Most vehicles built over the last decade are far more resilient than those built a generation ago. The engines are designed to perform more efficiently in various driving conditions; the transmissions are more effective in changing gear ratios; and myriad components, from the alternator to the catalytic converter, have only improved in design and function. Despite these improvements, routine preventative maintenance remains an important factor to prolonging the life of your vehicle.
With this in mind, we'll provide a checklist of the six items to address on an ongoing basis. We'll explain the reasons for each along the way.
#1 - Check And Change The Brake And Steering Fluids
Although these two fluids are often neglected autel maxisys ms906
, both are just as important as motor oil and transmission fluid. Over time, brake fluid becomes exposed to rust due to moisture in the brake system. If a substantial amount of rust accumulates, it can affect the fluid's ability to engage the calipers when you apply the brakes. Check the fluid level once a month, and replace it every three or four years.
Steering fluid rarely needs to be changed since it does not undergo the same contamination process as brake fluid. However, plan to check its level once a month to identify leaks.
#2 - Inspect The Cooling System
Your vehicle's cooling system is vital to your engine's health. It provides coolant to the engine, helping to maintain its operating temperature autel maxicheck pro price. If coolant fails to reach the assembly, the temperature will rise unchecked. Your car will overheat.
Check the coolant level each month. Replenish it if it is low, and look for evidence of leaks on the ground. If your cooling system has developed a leak, have a mechanic find and fix it.
#3 - Change The Oil
Motor oil helps to control your engine's operating temperature, and lubricates the assembly's moving parts. Over thousands of miles, however, the fluid gradually degrades, becoming oxidized and filled with contaminants. This impairs its ability to do its job.
The fluid should be changed according to the service interval recommended in your owner's manual. Most car manufacturers recommend changing it every 5,000 miles, assuming "normal" driving conditions. If you engage in severe driving, change the oil every 3,000 miles.
#4 - Replace The Filters
Your car has several filters that prevent dirt and other contaminants from entering the engine. These filters slowly become blocked by an accumulation of debris, and thus need to be replaced periodically. Neglecting to do so will prevent your engine from receiving what it needs to run properly.
Change your oil filter when you change your oil; replace the air filter every other year (or every 25,000 miles); and change the fuel filter every 30,000 miles. If you drive in severe conditions, plan to replace the filters more frequently.
#5 - Inspect The Tires
Your tires should be properly inflated, and the treads should be deep enough to provide sufficient traction on the road's surface. Underinflation can lead to uneven treadwear, and set the stage for a blowout; lack of treads can cause hydroplaning across wet surfaces.
Check your owner's manual for the recommended air pressure (i.e. psi) for your tires. Also, if uneven wear has developed on them, have a mechanic diagnose and resolve the root cause (e.g. front-end alignment issues, suspension system problems, etc.). Examine your tires once per month.
#6 - Examine The Hoses and Belts
Hoses under your car's hood transfer coolant throughout the cooling system. They deliver coolant to the engine, where it absorbs heat, and then carry it back to the radiator, where the heat is allowed to dissipate. Over time, the constant exposure to heat and pressure causes the rubber material to deteriorate. Leaks can eventually develop, and allow coolant to escape.
Various belts control the timing of the intake and exhaust valves, and power various components, such as the water pump, alternator, and A/C compressor. The belts are pulled and stretched across pulleys, and exposed to high operating temperatures. This environment slowly causes them to deteriorate. If any of the belts break or loosen, the parts they control will stop working. In some cases (e.g. water pump), this can potentially cause engine damage.
Inspect the hoses and belts closely once a month, and replace them when necessary.
Preventative maintenance plays a critical role in prolonging the life of your vehicle, and particularly the engine. Invest a few minutes each month to check the items described above.
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