What's the secret to making your vehicle last? Three words:
Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance There is no such thing as to much maintenance! Most importantly, read the owner's manual to avoid thousands of dollars in repairs.
Listed below are maintenance tips to make sure the engine, transmission and other expensive parts of your vehicle last longer.
1. Check the oil
Maintain the proper amount of oil in the engine. Change the oil & filter at the intervals recommended in the owner's manual.
2. Fight Sludge
There's a big downside to short trips, stop-n-go traffic, and long trips when there is a heavy load on the engine such as pulling a trailer. To avoid sludge (the enemy) follow the owner's manual for oil changes or switch to synthetic oil, which is not petroleum based.
3. Timing Belt Replacement
Your cars engine has either a rubber composite timing belt or a timing chain. It is one of the most important parts of the engine and if damaged can completely destroy your engine.
4. Check Power Steering Fluid
5. Transmission Fluid Replacement
Having the proper amount is critical, because it cools the transmission. The fluid deteriorates over time.
6. Radiator Coolant Flushing
Coolant has rust inhibitors that break down over time. You should check your coolant level occasionally to keep your car from overheating. Some automakers recommend a coolant change every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. AGAIN, check the owner's manual.
7. Top Off Break Fluid
8. Transfer Case Maintenance
This is a very expensive repair when things go wrong. The fluid inside the transfer case on all-wheel & four-wheel drive vehicles needs to be replaced at prescribed intervals. Follow recommendations in the owner's manual.
9. Rotate Your Tires
Tires are expensive, so you want them to last. The owner's manual will say when the tires should be rotated & alignment checked.
10. Have a Clean Engine Air Filter