Unless you are someone who likes to get a new car or truck every few years, you want your vehicle to be reliable for as many years as possible. You feel a sense of pride when you see the odometer roll over to 100,000 miles. Some of us might even get up to 200,000, 300,000 or more!
To keep a vehicle running well for as long as possible, it takes special care and maintenance. Simard Automotive is here to highlight 10 ways to keep your car, truck, SUV or work vehicle healthy for many years and miles to come.
1. Regular Oil Changes
Follow the manufacturer's recommendation for getting your oil changed. Some older cars may need it done every 3,000 miles or so, while certain newer vehicles may only need oil changes every 10,000 miles. Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle and it helps keep the engine running right, so keep getting those oil changes as needed.
2. Transmission Service
If the engine is the heart of the vehicle, the transmission is its brain. If the transmission fails, the car won't move at all. Replacing or rebuilding a severely damaged transmission isn't cheap, so you want to get preventative maintenance in the form of standard transmission services. You don't need to change your transmission fluid, filter and pan gasket as often as your oil, but it should be done periodically to help keep your transmission working smoothly.
3. Fuel System Maintenance
Your fuel system also requires periodic maintenance and care. The fuel filter should be replaced periodically. The fuel pump and fuel lines require maintenance, repairs and cleaning to make sure your engine is always getting the necessary fuel supply for proper internal combustion.
4. Replace Your Engine Air Filter
Another key part of internal combustion is the oxygen that mixes with the fuel to burn efficiently. Your air filter helps keep out dirt, debris, grease and other contaminants to provide a clean flow of air to the engine. If it is getting too dirty or is starting to show signs of damage, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
5. Keep Rotating Those Tires
Though your tires won't impact the performance of any major automotive systems other than maybe the brakes, you want to keep rotating them at regular intervals (usually every 5,000-6,000 miles) to even out the tread wear and make each set of tires last longer. If you are driving your car for hundreds of thousands of miles, you will be replacing the tires multiple times. Still, you want each set of tires to give you as much life as they can.
6. Brake System Service
Speaking of brakes, you will want to get your brake system serviced on a regular basis. Replace the brake pads as needed and monitor the health of the brake rotors, fluid and mechanical components for optimal brake system performance.
7. Fluid Checks
Keep monitoring all of your vehicle's fluids (radiator coolant, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and air conditioner coolant). If you notice a leak or any of the fluids are burnt, dirty or discolored, you will want to get your vehicle looked at by a professional mechanic to avoid major system breakdowns.
8. Timing Belt Replacement
The timing belt (or timing chain) connects the camshaft to the crankshaft and performs a vital function in engine timing. It can wear out, weaken, slip or become damaged over time, so check it regularly and replace it as needed.
9. Other Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs
There are many other vehicle maintenance needs that you will need over time. Wheel alignment, suspension system repairs, drivetrain maintenance, exhaust system repairs, cooling system maintenance and other services should be performed as required by someone who knows what they are doing. If repairs are needed, it's usually best to take care of them early before they develop into major automotive problems.
10. Find a Trustworthy Auto Shop
It helps to have an auto shop you know you can trust to keep your vehicle running its best for as long as you own it. A good automotive center will keep your maintenance on schedule and let you know exactly when any specific services need to be completed.
In the Fairbanks area, the shop to turn to is Simard Automotive. We offer the Arctic Maintenance Schedule and our exclusive Million Mile Warranty program, which are designed to extend the lifespan and overall performance of vehicles through preventative maintenance. To learn more about these maintenance plans, call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave. - Airport Shop) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd. - Chevron Shop). You can also book your service appointment online.