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Recommended Vehicle Maintenance Schedule – Car Care Awareness Month

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If you follow our blog, then you already know that April has been deemed Car Care Awareness Month.  As Spring turns into Summer you’re going to want to have your vehicle’s maintenance in tip top shape.  So, we, along with carcare.org, have put together a list of regular maintenance items that you should be checking and how often.

car care awareness recommended vehicle maintenance

There are a handful of things that you should be checking regularly — before any longer trip of 50 miles or more and every now and then in between — just to be safe.  You’ll want to find out about any Dashboard Indicator Lights that are on.  This includes but is not limited to the check engine, low engine oil, low tire pressure, and door ajar lights.  You’ll also want to check out your actual lights.  That would be Headlights, Taillights, Turn Signals, etc.  Some of these are illegal to drive if they are burnt out.  Tire Inflation and Condition is another thing that should be checked frequently.  We mentioned the tire inflation dashboard light but your tires may be low without the light being on — AND most older cars don’t even warn you.  If you are driving with under or over-inflated tires, that will cause them to wear unevenly.  It’s alway important to look for irregular wear on your tires, so that way you know what to do to fix it.  Whether it may be needing an alignment or simply putting some air in or taking some air out like we said before, and that it is important to regularly check your tires.  Another thing you should be checking often would be Windshield Washer Fluid.  It is important to be able to see while driving (obviously), so being able to clean your windshield off at a moments notice is imperative.  Make sure your washer fluid is somewhere close to the Full line.  One of the last things we recommend you check frequently is your Engine Oil Level.  If we had to rank the most important components of a car, then the engine would be at the top because without an engine the car would not go.  That being said, the engine wouldn’t matter at all without oil, so if you think about it, that means engine oil is the most important component of a car.  And just because you got an oil change last month, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be checking the oil level several times before the next change.  You could have a slow leak, your oil cap could have been put back on loosely, or any number of other reasons, and then you may find yourself with a blown engine.

Now that you know what to check on a regular basis — once twice a month — here are the maintenance items you should be checking (or getting someone to check) every 3 moths or 3,000 miles.

 

3 Months / 3,000 Mile Maintenance

car care awareness recommended vehicle maintenance

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Battery and Cables

Belts

Dashboard Indicator Light On

Engine Air Filter

Engine Oil

Exhaust

Hoses

Lights

Power Steering Fluid

Tire Inflation and Condition

Windshield Washer Fluid

You probably noticed that some of this was repeated from regular maintenance.  That is simply our way to stress that you keep on top of it at a minimum of every 3 months.  The following will be the maintenance that we recommend to have completed every 6 months or 6,000 miles.

 

6 Months / 6,000 Mile Maintenance

car care awareness recommended vehicle maintenance

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Battery and Cables

Belts

Chassis Lubrication

Dashboard Indicator Light On

Engine Air Filter

Engine Oil

Exhaust

Hoses

Lights

Power Steering Fluid

Tire Inflation and Condition

Windshield Washer Fluid

Wiper Blades

All these items are important, but the ones that should stick out to you are the fluids: the transmission fluid, engine oil, and power steering fluid.  These are all extremely important to making a car “go” and should be check at a minimum of every 6,000 miles.  The next set of maintenance recommendations are to be completed every 9 months or 9,000 miles.

 

9 Months / 9,000 Mile Maintenance

car care awareness recommended vehicle maintenance

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Battery and Cables

Belts

Dashboard Indicator Light On

Engine Air Filter

Engine Oil

Exhaust

Hoses

Lights

Power Steering Fluid

Tire Inflation and Condition

Windshield Washer Fluid

All of this is repeat checks, but that is only because the next big check should be coming every year or 12,000 miles.  Depending on your state regulations, this is usually when you will have a car inspection.  However, if you aren’t required to get an inspection every year, as it is in Maryland, then you should be doing these things on your own.

 

12 Months/ 12,000 mile Maintenance

car care awareness recommended vehicle maintenanceAutomatic Transmission Fluid

Battery and Cables

Belts

Brakes

Cabin Air Filter

Chassis Lubrication

Dashboard Indicator Light On

Coolant (Antifreeze)

Engine Air Filter

Engine Oil

Exhaust

Hoses

Lights

Power Steering Fluid

Steering and Suspension

Tire Inflation and Condition

Wheel Alignment

Windshield Washer Fluid

Wiper Blades

Hopefully you are keeping up on your vehicles maintenance.  We can’t force you to keep your car up to date on it’s maintenance, but we can provide the information you need to do it yourself and we will certainly be there to help you if there’s something your can’t do yourself.  You can bring your vehicle into one of Preston Automotive Group’s several dealership service locations.  We will complete the maintenance and give you a complete rundown of what was completed.  It takes all the pressure off of you and you will have the peace of mind knowing that you are driving in a safe and maintained vehicle.

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Recommended Vehicle Maintenance Schedule – Car Care Awareness Month