Routine Vehicle Maintenance

ROUTINE VEHICLE MAINTENANCE taken throughout your vehicle's lifetime can save you headaches and a lot of money in the long run. Here's how to get the most out of your car.

FOLLOW THE VEHICLE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE in your owners manual. Many people don't, and this is where a few hundred dollars worth of PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE each year can save you thousands in repairs. Your owners manual details what you should do and when, but if you don't have the owners manual, your repair shop should have a computer that could print out the maintenance schedule with the recommended services. They also should be able to keep a history and track future services for your vehicle and send you reminders for routine maintanence. You should buget $500 to $1000 a year or more depending on the type of vehicle and the age. (30/60/90,000 Mile service are the most expensive, this is usually when the most service is needed).

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

WITH EVERY OIL CHANGE, check all the fluids, belts, hoses, air filter, tire pressure and tires for wear. This service should be inculded with your oil change. Any signs of problems may need further inspection and diagnoses, which may inculde an extra charge. If you use one of the chain oil-change places, and are in and out in 10 minutes you are not getting a full service oil change, something may have been over looked. A worn out fan belt will leave you stranded and could cause more damage, which means a bigger repair bill. Have the oil checked when filling your gas tank. You don't have to do this every single fill-up.


FIND A GOOD MECHANIC. You need to trust him, if you don't understand what is wrong with your vehicle, have him explain it and if possible show you what is wrong. Not everyone understands how a car works, its up to the mechanic to help you understand what if wrong and why it needs to be repaired. If he recommendeds a repiar or service don't put it off for to long get it fix as soon as possible. (If it is a safety issue get it fixed).


KEEP IT CLEAN. Wash and wax the exterior. Keep the inside clean, vacuum and throw out the trash. Most cars today have a cabin air filter, this filters the air coming into the car, have it changed every year to prevent mold and meldew.


KNOW WHEN ITS TIME FOR A NEW CAR. Consumer Reports says you should replace the vehicle when the cost of repair exceeds its market valve. If one repair follows another, maybe its better to replace it, but it takes a lot of repairs to outweigh the cost of car payments.

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE


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