There is nothing quite like starting up your vehicle and hearing that comforting hum of the engine. Well, actually, it isn't as much a hum as it is a loud thumping. But that's okay because you've been hearing it for weeks now and it hasn't been a problem. Sure, there are also a few new icons lighting up on your dashboard, but that just makes it easier to read your fuel gauge at night.
In all seriousness, this is an enormous repair bill just waiting to happen. And the worst part about that bill is that it is completely preventable with just a little regular preventative vehicle maintenance. Sadly, most car owners do not have vehicle maintenance regularly performed on their cars. As a result, most vehicle owners spends thousands of dollars more than they should, over the life of their car, on repair work.
The facts are simple. Regular preventative vehicle maintenance lowers the total cost of all work and maintenance performed on vehicles by reducing the need for emergency repairs and prolonging the life of important parts.
While many car owners may have busy schedules making it difficult for them to be diligent, there are three inexpensive forms of maintenance that won't take a lot of time out your schedule, but will greatly protect your car and your bank account.
If there is any single form of preventative vehicle maintenance that is most important for protecting your car, it is oil changes. Clean oil lubricating the moving parts of your car, most especially your engine, is the first and best line of defense against part failure.
The old wisdom for oil changes is to get one every 3000 miles or every 3 months, whichever comes first. Modern oil and modern vehicles are efficient enough that they can usually go for close to twice both of those numbers before requiring an oil change, but there is very little reason to push the limits. Oil changes are incredibly inexpensive (usually can range from $25-$55) and can be performed in about 30-40 minutes with the multi-point inspection we do on every service visit.
Oil isn't the only fluid that keeps your car purring like a kitten. Other important fluids include your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. Similar to oil, these fluids lose efficiency over time and as they become less efficient, there is a greater risk of damage to your car. And since they protect your transmission, power steering, and engine, respectively, as you might imagine, repairs are incredibly expensive if they fail.
Odds are you have never specifically asked for a fluid flush as a form of vehicle maintenance. Most likely you simply receive one each year when your car was inspected. And that may be fine for younger cars. But, as your car ages, it is usually a good investment to perform fluid flushes a little more regularly to keep those important parts of your car as clean as possible.
Tire rotation helps ensure that your tires wear evenly. Even wear can help extend the life of a tire by thousands of miles, saving you money on tire replacement. Furthermore, even wear greatly decreases the likelihood of a blowout, which protects other parts of your car, like your axles, from damage. Similar to oil changes, tire rotation is inexpensive and very quick, and more than worth your time.