Category: Maintenance Schedules

car care tips

Basic Car Care For Non-Mechanics

Emergency SituationsMaintenance Schedules

It takes years to learn and understand how the mechanical systems function and integrate on all the different makes and models out there today.  Personally I learn on average 3 new things a day – things change that quick.  With all the new models and functionality coming out with each new release; it a full time job keeping up.

As a consumer, it just makes sense to hire a solid mechanic to service your vehicle at regular intervals. With that in mind it’s important you understand some basics of your car, SUV, or truck, but it’s even more important you get on a schedule for maintenance.

Here’s my quick thoughts on the subject…

Read The Manual

Sure it’s not Shakespeare, but an understanding of your vehicle’s manual is a basic step everyone should take to understand how their car works.  I don’t espouse reading it all, just understand the maitenance required, and how the manual is organized for future reference.  Keep it in the glove box at all times!

If you a colored light comes on the dash, you don’t have to guess, you can just read the manual.

And don’t worry if you lost the car’s manual, there’s probably one online that you can get for free.

Use Your Senses

Your senses can help you detect problems your vehicle. Do you smell something unusual like gas? Maybe there’s a leak. Do you hear an unusual popping sound? Being able to find problems early on helps you reduce your repair and maintenance bills.

Regular Maintenance And Tune-ups

Even if your car is new, there is still a need to have it checked regularly. This ensures that a problem isn’t starting. If there is any problem, it would be easier to remedy during the initial stages.

Find A Local Mechanic

Even if you have a goal of maintaining and customizing your own vehicle, you still need to find a local mechanic you trust.

You can come to them whenever you can’t repair the car problem on your own. You can also learn a thing or two from them as they maintain or repair your vehicle.

Practice Changing Your Tires

You’ll never know when you’re going to get a flat tire and it will really help if you already know what to do in case that happens. Practice changing your tire at home. Make sure you always have the tools you need in your vehicle.

Broken Down Car On Highway

The 4 Most Common Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

Maintenance Schedules

If your like most people, your car is an integral part of your lives.  Basic things, like getting to their workplace on time and shuttling to the kids to their school, just to name a few.

Since we rely so heavily on our vehicles for daily living, your car not starting is, well…a non-starter!

I been blessed to be doing what I love for many years now, and while there may be a hundred reasons why your car won’t start, there are a few that bubble up to the top as the most common.

So while I may just write an article on the wackiest reasons for a dead car, in this week’s post, I’ll aim to highlight these most common of reasons…

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Basic Guide To Oil Change

Car Diy RepairsMaintenance Schedules

Oil is an essential part of car maintenance. It needs to be regularly checked and changed after some time or driving a particular number of kilometers. Oil change, although not very difficult to do, does require some basic skills and high level of carefulness. You can do that at home in a DIY style but that is not recommended as one loose bolt can result in some big problems.

There are many things to consider when changing the engine oil. In this article we will guide you through them….

Keep reading

Car Maintenance Schedules

Let’s talk Car Maintenance Schedules

Maintenance Schedules

As a traveling mechanic in the Michigan for many years, I’ve seen my fair share of issues with cars and trucks that could have been easily prevented if the owner would have simply checked their oil on a regular basis.  Granted, for many, assessing an automobile’s innards is akin operating on a human patient with no medical training.  But take heart, even though computerized systems in cars are becoming increasingly complex, many of the parts in today’s cars have remained largely unchanged over the years.  Parts like Engine Air Filters are still used and still need to be replaced on a regular schedule – and no – there won’t be a day any time soon where a car’s engine oil doesn’t need to be changed periodically.

While every car is different (see disclaimer below), in this article we’ll take a generalized view on recommendations for Car Maintenance Schedules in today’s modern gas powered vehicles.

NOTE:  All recommended intervals are based on common intervals for gas powered cars and trucks.  Depending on the car or manufacturer, some maintenance items listed not required at all.  Always refer to your Car’s Owner’s Manual for specific manufacturer’s recommendations.

For the purpose of organization, let’s first divvy up maintenance intervals by Short-Term (under 10K Miles), Mid-Term (10K – 50K) and Long-Term (50K+) schedules.  The reason – other than being pedantic?  Cost.  Most longer term scheduled maintenance will cost more.  Many customers put these schedules off due to the pricetag, so with human-nature in mind – it’s always a good idea to plan for these well into the future, especially for folks (like me) that do a monthly budget.

Also, if you see a *Road Salt Use?* tag, this indicates you should reduce the inspection time if you live in a region where road salt is used regularly in the winter time.

Short Term Maintenance (0 – 10,000 Miles)

  • Tire Rotation (Every 7,500 Miles)
  • Oil (Every 5,000 – 10,000 Miles)

Mid Term Maintenance (10,000 – 50,000 Miles)

  • Coolant Flush (Every 24,000 to 36,000 Miles)
  • Cabin Air Filter (Change every 25,000 – 35,000 Miles)
  • Engine Air Filter (Change every 30,000 – 45,000 Miles)
  • Brakes – Pads (Change40,000 to 50,000 Miles)*Road Salt Use? Reduce by 20%*
  • Brake – Rotors (Resurface or Replace) (Every 40,000 to 50,000 Miles)*Road Salt Use? Reduce by 20%*
  • Fuel Filter (Change every 30,000 – 45,000 Miles)*Road Salt Use? Reduce by 20%*

Long Term Maintenance (50,000 – 100,000+ Miles)

  • Undercarriage Inspection (Check Every 50,000 Miles)*Only perform if road salt used in winter*
  • Wiring Check (Full Check Every 60,000 Miles)*Road Salt Use? Reduce by 30%*
  • Battery Contacts and Terminals (Every 60,0000 Miles) *Road Salt Use? Reduce by 30%*
  • Hose Check (Full Check Every 60,000 Miles)*Road Salt Use? Reduce by 30%*
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid (Change every 60,000 – 100,000 Miles)
  • Belts – V or Serpentine (Replace after 60,000 – 100,000 Miles)
  • Belts – Timing (Replace after 60,000 – 100,000 Miles)*Road Salt Use? Reduce by 30%*
  • Spark Plugs (Every 70,000 – 90,000 Miles)
  • Chain – Timing (NA)
    • Timing chains do not need to be replaced. Check manual to confirm if your vehicle uses a timing belt or chain
  • Power Steering Fluid (NA)
    • Power steering is not generally recommended for flush. Check manual to confirm any maintenance interval for power steering fluids

More to follow…

I’ll be following up this list with some more details on each individual line item, but hopefully this give you a baseline for setting a maintenance schedule for your own vehicle.

Thanks and drive safe!

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