Automotive maintenance is important for your vehicle to perform its best and to prevent expensive repairs. The autos on the road today have sensitive electronics and complex systems that can be damaged due to lack of maintenance and cost a significant amount to replace or repair. Your vehicle needs a trained and experienced technician to prevent these expensive repairs through regular maintenance to your car, truck or SUV.
Here are some required maintenance items that will prevent these expensive repairs and keep your vehicle safe and on the road for years to come.
- Oil Change: This regular maintenance prevents engine damage by replacing your oil and oil filter. If not done for extended periods, normal oil loss through consumption can cause your engine to seize and require a replacement (Savings $5000+ for a new engine). If changed too infrequently, sludge will build up with expensive engine damage also resulting up to the same seized engine due to lack of oil supply due to sludge buildup (think clogged arteries).
- Brake Service: Worn brake pads or shoes need replaced before they get too thin and the lining breaks away and causes metal on metal contact when the brakes are applied. Failing to do a simple brake lining replacement before it is too late can send the coast of brake repair soaring by two to four times the simple maintenance cost. Dirty or glazed brakes can cause the same symptoms as worn brake linings but have little expense associated with correcting the issue. How do you know the difference? Bring it in for a brake inspection if you have any symptoms such as vibration, squealing, or grinding noises.
- Belts and Hoses: Timing belts last between 30,000 to 120,000 miles depending on your auto manufacturer. When a timing belt fails it can cause catastrophic damage to your engine in many models. The cost of failing to replace a timing belt can cause a $350 maintenance item to require ten times that amount if the timing belt fails. A broken radiator hose can cause your engine to overheat very rapidly without warning and, of course, leave you stranded. Worse, your engine may experience severe damage which can cost from $1,000 to $10,000 to repair, depending on the vehicle you are driving.
- Tire balancing, Tire Rotation & Wheel Alignment: Tires will wear unevenly if not properly balanced, rotated, and aligned. Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles for maximum tire life. Having your tires maintained properly with proper air pressure can extend their life greatly. (Savings: $200-$1,200 to replace tires)
- Shocks and Struts: Your vehicle should not bounce more than twice going over a speed bump. If it does, your shocks and struts may need to be replaced. This causes extra wear and tear on suspension components causing them to have more stress than necessary. Keeping your shocks and struts in good condition will extend the life of tires and many other suspension components. (Savings: $500-$2000)
- Regularly scheduled manufacturer recommended maintenance: Regular scheduled maintenance based on mileage intervals or dashboard warning light indicators means your vehicle may need to have fluid services and filter replacements. If not done, your engine, brakes, transmission, and many other systems can have excessive failure rates and wear faster than intended. The result can be that the transmission that should last 250,000 miles needs to be repaired or replaced at mileages as low as 85,000 miles. Also remember, if the factory recommended services are not done when recommended the warranty is void. (Savings: $500-$4000)
Wear items are often identified during an oil change or other service through visual examination. Often, there is a warning to the driver such as noise or a change in operation that will alert the driver that there is something wrong and needs attention. Most of these maintenance items cost far the owner far less to tend to when first noticed than if they are ignored and put off until there is a complete failure. The costs associate with complete failure of these items can be extremely high so be sure you do not delay wear maintenance issues once you are aware of them.
Age and mileage maintenance issues are generally recommended by your service professional when they are due. There is generally little prior indication of the need for these services but they are some of the most cost effective services you can perform. Following the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals for these services will ensure that your vehicle stays safe and in good working condition. Failing to follow these services can, and will, result in extremely high repair costs if they are ignored.