Sacramento Preventive Maintenance
Courtesy of the Automotive Service Association
According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect. The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks will greatly extend the life of the vehicle, ensure safer operation and even benefit the environment.
Always consult your owner's manual for individual service schedules because maintenance requirements vary by manufacturer.
- Always consult your owner's manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil filter changed regularly - every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
- Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
- Check tire inflation. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
- Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
- Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle's suspension system.
- Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. The battery fluid also should be checked and filled if it is low, unless it is a maintenance-free battery.
- Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and taillights.
- Check windshield washer blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them at least once a year, or sooner if streaking begins.
- Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.
- Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.
Service Interval Schedule:
|Vehicle System or Component||Check Monthly||Check Every 3,000 Miles|
|Automatic Transmission Fluid|| |
|Battery and Cables|| |
|Brakes and Brake Fluid|| |
|Cabin Air Filter|| |
|Chassis Lubrication|| |
|Check Engine Light On|| |
|Coolant (Antifreeze)|| |
|Engine Air Filter|| |
|Engine Oil and Filter|
|Fuel Filter|| |
|Power Steering Fluid|| |
|Shock Absorbers and Struts|| |
|Tire Inflation and Condition|| |
|Windshield Washer Fluid|| |
|Wiper Blades|| |
Look here's the deal. Everyone loves fast food. I know that I do! It's convenient, fast and cheap. It's OK to indulge in fast food from time to time. Most things are fine in moderation, your body can usually handle it. Well the same thing goes for your vehicle. Quick lubes and "convenience service centers" are like fast food for your car. They are convenient and cheap maintenance for your car. Like your body, your vehicle can handle this in moderation. But a steady diet of quick lube maintenance WILL NOT and CAN NOT properly maintain your vehicle and can lead to higher repair expenses in the future. In most cases these fast food shops only inspect the items that they can quickly make money on. The services are usually performed by lesser experienced technicians. Just like the teenager working behind the counter at your favorite fast food joint.
If you want the best care for your car and don't like surprise repairs, you should have your vehicle serviced by a qualified ASE certified technician. At least have every other service performed at a "full service" professional shop which employs seasoned Master ASE certified technicians. They are trained in servicing the whole vehicle and helping avoid those unforeseen surprise expenses of a repair that would not usually get noticed at a quick lube. Trust me, this will save you thousands of dollars over the life of your car!
If you really think about it, it makes sense. Do the math. Ask yourself, how can someone properly inspect and service your vehicle in 15-30 minutes and offer a price of $20 dollars to boot? The answer is: they can't! Today's vehicles are complicated and demand more detail in the services required. This level of detail can only be performed by a quality technician who knows what's best for you and your vehicle. With the cost of buying a new car these days, it's more important than ever to properly maintain your vehicle and keep it reliable for many years and 100-300 thousand miles.
Yes, this is possible. Many of our clients are enjoying the freedom of no car payment because they have been trusting Made in Japan/Made in America to keep their vehicles safe and reliable for well over 200,000 miles. In summary, fast food service is OK for your car from time to time. But I encourage you to not put your vehicle on a fast food diet. That way you will be able to maximize on your investment.
Your car will thank you for it!