Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility, so you want to ensure that your car, truck or SUV is in peak operating condition for maximum safety and performance. Drivers can look out for their investments for the long term by spotting some common signs of wear and tear on the inside and outside of an automobile.
Use the car preventive maintenance checklist below to ensure a smooth ride and fewer complications down the road:
1. Prioritize Routine Oil Changes
Your vehicle relies on a clean source of oil for engine lubrication. The life span of oil changes based on grade and variety, but drivers can expect to travel somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 miles before it’s time for an oil change appointment.
Your mechanic should leave you with a window sticker that indicates when you’re due for an oil change, but it’s still wise to watch for signs that you’ve driven too far and require the service as soon as possible. If your dipstick reading appears dirty or there is an unpleasant oil odor inside the cabin, speaking to a professional is the appropriate call.
2. Monitor Tire Wear
Similar to an oil change, rotating vehicle tires every few thousand miles gets you the most out of your installations. Turning the wheel, stopping suddenly and navigating at high speeds deteriorates tread on front and rear tires. Take your vehicle to an auto shop for rotation services to ensure a smooth driving experience.
Unsure if it’s time for new tires? The penny test outlined below makes our car maintenance guide, as you can gauge tire condition at home:
- Grab a penny and ensure Lincoln’s head is oriented upside down.
- Place the penny in the center grooves of your tire.
- If you can see all of Lincoln’s head and hair, you need new tires.
3. Listen to Your Brakes
Braking systems will tell you when they need repair or replacement. From brake pads and calipers to hoses and hydraulic fluid, there are numerous moving parts that bring your car to a complete stop.
If you hear screeching or grinding sounds when braking, take your vehicle to a mechanic for an inspection.
4. Exercise Your Car’s Battery
Car batteries that sit for long periods of time can die prematurely. This process happens even sooner if your vehicle sits in damp or cold environments. Let your car run for a few minutes every month if your investment mostly lives in storage. This small but significant vehicle maintenance tip can prevent you from having to jump-start it.
5. Keep Your Car Clean
Visibility is crucial for your safety behind the wheel. Create a car maintenance checklist for yourself that involves washing the windshield, exterior windows and painted surfaces between seasons. Performing this task takes less than an hour and helps prevent contaminants from entering the engine compartment for consistent performance.
Additionally, applying a fresh coat of wax to outer surfaces every three to four months helps protect your ride from corrosion.
Schedule Routine Car Service and Repairs in Orlando, Florida
Irish Mike’s Total Car Care helps drivers in the Orlando, Florida area with car maintenance tasks and repairs. Our professionals guide you through your options for interior and exterior work while sticking to your budget. We’re a family-owned auto shop you can trust, as we’ve been helping the local community since 1995.
Whether you need an oil change, tire rotation or alignment, we have the tools and resources to keep your vehicle up and running. Schedule your appointment with us online today!