Caring for your car is not the easiest task. Though it certainly takes more than a little effort, it’s important to stay up to date on your car’s maintenance so that your vehicle stays in the best shape possible, and so you can catch problems before they become a huge issue! While some parts of your vehicle should be checked regularly, other parts, fortunately, can be checked less often.
Unless you regularly drive in unusually severe conditions (like extreme weather, mountainous roads, salt, etc.), you’re probably not thinking of visiting a professional auto shop very often. But to keep your vehicle in good condition, it’s important to follow a general schedule of maintenance to make sure everything is okay. Here’s a general vehicle maintenance schedule to follow:
Every 3 Months/3,000 Miles
- Fluids. There are a lot of “fluids” in your car that you should check more often than others, such as your oil levels, washer fluid, coolant, and brake fluids. Newer vehicles may not need to have these checked as often, but older vehicles should be inspected for fluid levels more often. If anything looks low, you should get them refilled to ensure safe driving.
- Tire Pressure. Tire pressure is relatively easy to check on and fix yourself, but you should take note of the pressure in each tire to make sure you’re not at risk for a flat tire anytime soon.
- Belts. Serpentine belts should be inspected for fraying, cracks, and glazing, and replaced as necessary. If you have a timing belt, there’s no way to inspect it, but instead should be changed on a regular schedule.
- Cleanliness. Check on the interior and exterior cleanliness of your car and make sure it’s clear of dirt and debris. Though this will certainly help with the aesthetic qualities of your vehicle, it will also help with the safety and condition in the long term.
Every 6 Months/5,000 Miles
- Oil. Most vehicles will need to have their oil/oil filter changed every 6 months or so. This is one of the most important maintenance checks you can do for your vehicle, so don’t skip out on this!
- Tires. If you can, try to rotate your tires to help maximize their life span.
- Battery. Fluid can leak onto the top of your battery’s case, which could severely impact the performance of the battery. Check for these issues to make sure there’s no fluid in your battery, as well as cables.
- Lights. You might think that you’d easily notice when lights stop working, but some are less noticeable than others. Take a walk around your vehicle just to ensure your lights are working well.
- Oil/Filter. Many vehicles use synthetic oil, which doesn’t need to be changed as often as normal oil. Synthetic oil and filters should be changed once per year. Make sure you check your vehicle manual so you know what kind of oil your vehicle uses.
- Tires. Try to have your tires changed every year, especially if you live in an area with severe weather conditions. Snow and freezing weather will be bad for the tread patterns on your tires, which help with grip and traction while you’re driving.
- Brakes. Brakes are probably the most important (and most used!) safety feature on your vehicle. Check your brake pads and fluid levels on all 4 pads.
Does your vehicle need maintenance or inspection? Trust Bland Street Auto to get the job done! We offer a variety of maintenance services, both scheduled and emergency, so your vehicle can always get the service it needs. We also have a wide variety of inventory at our tire center so you can find exactly what you need. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call at 304-327-5025. We look forward to keeping you on the road!