Oil change. Tire rotation. Battery check. These are phrases every vehicle owner knows even if they’ve yet to take their car, truck or SUV in for service. Many of us are great about getting on a regular schedule of automotive maintenance. Others are less so, opting instead to postpone regular checkups until, eventually, disaster strikes.
Butler’s service managers say regular service work almost guarantees you’ll double the life of your car. Ignore service work and the little things can quickly become the big things. Butler Ford’s Richard Bennet and Butler Acura’s Joe Butterfield list six items that should be checked religiously in order to avoid costly, and potentially dangerous, mishaps.
Recommendations vary according to battery but a good rule of thumb is to replace yours every 3-5 years. Failing to do so could, literally, leave you stranded.
Wear depends on your driving habits, weather, and road surface as well as mileage but it’s generally accepted that tires should be swapped out for new ones every 40,000 miles. And don’t forget rotation every 5,000-10,000 miles to keep the tire tread wearing evenly. Rotation and alignment can help prevent uneven wear which can result in your tires losing their ability to grip the road or channel water. Tire failure can lead to blowouts or hydroplaning.
- Air and fuel filters
You know how hard it is to breathe in smog? That’s what your engine feels when its air/fuel filters are clogged. Replacing them on a regular basis helps keep the engine running at its efficient best, which keeps your vehicle happy and on the road longer. Internal combustion engines mix air and fuel. If either gets dirty, your engine has to operate on sludge. Air filters can be changed out every 3,000 miles; fuel filters every 15,000 miles. If either filter is clogged your engine may stall or fail to start altogether.
- Oil changes
Depending on the theory you subscribe to, your best bet is to change the oil every 3,000-8,000 miles. Industry standards vary with some experts saying more often is better and others arguing any sooner than every 7,800 miles is overkill. Dirty oil can lead to the buildup of sludge which, gone unheeded long enough will kill your engine. And be sure to CHECK your oil on a regular basis to make sure your level is where it should be. Low or no oil can lead to engine seizure.
You know you need them and you know why. But when brakes start to fail some owners let the problem go on far too long. When they start to squeal, it’s time to replace them. Don’t wait until you hear metal grinding on metal. Not only is it dangerous but it can get expensive to fix.
As always, these are guidelines. Before getting on any kind of regular maintenance schedule, consult your owner’s manual or give us a call. Our goal is to keep you safely on the road as long as possible!