How to Maintain Your Vehicle

When it comes to your vehicle, have you ever wondered about the importance of preventive maintenance? If you have, you are not alone. The general perception among vehicle owners is that preventive maintenance is an unnecessary cost. They feel they are spending money to fix problems do not yet exist. This could not be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that preventive maintenance can be a valuable investment. Properly maintaining your vehicle will increase fuel efficiency. It will also help you avoid the higher expenses of emergency repair service, towing charges, and even the inconvenience of a breakdown. Preventive maintenance is the key to dependable vehicles, yet we find that:
  • 38% of vehicles have dirty or low levels of engine oil
  • 54% have low tire pressure
  • 28% have inadequate protection in the cooling system
  • 19% need new belts
  • 16% need cabin air filters
  • 10% have low or bad brake fluid
What happens when situations like this continue? Parts wear out and fail. However, when your vehicle is properly maintained it will last longer, run better and hold its value longer. Scheduling regular maintenance can sometimes be confusing. How do you know what needs to be maintained and when? Here’s some information to help you out… Engine Motor Oil & Oil Filters - Regular oil and filter changes reduce engine wear and prolong the life of your vehicle's engine. Though the manufacturer of your vehicle may recommend differently, the best interval for changing the engine oil and filter is every 3,000 miles. As far as the type of oil and filter that should be used, it's important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Automatic Transmission Maintenance - When was the last time you checked the automatic transmission fluid in your vehicle? This is an often-overlooked area of vehicle maintenance. As a result, it is often the cause of premature transmission failure. When you consider the high cost of replacing a transmission, the cost of periodically changing the fluid and filter is money well spent. Transmission experts say that changing the automatic transmission fluid and filter every 25,000 to 30,000 miles can significantly prolong the life of the transmission. If you have a lot of mileage on your vehicle and have never changed the filter and fluid, it may not be a good idea to have a fluid and filter change performed. Check with us before having this done. Cooling System Maintenance - The coolant performs three very important jobs. It prevents the water/coolant mixture from freezing during cold weather. It also raises the boiling temperature of the water/coolant mixture to prevent overheating during hot weather. Finally, it fights corrosion. When maintaining the cooling system, it's important to check the level of the coolant as well as the strength and condition of the antifreeze. The entire system should be flushed about once every two years. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. Straight water or straight antifreeze should never be used in a vehicle's cooling system. Brake System Maintenance - Brake fluid is another area usually neglected by vehicle owners. Typically, the only time it is changed is when the brakes are re-lined. It is actually a good idea to have the fluid changed more often because the brake fluid absorbs moisture over time. Many brake experts say that changing the fluid every two to three years can greatly prolong the life of the hydraulic components in the brake system and improve safety. Power Steering Fluid - Like brake fluid, power steering fluid is rarely changed. It is recommended that the fluid be replaced if the pump or steering gear has failed and is being replaced. Air Filter - The air filter keeps dirt out of the engine. It should be replaced at least once a year; however, if you do a lot of driving on rural, gravel roads, it’s a good idea to have the filter changed every few months. Fuel Filter - For reliable engine operation and fuel system performance, a clean fuel supply is absolutely essential. The fuel filter is the fuel system's primary line of defense against dirt, debris and small particles of rust that flake off the inside of the fuel tank. Most manufacturers suggest the fuel filter be replaced every 30,000 miles. To save on fuel costs and expensive repair bills, it's important to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. The best way to do that is to bring it to Trojan Auto Care in Troy, Ohio.
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