After all the researching, decision making, and buying a car, driving it off the lot is a great feeling, but ownership brings added responsibilities. Taking good care of your vehicle is one thing you can do to help with overall longevity, reliability, safety, and resale value. To protect your investment and avoid costly surprises, it’s a good idea to get into a routine of servicing your car!
There are several possibilities when it comes to servicing, such as mileage-based service and preventive maintenance. We’ll explore your options and where to find information, and if you’re local to the Twin Cities, how you can even win a free oil change with Poquet Auto!
First Up! Check Your Owner’s Manual
When you purchase your vehicle, you should always read through your owner's manual right away, as it allows you to become familiar with everything inside and outside your car. Beyond just knowing where all the bits and bobs are located within your vehicle, your owner’s manual will explain information on manufacturer suggestions. You’ll learn all about when you should get oil changes, swap out filters, getting new belts, the right gas you should use, and so much more! You'll find this advice useful when you need to visit a service center one day.
Because every car is unique, when you read your manual, you’ll also learn at what mileage your particular vehicle should be serviced and regularly maintained.
WHEN DO YOU NEED SERVICING?
Driving your vehicle is fun until those pesky little dashboard lights turn-on, or you experience an odd rattling noise. Car problems happen to everyone who has operated a motor vehicle at some point in their lifetime, so going to a service center is routine for any car owner. Maintenance is also based on how well you care for your car and the quality of roads of which you’re driving. Plus, the number of miles you put on your vehicle can mean you need to visit a service center more than others.
Depending on which comes first, we suggest having your car serviced once a year (every twelve months) or at 12,000 miles. If you’re operating a larger vehicle, or your drive a lot, you should think about servicing every six months or 6,000 miles.
Common Preventive Maintenance FOR EVERY TYPE OF CAR
A key factor to having a car last for many years is preventative maintenance. This kind of servicing allows for your vehicle to run nicely and ultimately maintain your vehicle's health. There are plenty of preventive maintenance procedures that you can do to help your vehicle last through the years. We’ve gathered a list of some of the more common servicing you’ll want to do and have done for your car.
Top 10 maintenance procedures:
1. At Home Inspection: Inspecting your vehicle is crucial to ensuring your lights are working, tire pressure is good, checking your mileage, making sure your tires are up to par (they have enough tread), as well as listening for any odd sounds.
2. Fluids: Beyond that, you can also learn how to check your fluids like antifreeze, power steering, coolant, and wiper fluid. Most cases you’ll see the fluid level, but some have gauges and dipsticks you can use to check for current levels.
3. Belts: Your timing belts need to be renewed around 60,000 miles, and serpentine belts need to replacement around 40,000 miles. Your vehicle's owner’s manual will tell you what the manufacturer states for your car. Make sure your belts are repaired before they fall and cause more damage!
4. Oil: Oil changes are essential to a healthy car and need to occur regularly. You can look for the oil level with a dipstick or an electronic gauge (depending on your vehicle). Oil changes should happen every 3,000 miles to 10,000 miles depending on the vehicle (again look at your manual for your car's specificities).
5. Battery: You should know where your car battery is under the hood and if it’s leaking or has build up, you’ll want to clean the contacts. Easy to clean with a battery cleaning brush (purchased at an auto store), or have it serviced. Consider having jumper cables in your trunk, in case you ever need to jump-start your battery.
6. Windshield Wipers: When streaks start affecting your view, it’s time to swap them! Wipers are easy to replace and once you've changed them, make sure to clean your windshield, both inside and out.
7. Filters: Check and replace your cabin filter and your engine’s air filter. You can change your cabin air filter on your own, but the engine air filter is harder to access and will need to be serviced.
8. Tires: Tires need to be check for tread, rotated and balanced, as well as, aligned, for them to operate correctly. If you live in colder weather consider winter tires in colder months.
9. Spark Plugs: Spark plugs help your engine operate and work efficiently, and build-ups or worn down plugs cause problems. Changing spark plugs varies from 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles. View your owner’s manual to know when your car needs its spark plugs swapped.
10. Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance comes in handy when you need it most. Some people often forgo this choice when purchasing a vehicle, then wind up in a sticky situation like forgetting to get belts replaced, and break down on the side of the road. Make a smart choice by opting for roadside assistance. You’ll have peace of mind in between servicing.
Have An Older Car or Drive A Lot? Mileage-Based Servicing is For You!
It’s clear that preventative maintenance is essential and some of those require mileage checks along the way to help you know when to have your vehicle serviced. There is also mileage based serving options you’ll want to consider depending on if you have an older car or you drive frequently.
Most vehicles are driven during "normal" service, but some are operated in "severe" conditions. Severe driving conditions refer to mainly short trips under five miles or less, extremely long trips (think cross-country or road trips), driving is continuously stop-and-go, driving in climates that are hot, cold, or dusty, or there are heavy loads and towing involved.
Service Your Vehicle at Poquet!
Delaying issues like car problems can set you up for failure and potentially cost you more money and time in the long run. Don’t miss out servicing your car when it matters most with preventative maintenance or mileage-based servicing. No matter if you require an oil change or a regular check-up, Poquet Auto offers a wide range of servicing to get you back on the road.
Win a Free Oil Change! Every week we give away a free oil change at Poquet. All you have to do is follow us on Facebook, and look out for our fun weekly competitions for a chance to get an oil change on us!