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
After a long year at home, many of us are planning warm-weather road trips. But before you take the scenic route, it’s important to schedule regular auto maintenance, like having your brakes and vehicle transmission looked over by a local mechanic. Additionally, there are some useful things that all drivers should consider keeping on hand the next time they’re on the go.
Here’s a quick list of emergency supplies to keep in your car…
Halo Bolt Battery
So, your vehicle transmission, brakes, and all the rest looks good. You have the green light from your mechanic. What should you absolutely take just in case?
Jumper cables are an essential emergency kit item to store in your trunk. Better yet, invest in a Halo Battery. It’s the size of a brick and it can charge your phone or jump start your car, so you won’t have to rely on someone else to give you a boost.
A Paper Map
It may sound basic or even outdated, but you just never know when your high-tech GPS could fail you in a remote location. Avoid the stress of getting lost, and bring a backup map just in case. You could lose your cell phone or service. There’s just no telling, so better safe than sorry.
Make sure to pack a spare tire the next time you take a long drive, as well as a tire iron and a jack. Without the right tools, that new tire won’t do you much good when you’re stranded by the side of the road. If you were never taught how to change a flat tire, you’ll be glad you brushed up on the basics if you ever need to try your hand at replacing one. Also, keep in mind that some vehicles have locking tires that require a special security bolt to remove them. Stash this in a safe place where you won’t forget about it.
Air Pressure Gauge
An air pressure gauge is a tiny tool you can leave in the glove compartment. Maintaining the right amount of air pressure in your tires is essential for safety reasons, especially on long road trips. And, if you need to swap out a damaged tire, you’ll want to have this little tool at the ready.
Other Odds and Ends
- Water bottles
- Nonperishable snacks
- Road flares or reflective triangles
- Seat belt cutter or pocket knife
- Window breaker
- Emergency first aid kit
- Phone charger
The list could go on and on, but you only have so much space in your vehicle. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s also a good idea to carry hand sanitizer and extra masks during the pandemic. What you need will ultimately depend on how far you’re going and your individual concerns, but these are some good basics that all drivers should carry just to be on the safe side. What do you keep in your car in case of emergencies?
Schedule Auto Maintenance
If it’s time to have your vehicle transmission checked and you need a local auto shop, call us at Lafayette German Car Repair (925) 284-3390. You can also view all current specials by clicking here. We want to save you money!
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!
Cold winter weather can be tough on your car. So, it’s important to undertake some maintenance tasks to keep everything in the best working condition. These measures can save you from incurring expensive repairs, not to mention prevent you from getting stuck on the side of the road because your car broke down. Let’s review some basic automotive maintenance tips to make sure your vehicle is reliable, even in the winter.
Change the Windshield Wipers
Obviously, being able to clearly see where you’re going is one of the most important aspects of safe driving. But worn out wiper blades can make it harder to see the road through rain and fog. This is a real safety risk.
Fortunately, it’s not expensive to swap out those old, ineffective windshield wipers. This is an easy fix to take care of before winter weather conditions impact visibility. Look for a reputable automotive repair shop to have the best wiper blades installed on your vehicle. Also, make sure to top off the washer fluid since you’re likely to use more of it this time of year.
Check Your Exterior Lights
During the winter months, you’re more likely to drive in the dark because the days are shorter. That’s why you need to ensure your exterior lights are working properly, and that they’re bright enough to light up the road. If they’re dim, foggy, or yellowing, you may need to replace the bulb or the plastic covering.
Have Your Brakes Inspected
This is one of those automotive maintenance tips to pay special attention to because cold weather can have a negative impact on your vehicle’s brakes. You definitely don’t want to take any chances with your car’s brakes.
Have your brakes inspected by a certified professional. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you have a good braking system in place for any emergency stops on wet winter roads.
Perform a Volt Test on the Battery
Another thing that can be dramatically affected by cold weather is your car’s battery. It’s more difficult for your car battery to function optimally during cold weather. That’s why it’s a good idea to perform a volt test on it to make sure it’s effective enough to last you through the cold season. The last thing you want is to find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere because your car failed to start.
Check the Coolant Levels
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is essential for your car engine, especially in the winter. This helps to prevent your engine from freezing. Even if you aren’t in an area were it snows, it’s not a bad idea to get your engine checked to ensure your coolant levels are in a good range. Also, have the engine inspected for any leaks in order to prevent your coolant from draining.
More Automotive Maintenance Tips
The above automotive maintenance tips are essential winter prep. Cold months can have a great impact on your vehicle, which is why you should always visit a reputable automobile repair shop to have your car maintained.
To schedule an appointment in the Lafayette area, contact us at (925) 284-3390, or click here to redeem one of our specials.