What’s one of the best ways to save money on car ownership? Car maintenance. Taking care of your car with preventive maintenance saves you money and gives you peace of mind. Why? Because you can prevent most roadside emergencies with routine maintenance and regular vehicle inspections.
Here’s what you should know about maintaining your car, truck, minivan or SUV:
- Why Should I Maintain My Car?
- What Car Maintenance Do I Need?
- When Does My Car Need Maintenance?
- Why Choose Auto Lab Over the Dealer for Factory Maintenance?
Why Should I Maintain My Car?
Maintaining your car is like eating a balanced diet and exercising: You want to stay healthy and prevent the onset of future problems.
Here are three examples of how maintaining your car does the same thing:
- Changing the oil extends the life of the engine.
- Rotating the tires results in even tread wear, buying you maximum miles on a set of tires.
- Replacing the timing belt keeps you from being stranded at the side of the road, and depending on your car, prevents costly engine damage.
What Car Maintenance Do I Need?
Car maintenance runs the gamut from oil changes and tire rotations to fuel and air filters to flushing your coolant and transmission fluid. Maintenance needs are different for every vehicle, but here’s a list of common maintenance services:
- Replacing the Air Filter, Fuel Filter or Cabin Air Filter
- Installing a New Timing Belt and Water Pump
- Aligning the Wheels
- Rotating the Tires
- Changing the Spark Plugs
- Flushing the Coolant, Transmission Fluid or Brake Fluid
- Cleaning and Adjusting the Brakes
- Balancing the Wheels (Tires)
- Changing the Differential Fluid
When Does My Car Need Maintenance?
Maintenance schedules vary by vehicle, the way you drive and where you live.
For example, the owner’s manual for your four-wheel drive SUV may recommend a transmission fluid flush every 60,000 miles. But you may need to change the fluid more often if you’re towing heavy loads, driving in constant stop-and-go traffic, or living in an area like Chicago where we have extreme hot and cold temperatures.
At Auto Lab, we generally recommend:
- Changing Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles or 3 Months for Regular Motor Oil or Every 5,000 Miles or 6 Months for Synthetic Oil. At the same time, your auto repair shop should inspect for safety concerns, inspect for fluid leaks, check the tire pressure, make sure the headlights and taillights are working, and top off your fluids.
- Inspecting the Vehicle Every 12,000 to 15,000 Miles or Once A Year. If your auto repair shop does a basic inspection during your oil changes, ask them to do a more thorough inspection at least once per year. This will help identify any immediate or upcoming repair and maintenance needs, such as replacing the brake pads or monitoring a leaky valve cover gasket.
- Planning for Major Service at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 Miles. Most owner’s manuals specify major service every 30,000 miles, and the recommendations increase as the vehicle ages and accumulates more mileage. At 30,000 miles, your car might need only an oil change, tire rotation and air filter. But at 90,000 miles, many vehicles will need fluid flushes, new spark plugs and a new timing belt.
Why Choose Auto Lab Instead of the Dealer for Factory Maintenance?
For starters, we inspect your vehicle to determine what you actually need. We don’t sell you pre-packaged maintenance from a menu board. Many of these maintenance packages cost hundreds of dollars and include only an oil change, tire rotation and several inspections, the latter of which we do as part of our oil change.
In addition, at Auto Lab, you’ll find:
- Competence: Our certified ASE-Master Automotive Technicians are among the best of the best. They are an amazing powerhouse of skill who expertly manage every auto repair or diagnostic challenge we send their way. In fact, some of the local car dealers even ask us to troubleshoot their “problem cars.”
- Peace of Mind: We stand behind all of our repairs with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
- Time Savings: We offer free loaner cars and a free shuttle service.
- Accuracy: The final bill will never be more than what we quoted you.