Buying a vehicle is always an exciting experience. In order to make that excitement last, it’s important to pay attention to and honor all maintenance recommendations and stick to a regular maintenance schedule. While there are many things you can do to maximize your vehicle’s lifespan—including defensive driving and proper tire inflation—some tasks are best left to the professionals.
General Service Schedule
Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well - today and down the road - is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday auto basics. A recent survey by the Car Care Council found:
- 25% had low or dirty engine oil.
- 13% had low or contaminated brake fluid.
- 18% had dirty air filters.
- 17% had inadequate cooling protection or low coolant levels.
- 16% needed new windshield wiper and 27% had low or contaminated washer fluid.
- 18% needed new belts.
Overall, 84% of vehicles were in need of at least one service or repair. A regular service schedule can help keep your car running it’s best. Check out the infographic for things that should be checked regularly on your vehicle. For your convenience, you can schedule a service visit at one of our 4 Oak Motors Service Locations if you need service completed.
Fluid and Filter Changes
Your vehicle relies on several fluids and filters to operate safely and efficiently. To maximize your vehicle’s performance, you should keep a maintenance schedule that shows when your vehicle needs an oil change, a new oil filter, new spark plugs, a new cabin filter, and other fluids or components. The technicians at Oak Motors can take care of all of these maintenance needs and identify others during a routine service appointment.
Wheel, Tire, and Alignment Service
Since your tires are the only part of the car that actually touches the ground, they’re arguably the most important. Your tires will suffer a certain pattern of wear over time, and need to be rotated once every 7,500 miles or so. If your vehicle drifts off to one side or rides uncomfortably, you’ll need wheel, alignment, or suspension service, performed by the expert technicians at Oak Motors.
Having properly inflated tires maintains good gas mileage and extends the life of your tires. Tire pressure should be regularly checked because tires naturally lose air over time. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will list what the vehicle’s tire pressure should be. Use a pressure gauge to check tire pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch (psi).
The treads are the part of the tire that contact the road. Good treads provide good grip and traction between the car and the road. The tread wears down the more a car is driven. The more the tread is worn, the flatter and smoother the tires become. This means that if it is snowing outside and the treads on your car are worn, the car would slide and not be easy to control.
To test and see if the treads on your car are good, take a penny and place it in the grooves of the tire. If the tire does not cover Lincoln’s head, then your car has less than 2/32″ of tread, which is below the legal minimum.
A tire rotation is where the tires that are in the front of the car are swapped with the ones in the rear. Tire rotations help maintain even wear on the treads. Also, it helps improve gas mileage, provide a smoother ride, and prolongs your vehicle’s suspension components by reducing vibrations. It is recommended that the tires are rotated when you take your car in for an oil change, however, make sure to read your vehicle’s owner manual to see what is suggested.
Check Engine Light
Even if you keep all of your regular maintenance, it is possible for your Check Engine light to come on unexpectedly. It can be pretty disturbing for motorists when that light comes on. If you wonder just how urgent it is, generally speaking it is not critical like a temperature or oil pressure light. When one of those lights comes on it means STOP NOW! However, if your Check Engine light flashes on and off it is more urgent and you need to get it checked as soon as possible to prevent damage to your vehicle.
If your Check Engine light turns on, you should schedule a service appointment at one of our Indianapolis or Anderson stores to determine why the light came on. Your friendly Oak Motors service specialist has special diagnostic equipment that will retrieve the trouble code stored in the onboard computer and help determine what is wrong. From there, we can service it and get you back on the road!Categories: Vehicle Maintenance