Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to worry about car services and maintenance?
Of course, the best way to do this is to simply not have a car.
But if that’s not an option, then the reality is you’re going to have to deal with taking care of it.
More than just keeping it safe in a cozy carport, it’s important to stay out ahead of problems with preventative maintenance.
It could be the difference between shelling out a little cash now, and costly repairs down the road.
The following list of car services will ensure your car keeps running while giving you some peace of mind.
Car Services For Optimal Performance
1. Oil Change
This one should go without saying.
All of the moving parts of your engine need to be properly lubricated. If they’re not, the friction of those moving parts rubbing together could cause your engine to overheat.
Changing your oil regularly not only keeps the engine running smoothly, but the oil also pulls debris and contaminants away from the engine, protecting it from harm.
2. Regularly Replace Timing Belts
How do you know when your timing belt is worn out and needs to be replaced?
When it breaks.
And you don’t want to wait for that to happen because if it does break, it could cause pistons to collide with open valves and you’ve got a nasty engine repair on your hands.
Timing belts should be replaced at intervals ranging anywhere from 30,000 to 105,000 miles. It depends on your model. Also, some cars do not have timing belts, while others have multiple belts.
Check your owner’s manual for information on when your vehicle might need timing belt replacement.
3. Replace Your Automatic Transmission Fluid
Although some newer models have transmissions that are sealed for life, most automatic transmissions should get fluid changes every 30,000 miles or so.
Over time, transmission fluid is subjected to extreme heat and stress. This causes it to lose some of its original qualities and become contaminated with small metal fragments.
So if you have an automatic transmission, this relatively inexpensive service could save you costly transmission repairs in the future.
4. Tire Rotation
It’s important to rotate your tires regularly.
It might seem like all four of your tires are getting equal wear, but that’s just not the case. And replacing one because it’s more worn-out than the others isn’t cost-effective.
Switching the position of the tires allows them to wear more evenly – increasing their longevity.
5. Check Your Brake Fluid and Pads
A typical brake job usually involves machining your rotors/discs flat, replacing your worn pads, re-greasing your sliders, and bleeding your brakes.
Bleeding the breaks is important because as brake fluid ages, it loses its original properties. That means it doesn’t disperse heat as well. In extreme conditions, this could cause it to boil.
Brake pads aren’t much different. They wear down and then other components of your brakes experience damage.
Another thing to consider is whether your brake pads are OEM or outsourced. For example, if you drive a Japanese vehicle, see if you can get Akebono, Nissin, and Sumitomo brake pads for your Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, respectively. You can learn more here.
6. Watch Your Temperature
Engines today are tightly controlled to be far lower in emissions. That makes them more sensitive to operating temperature.
Have your car’s thermostat checked to be sure that it still opens and closes at the right temperature. And if there are any doubts about this, have it replaced. It’s fairly inexpensive to do so.
7. Over-All Inspections
Instead of just going in for one of the above car services, you should consider an inspection. Minor problems found during an inspection are fixed before they become more significant issues.
You’ll also become aware of any underlying issues you didn’t know were there.
Consider the following:
If your car seems to be running well and/or your budget is tight, this is the place to start.
A safety service includes changing your oil, checking under your hood, ensuring liquids are topped off, examining belts and hoses and testing the battery. They’ll also check the charging system and cooling system.
Given no other problems arise, this test will keep you in the running for about a year.
This inspection will run you a bit more.
Generally speaking, a major service will cover everything in the safety service. But they will also do the following:
- Check the engine management system
- Run a diagnostic scan and fault code analysis
- Replace the air filter, fuel filter, and spark plugs
Along with the extra services, the major service will give you two years of smooth sailing over the safety service.
A premium service is going to last you even longer – three years.
Think of it as the major service upgrade.
You’ll still get all of the car services in the major service, but there will be two additions.
First, as we mentioned above, you’ll get the brake fluid checked. Even if it feels like everything is working okay with your brakes, it’s possible that those tiny particles of rust are wearing away at your vehicle’s parts.
The other benefit of a premium service is the replacement of your coolant.
You’ve probably already seen the pattern here.
The ultimate service will give you up to four years of top-notch performance from your car. It includes everything from the first three services, but adds the following:
- Fuel injector flush
- Throttle body clean
- Engine decarbonization
- Fuel tank additive.
Of course, this is also the most expensive service. But it’s preventative maintenance for which you pay ahead of time so that you don’t have to pay more later.
And your car will run great!
It’s important to keep in mind though that with any of these car services, you’ll still want to schedule regular oil changes, tire rotations, and other needed maintenance.
Keep Your Car in Tip-Top Shape
We hope this article helped you determine which car services will suit you best.
Keep checking back with us for more informational articles and tips. And if you’re an auto mechanic who’s looking to advertise your services for free, contact us today.