. It can be dangerous for you, your passengers, and anyone else on the road, so be sure to keep an eye on the tread.
Check the Brake Pads
Replacing worn brake pads is one of the most essential responsibilities of automotive maintenance, so don’t put this one off. These pads wear down over time, so it’s important to have an auto body shop technician check on them when your tires are rotated. A professional can also give you an estimate on how long your brake pads will last, based on their thickness.
How Old are Those Spark Plugs?
Here’s something you might not think about. When were your spark plugs replaced? For such a small part, they actually play a big role and need to be changed every 60,000-75,000 miles. Replacing them helps your vehicle’s engine to function properly. On the other hand, a dying spark plug will force the engine to work harder.
Schedule Automotive Maintenance
If it’s time for some professional auto maintenance, you can count on us to get the job done right. Contact Lafayette German Car Repair by calling (925) 284-3390. We’re here to help, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have about automotive maintenance for your car. You can also check out our deals by clicking here. We want to save you money!
There are a few obvious indications that something may be wrong with your brakes. To tell if you need brake repair, pay attention to these telltale signs.
High-Pitched Screeching Noises
Hearing a squealing sound when you press the brake isn’t always a bad thing. This can happen if you haven’t driven your car in a while, especially after heavy rain or cold weather. Rust can develop on the brake discs but rub off after you drive the car. Though, if this sound persists, it’s time to schedule an appointment to fix the problem.
This is not a nice sound to hear while you’re driving. In fact, it’s likely a built-in warning that you need brake repair. Pads that have nearly worn down will start making this noise. It’s likely you’ll need to have the brake pads and discs replaced.
Wobbly or Jittery Braking
Sometimes this wobbling can be felt in the steering wheel. If you tend to brake often while driving, you’ll probably need more frequent brake repairs. For example, when the pads heat up, the material they’re made from can actually coat the brake rotors, creating an uneven surface. These discs can become “warped” over time, and may need changing.
Related Content: Car Maintenance Tips to Avoid Expensive Repairs
Slow Response to Braking
If you begin to notice changes when you push the brake pedal, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle inspected. Notably, slow response times can be dangerous—regardless of how fast you’re driving. So, if your vehicle is taking longer to come to a full stop, schedule a brake repair as soon as possible.
Car Pulls to One Side
This is generally the result of brake calipers or a brake hose that is failing. What ends up happening is the balance between the wheels causes one side to brake unevenly. Your car will pull in the opposite direction of the side that’s faltering.
Related Content: What Maintenance is Needed for ABS Brakes?
Mysterious Driveway Puddles
If you start to notice little pools of liquid under your vehicle, these puddles could be coming from the lines that run hydraulic fluid to your brakes. One of the signs that you should look for is a soft brake pedal. If the brake fluid is leaking somewhere, there won’t be enough pressure for the hydraulic system to properly clamp down.
Lafayette Brake Repair
If you’ve noticed any of these signs while driving, it’s best to schedule a local car service for your peace of mind. Regular car maintenance can actually cut down on your need for brake repair and other automotive repair services. Call us today at (925) 284-3390 to learn more about our specials.