- Engine oil. Depending upon your year, make and model of vehicle and the type of oil used, having your oil changed roughly every 5,000 – 10,000 miles or every six months is critical to ensuring your car lasts. Without frequent oil changes, you lose fuel efficiency and ultimately your car can seize up, leaving you with a repair bill much higher than a regular oil change would have cost.
- Power steering fluid. This should be checked with the same frequency as your oil changes, and changed when necessary.
- Transmission fluid. Frequency of change depends on your vehicle type, but the average is between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. If you notice that your car’s shifting is jumpy, this might be indication you’re overdue.
- Timing belt. Time frames for replacement of your timing belt greatly varies from one vehicle type to another, but your timing belt should be checked every 10,000 miles.
- Brakes. When it comes to checking your brakes, there are actually two schedules that you should keep. One for your brake fluid, the other for your brake pads. Brake fluid should be checked on a regular three-to-six month basis – every time you get your oil changed, for example. Your brake pads, which can take quite a long time to wear out, should be checked once every six months or so.
- Tires. Realistically, you should eyeball your tires every time you climb into your car to go anywhere. Some people ignore the condition of their tires and find themselves stranded by the side of the road with a flat tire they might have identified ahead of time if they’d only given their tires a casual glance. As a rule, you should check your tire pressure once per month. To ensure your tires last as long as they were intended to, have them rotated every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Now that you have a basic guideline for when to take your vehicle in for scheduled maintenance, the next step is to make the time to get your car in. Just remember, failing to take care of your car is a sure-fire way to wasting money on expensive repairs. If you want to keep it humming along in good shape, maintenance is the key. Need to find a good mechanic, start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button.