Buying/owning a car is the second most expensive item that an average person would spend besides a home.  Maintaining a car can be tricky, but not impossible, follow the tips below for a long lasting car.

Oil Change
It is very important to change the oil at the recommended service intervals. It is the single most important thing you can do keep your vehicle’s engine running longer. The recommended interval for conventional oil is every 3,000 miles and every 5,000 for synthetic oil.  The Normal interval listed in the owner’s manual applies to vehicles driven under ideal conditions. While you may consider your driving habits and operating conditions quite normal, read the fine print. Some exceptions to Normal driving include:

  • Frequent short trips (less than 10 miles, especially during cold weather)
  • Stop-and-go city traffic driving
  • Driving in dusty conditions, on gravel roads, etc.
  • Driving at sustained highway speeds during hot weather
  • Towing use
  • Diesel or turbocharged engine

You should have a tire rotation done every 6,000 miles to extend the life of your tires by making sure they wear evenly.  Tires need to be checked on a routine basis for proper pressure, wear, and for damage. Tire pressure is very important and should be verified at least once a month. Proper tire pressure is noted on the vehicles drivers side door jam. The tire pressure needs to be checked when the tire is “cold” meaning, not after driving a significant distance. In addition to this, the tires should be rotated with each oil change. This will provide a full visual inspection of the tire for cuts, breaks, damage, ensure proper wear, and maximize tire life expectancy and fuel economy.

Front and rear differential fluid should be replaced every 25,000 miles
To keep the oils from breaking down, especially during the winter season.

Transmission fluid should be replaced every 30,000 miles
This is mainly for conventional transmissions, to extend the life of it and keep it in tip-top shape.

Spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles
Not having the spark plugs replaced could present a number of issues such as a rough idle, starting issues, engine misfires, and lack of acceleration, etc.

Fuel System service should be done every 30,000 miles
Mainly to get rid of any unnecessary deposits in the intake and exhaust valves.

Power-steering fluid should be replaced every 30,000 miles
This will help extend the life of other power-steering components such as the power-steering pump and rack.

Brake fluid flush should be done every 30,000 miles
Keeps the brake fluid from breaking down.

Brake service should be performed every 15,000 miles
To number (1) make sure the vehicle is safe to drive and number (2) to keep the brake components from seizing up.

Transfer case fluid replacement should be done every 30,000 miles
(for 4×4 vehicles) – To once again, keep the fluid from breaking down. The transfer case is a sealed unit that contains multiple moving parts, therefore replacing the transfer case fluid will continue to keep these parts clean, reduce heat and make sure your vehicle’s performance is always in top shape.

To preserve the vehicle’s finish, wash it often and out of direct sunlight. When washing the vehicle use wash that is made for your vehicle’s finish, not household or dish soap. Foreign materials such as calcium chloride and other salts, ice melting agents, road oil and tar, tree sap, bird droppings, chemicals from industrial chimneys, etc., can damage the vehicle’s finish if they remain on painted surfaces. Wash the vehicle as soon as possible. If necessary, use non-abrasive cleaners that are marked safe for painted surfaces to remove foreign matter. Occasional hand waxing or mild polishing should be done to remove residue from the paint finish. Keeping your vehicle clean will assure that your vehicle maintains its value.

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