Today we have a few car maintenance tips that may help you. Whether you own a brand new car or a used car, it’s important to perform routine maintenance checks to keep your car running properly. We contacted industry experts, Sports and Imports and Aero Motors, for preventative car maintenance tips every car owner should know. Jimmy Hill, Sports and Imports Vice President with over 30 years of experience, and Joe Eikenberg, Aero Motors President with over 40 years of experience, gave us the inside scoop on essential car maintenance tips that will prolong the life of your vehicle. See what they recommend below:
- Oil Changes- The most important measure you can take to extend the life of your vehicle is to get regular oil changes. Jimmy Hill recommends getting an oil change every 4,500-5,000 miles for cars with less than 100,000 miles, and every 3,000-3,500 miles for cars with more than 100,000 miles. Contaminated oil, AKA old oil, can cause issues with your motor and transmission, which in turn can lead to extremely expensive repairs, or, even the purchase of a new car.
- Engine Belts- Every 40,000-50,000 miles it is important to open your hood and check for dry-rotted or cracked engine belts. It’s a good rule of thumb to replace engine belts every 80,000 miles to prevent problems from occurring.
- Transmission Flush– To keep your car running smoothly, Jimmy Hill recommends getting your transmission flushed every 50,000-60,000 miles, depending on the make and model of your car; but make sure to consult your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s proper maintenance schedule. A transmission flush will remove all grime and sludge in your transmission, prolonging your transmission’s life and improving its performance.
- Air Filters– Every 30,000 to 40,000 miles it is important to check and replace your car’s air filters. Most cars have two; one for the engine and one for the cabin. Air filters only cost between $10-$15, and replacing them routinely will greatly improve your car’s air flow and gas mileage.
- Hoses– Check all hoses connecting to the radiator and air hoses for cracks, soft mushy spots, fraying near the connection points, and any collapsed sections. Specifically pay attention to the upper radiator hose since this hose fails more often than others. A general rule of thumb is to replace all hoses every four years or when one breaks.
- Battery- The average lifespan of a car battery is generally four years, so begin to consider replacing your battery when it’s three-years-old. Prior to a car battery dying, there are typically no signs of potential failure, which makes replacing it ahead of time even more important.
- Tires– Regularly checking your tire pressure can help prevent flat tires, increase the longevity of your tires, and improve your car’s gas mileage. Your car’s proper air pressure amount can be found on the inside of the driver’s door. Rotating your tires every third oil change can extend the life of your tires as well.
- Fluids- Regularly check on your car’s engine, transmission, radiator/cooling system, brakes, battery, and power steering fluids in order to extend the life of your vehicle. When you get an oil change, make sure all fluids are topped off. Some dealerships, like Aero Motors, located in Essex, MD, even offer a Courtesy Safety Inspection with an oil change, where they check everything from fluid levels to tire wear and more. For a full list of what fluids to check at what time, consult your vehicle’s owner manual.
- Brakes- Keep your wheels and breaking system clean to keep your brakes operating smoothly. You can do this by checking your brake fluid, which should NOT be milky in color. If it is, you need to change the brake fluid. When driving, try not to “ride” your breaks. Slowing down with moderate pressure will prevent your breaks from overheating and extend their life.
Performing regular maintenance checks on your vehicle can drastically extend its life. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for its specific recommended maintenance schedule, or click here for maintenance schedules for any make and model. If you are in need of assistance with your vehicle or are in the market to purchase a new or used car, we can help! Mariner Finance is here for your financing needs! Simply call your local Mariner Finance branch today to get started!
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