An automobile is a complex machine. It’s also an expensive one, which is why it pays to keep up with its routine maintenance. If you think timely oil changes are the be-all, end-all of automobile maintenance, think again. In reality, there are many important milestones that need to be kept in mind to keep a car humming right along. The best way to keep track of the milestones for your particular vehicle is with a car maintenance schedule. Your owner’s manual is a good place to start, and you can peruse manufacturers’ technical bulletins by year over at SaferCar.gov. In the meantime, brush up the basics below.
Basic Types of Maintenance that You shouldn’t Overlook
No car maintenance schedule would be complete without the following components, so be sure to familiarize yourself with each one:
Spark Plugs –
They play an integral part in how your vehicle runs and can affect gas mileage and engine performance. They typically need to be changed every 30,000 to 100,000 miles.
You can expect to replace the battery in your car every four to six years. Make sure to replace it with one that meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
Fuel Filter –
If you own a fuel-injected car, its fuel filter needs to be replaced approximately every two years or every 24,000 miles.
Get into the habit of checking coolant levels. Keep in mind that coolant becomes dirty over time. It should be flushed and replaced every two years or every 24,000 miles.
It’s a good rule of thumb to have your brake pads assessed at every other oil change. If you hear strange squeaking when you apply the brakes, they may be wearing dangerously thin. Brake fluid should be changed every 24,000 miles or every two years.
In addition to the components listed above, your car maintenance schedule should include reminders about your vehicle’s air filter, engine and timing belts, tires, power steering fluid and more. By staying on top of this important maintenance, you will be able to enjoy your vehicle for the long haul.