Yearly Preventative Car Maintenance
One of the most critical preventative maintenance tasks you should perform is an oil change. Regular oil changes keep your engine lubricated, reduce friction, and prevent wear and tear on your engine components. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or every six months, whichever comes first. If you frequently drive in dusty conditions or make short trips, you may need to change your oil more frequently. If you’re using a semi-synthetic oil, it’s recommended you change your oil and filter every 3-3,500 miles and if you’re using full synthetic oil, it’s recommended you change your oil every 6-6,500 miles in harsh conditions.
Fluid Checks and Top-Ups
Your vehicle relies on various fluids to operate, including engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Each of these fluids has a specific purpose, and if any of them run low or become contaminated, it can cause serious damage to your vehicle.
To prevent this from happening, you should check your fluids regularly and top them up as needed. This is a quick and easy task that can be done at home or by a professional mechanic. Depending on use and time, check with your mechanic if a full flush is suggested.
Your car’s battery is essential for starting the engine and powering electrical components. If your battery is weak or dead, you may be stranded and unable to start your car.
To prevent this from happening, you should have your battery checked annually and replace it if necessary. You can also take steps to extend your battery’s lifespan, such as keeping it clean, ensuring it’s secured properly, and not leaving your car’s electrical components on, when the engine is off.
Your car’s tires are essential for maintaining traction on the road and ensuring a safe driving experience. Regular tire checks can help identify potential issues before they become more serious. You should check your tire pressure, tread depth, and overall condition at least once a month. Additionally, you should have your tires rotated and balanced every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to ensure even wear and tear.
Your car’s brakes are essential for stopping and ensuring a safe driving experience. Regular brake maintenance can help identify potential issues before they become more serious. You should have your brakes checked annually and replace your brake pads if necessary. Additionally, you should have your brake fluid flushed every two years to prevent contamination and ensure proper function.
Air Filter Replacement
Your vehicle’s air filter is responsible for keeping debris and contaminants out of your engine’s air intake system. Over time, your air filter can become clogged, reducing airflow to your engine and reducing its efficiency. You should have your air filter checked every oil change and have it replaced if necessary. This is a quick and easy task that can be done at home or by a professional mechanic.
Belt and Hose Checks
Your car’s belts and hoses are essential for keeping various components functioning properly, such as your engine, air conditioning, and power steering. Over time, your belts and hoses can become worn or damaged, leading to reduced performance or even engine failure. For Texas drivers, this can happen faster in the Texas heat and sun than other states.
You should have your belts and hoses checked annually and replace them if necessary. Additionally, you should check your drive belt tensioner and belt alignment regularly to ensure proper function.
Take Care of Your Vehicle
Yearly preventative car maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity of your vehicle and saving you money in the long run. By performing these seven preventative maintenance tasks every year, you can help keep your car running smoothly and avoid costly repairs. Remember, a little maintenance now can save you a lot of money later!
Maintenance is always less expensive than repair!
** Side Note ** All of the above is very important. We also recommend every 2 years or 30,000 miles, (whichever occurs first), you have the following services performed to keep your vehicle in top working order:
- Throttle body cleaned and serviced
- Fuel injectors cleaned and system serviced
- Cabin air filter replaced
- Power steering fluid exchanged and system serviced
- Brake fluid completely flushed and renewed
** 2nd Side Note ** A professional, full service shop will check all of the above 7 maintenance recommendations every time your vehicle is in the shop for an oil change — at no charge!!
Northwest Auto Center is here to help. If you are in the Houston area and in need of maintenance or repairs, call us today at 281–894-8880.