Providing you a simple to use guide for the general maintenance of your vehicle. Your vehicle’s owners manual is always the manufacturer’s recommendation. We’ve provided a few answers to the question “Why?” When in doubt, you can always give us a call for further assistance 706-965-8697.
BASIC CAR MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
3 MONTHS or 3,000 MILES – scheduled automotive maintenance in Ringgold, GA
The fluids in older vehicles should probably be checked more frequently, but a general consensus is to check after 3 months or 3,000 miles. These are simple checks that will only take a few minutes.
Engine oil – The oil level should measure between the low and full line on the dipstick. Newer vehicles rarely burn oil off, but you may see a drop in older vehicles. If your oil light turns on at any time, check the level immediately and top off the oil. It’s a very costly mistake to run your engine without enough oil.
Windshield washer fluid – Especially if you live in dusty areas and farm country, you’ll want to keep an eye on this level. You will use far more fluid to clear your windshield and you don’t want to be stuck without being able to see.
Coolant – This level needs to be checked when the engine is cool and off. Without enough coolant, your engine will overheat.
Brake fluid level – The level in the reservoir needs to be between low and full. Brake fluid doesn’t change much, but it’s essential for your braking system to function. If it’s low, you should bring your vehicle in to a professional as soon as possible.
Transmission fluid – This is fluid that should typically be monitored by a professional.
Power steering fluid – Another fluid that should not change much, but should be checked regularly.
For further details, check your owner’s manual or give us a call.
Many new cars have tire pressure management systems that monitor your tires. If not, it’s a good idea to check them regularly, especially between seasons as the temperature changes affect the air pressure. Low pressure will impact how your vehicle handles on the road and it will cause uneven wear on your tires.
Be aware! Check hoses when the engine is cool, as they may become too hot to touch. Check for leaking fluids, or bulges in the rubber. Check to make sure that the clamps are secure and that the material is flexible and not cracking.
Serpentine belts, or drive belts, should not be frayed or cracked.
6 MONTHS or 5,000 MILES – scheduled automotive maintenance in Ringgold, GA
With very few exceptions, most vehicles require an oil change every 5,000 miles. It’s the most vital maintenance for the care and longevity of your engine. Again, without oil, your engine could seize … and replacing it is costly. The filter is also necessary as it removes impurities in the oil before getting to your engine. Replace the filter with the oil.
Rotating your tires maximizes the longevity of the tires.
Have you ever been pulled over for a busted tail light? Or a blinker with a burnt out bulb? Dumb. Your owner’s manual will show you how to replace a bulb so you don’t get a ticket. Its a cheap and easy fix that prevents the time and embarrassment .
This may or may not be serviceable on your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual.
Batteries that show signs of corrosion or leaking fluid around the contact points will reduce performance. It’s an easy process to clean the corrosion. Excessive leaking however, may require a replacement battery.
If you live in a dusty area, or farm area, it is best to check the engine air filter and the cabin filter regularly. These are very simple to replace, or can be done quickly at any oil change shop.
When your blades sweep the rain off the windshield, do they leave streaks? Patches of water that wasn’t cleared away? It’s time to replace them. These are essential for seeing the road in rain, snow, sleet, and dusty conditions.
12 MONTHS or 10,000 MILES – scheduled automotive maintenance in Ringgold, GA
Many newer vehicles use synthetic oil, which lasts longer than conventional oil. The 12-month/10,000-mile interval is typical. Some owner’s manuals suggest 7,500 miles. Recognize synthetic oil is more expensive, but it does last much longer than conventional oil.
A vehicle in poor alignment can cause damage to suspension and cause uneven wear on tires. If your car pulls to one direction or fades when you aren’t gripping the steering wheel, you should have the alignment checked by a professional.
Brake problems rarely occur out of the blue. You will hear a squeal or grinding sound while slowing down. Your car may pull to one direction as you slow to a stop light. If this happens, its time to have your brakes checked by a professional that can inspect the brake pads, discs and rotors.
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