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Car Maintenance and Servicing: What Should Be On Your Checklist

Image by Tim Mossholder from Unsplash 

Car Maintenance and Servicing: What Should Be On Your Checklist

It’s easy to overlook the maintenance on your vehicle, but taking the time now will help prevent more significant problems down the line. You may have heard that you should replace your tires every 5,000 miles, but how often should you check your brakes? Is it okay if there’s a small tear in my wiper blades? If you aren’t sure about these things, here are eight essential items to check regularly.

Replace windshield wipers

You should replace your windshield wipers every 6 months to 1 year. This will ensure they are in good condition and in the correct position for your car.

When you change your wiper blades, check the following:

  • The length of the wipers - they should be long enough to fully clear the screen when they move across it. If they're too short, you could end up in a dangerous situation where one side of your windscreen isn't cleaned correctly by a wiper blade because it's too short. 
  • Condition of rubber - ensure none has come away from its holder as this could create problems later down the road.

Check the tire pressure monthly.

Tire pressure is significant for safety, and you should check regularly.

When filling the gas tank, don’t just check the level of your tires—check their pressure as well. You might be surprised by how much difference between one tire and another. Even if you think your car has been running fine, air leaks can cause significant issues in less than a week or two.

Inspect and maintain brakes

Brakes are your car's most critical safety feature and need to be appropriately maintained. If you're not sure how often your brakes should be inspected, give us a call or check your user's manual. 

Check the lights

Lights are important. They let you see and warn other drivers about what you're doing. So when it comes to checking your lights, make sure that:

  • You have all the lights necessary for safe driving (brake lights, turn signals, etc.)
  • All of your current lights work and aren't burned out or dim
  • All of your current lights aren't faded or broken
  • There are no missing or damaged parts

Lights can be changed on your own pretty quickly, but it never hurts to get an expert mechanic involved. 

Change the oil every 3,000-5,000 miles.

To keep your car running smoothly, it's essential to change the oil regularly. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle, and it needs to be changed consistently. Keep an eye on your mileage and check in with your mechanic if you’re worried. Usually, if you visit a shop like ours, the mechanic will tell you when to come in next. 

Have your car aligned once a year or more. 

Aligning the wheels is one of the most essential steps in automotive maintenance because it helps keep the tires from wearing out unevenly or prematurely. When a vehicle's wheels aren't correctly aligned, it can cause undue wear on certain parts of your vehicle over time. This can lead to issues like uneven tire wear or even dangerous steering problems such as pulling or drifting, making driving very difficult for drivers.

Clean your car to protect against rust

A quick wash with a bucket and sponge can be undertaken in 20 minutes, while an all-over shampoo will take around 45 minutes if done thoroughly. 

Replenish fluids such as coolant and wiper fluid

Your vehicle has many fluids besides oil and gasoline keeping it running. Ensure your fluids are always at the proper levels, and check in with your mechanic if you think you’re running low on something. It’s also a good idea to keep extras in your vehicle. 

Come see us at Elk Grove Automotive to give your vehicle the care it deserves. 

We can help with anything necessary to ensure your car is in tip-top shape. Come see us for transmission work, oil changes, tire inspections, and the likes. Please visit us at 9797 Dino Dr., Elk Grove, CA 95624, or you can request an appointment that fits your schedule by clicking here!

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