Home Lifestyle The Ultimate Guide to Preventative Auto Maintenance

The Ultimate Guide to Preventative Auto Maintenance

Preventative Auto Maintenance

You’ve likely heard that preventative auto maintenance is the best way to keep your car running efficiently. But how do you create and utilize such a car maintenance checklist?

Breakdowns often feel like random occurrences you can’t control—your tire explodes on the road, your windshield develops a spiderweb, or your engine suddenly blows. But the truth is, most of these mishaps are entirely avoidable with regular automotive preventative maintenance.

Oil Change

The manufacturer recommends that you change your oil frequently. This essential preventative maintenance service will save you from many future problems. Motor oil lubricates the engine and other moving parts in your car, keeps it from overheating and helps the system operate properly. Dirty or low levels of oil cause engine parts to wear down, increase friction, and make the car run poorly.

Utilizing high-quality oil and following the maintenance plan will extend the life of your engine, lessen mechanical problems, and save you money on fuel. A well-maintained vehicle will also have a higher resale value for trade or selling.

Tire Rotation

Every automotive professional recommends rotating your tires regularly to help them wear evenly and last longer. This is one of the easiest and most effective preventative maintenance services you can perform at an auto repair West Chester shop.

Due to their role in steering and braking, front tires on cars tend to wear down more quickly than rear tires. However, with regular rotations, all four tires will eventually deteriorate equally. This can save you a lot of money on replacement costs.

Rotating your tires also allows you to inspect them for damage visually, check the air pressure, and have them rebalanced if necessary. It can even protect your tire warranty, if you have one, by showing that you are maintaining the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for tire rotation.

Coolant Flushes

Without coolant, which absorbs heat from the engine to keep it from overheating, your engine would not be able to function. A coolant flush removes old antifreeze from the system and replaces it with new, clean types of coolant. This prevents the older antifreeze from becoming acidic and damaging rubber hoses and other components of your car’s cooling system.

Coolant flushes are not as significant as engine oil changes, but they are still a necessary part of preventative maintenance for your vehicle. If left neglected, the coolant in your engine can become contaminated with sediment and clog lines and cause the engine to overheat.

One of the most common signs you are due for a coolant flush is if the “low coolant” light illuminates your dashboard. Other signs include your car overheating while you are driving. A coolant flush done by an experienced auto mechanic can help protect your car from overheating on the road and prevent expensive engine damage.

Serpentine Belt Replacement

A serpentine belt, also known as a drive belt, is one of the most critical components in your vehicle. This rubber belt snakes around pulleys to power essential accessories like the air conditioning, water pump, and alternator. With it, these systems will work.

Thankfully, the serpentine belt is relatively easy to inspect. If you hear a chirping or squeal, it’s time to replace your belt. This indicates several issues, including belt stretch, loose pulleys, and even cracks or separation of the ribs. Regular inspections during routine maintenance can catch these issues before they become more serious.

To test a serpentine belt, press a car belt gauge into the groove and ensure it sits above the ribs. If it slides down to be even with the ribs, your serpentine belt is worn and should be replaced. It’s a simple fix that can save you from a massive inconvenience.

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