Southern Maryland Auto Maintenance Guide
ATTENTION SOUTHERN MARYLAND Auto Maintenance Guide – What You Should Know, And Other’s May Not Tell You
Maintaining your vehicle is not just important to keep it running smoothly and efficiently but vital to ensure it remains in a safe driving condition. When it comes to auto maintenance, it is definitely a case of prevention is better than cure; regular checks can save not only your life but your bank balance too.
Here follow some pointers to keeping your vehicle in excellent working order.
- A good place to start is by keeping a record of your vehicle’s mileage, and also referring to your owner manual which will give you information as to the lifespan of key components.
- Put aside some time each month to take a look under the hood and check that all looks in good working order. And have a family member or friend assist you with testing all the lights to make sure they’re working correctly. Also test your vehicle’s horn.
- Check the braking system periodically. Keep the brake fluid topped up and change as per your owner manual, and replace the brake pads prior to them reaching the minimum thickness.
- Keep an eye on your tires and replace when worn or the tread depth is no longer tenable.
- Make sure your spare tire is inflated and in good condition.
- Check your wipers for wear and replace when brittle, and keep the windshield washer fluid topped up.
- Examine your vehicle’s exhaust system for signs of damage, corrosion or loose parts.
- Inspect the shock absorbers for wear and oil leakage.
- Make sure to have all the fluid levels – engine oil, radiator coolant, and transmission and power steering fluids – checked regularly, and topped up or replaced as necessary.
- The same goes for the air and oil filters; both components work hard to keep your vehicle’s engine free from contaminants and so need to be changed periodically.
- Look for worn or frayed engine and timing belts. If either fails it is bad news; at the least you’ll be stranded, at the worst you’ll be facing costly engine work.
- Inspect the battery for corrosion or loose cables, and bear in mind the average vehicle battery has a life spanning 48 to 60 months, so it will need to be replaced at some point. In this case, consider an advanced technology battery; they are more expensive but offer an extended life and more consistent performance.
- It is also a good idea to have your vehicle thoroughly cleaned, inside and out, and the bodywork waxed to protect it from corrosion.
- Book your vehicle in for a complete service at least once a year.
Remember it is advisable to have a qualified and reputable auto mechanic, who has the skills, knowledge and equipment, do the actual maintenance; firstly to make sure the job is done right and secondly because your insurance may not pay out in the event your amateur attempts cause long term issues or damages to your vehicle, or worst case scenario, result in an accident. After all, you wouldn’t attempt to perform surgery on yourself and the same goes for maintaining your vehicle.