Preventative Maintenance Any Driver Can Perform
When it comes to your automobile maintenance, the team at Nealey Auto Service wants you to know that it’s all about proactive care instead of reactive care.
As much as we love to be there for drivers all over Maryland, there are some measures that the driver can take upon themselves to prevent the stress and hassle that comes with a serious auto repair—before it’s too late.
Sometimes, drivers tend to put off auto maintenance until the last minute, resulting in high-cost repairs, or even worse—damage beyond repair. To save time, money, energy, and stress, here are preventative maintenance measures everyone should take when it comes to keeping their vehicle running healthy:
- Inspection: Giving your vehicle a personal spot-check once in a while is a good way to detect anything out of the ordinary. When conducting your own inspection, make sure the lights are all working, listen for any strange sounds inside and outside of the vehicle when its running, check tire tread and air tire pressure about every month--using a tire air pressure gauge that you can keep in the glove compartment. Healthy tires give the vehicle better mileage, and saves money on gas. If you hear anything that sounds out of the ordinary, it’s important that you don’t ignore it.
- Check the Fluids: Most people might not learn how to change their fluids, but it’s important for any driver to at least learn how to check their antifreeze, power steering, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid levels. The owner’s manual might not explain much about checking fluids, but keep an eye on your gauges and never ignore a leak.
- Check and Change Your Oil Regularly: Whether your vehicle uses an electronic gauge or comes with a dipstick to check the oil level, it’s important you know how to check it. Knowing the difference between clean oil and muddy oil will keep your engine healthy. The universal rule for how frequently you should change your oil varies for almost every vehicle--but drivers can’t go wrong with an oil change service about every 5,000 miles with a high quality oil and filter.
- Check Your Battery: Although most batteries these days don’t require too much maintenance, everyone should know where it is and how to check for leaking and mineral buildup. If you do find buildup, see your expert for proper cleaning and repair.
- Replace Windshield Wipers: Wipers are cheap and easy to replace on your own, and shouldn’t require a “professional” to take care of. When your wipers start to leave streaks on your windows, remember that the driver needs a clear view of the road and their surroundings
- Replace the Engine Air Filter: Regularly replacing the engine air filter is important. Depending on the vehicle, the owner’s manual will give a mileage estimate for how frequently it should be replaced. It might be difficult to find depending on the vehicle, but if you can find it, check it out. If you’re a stop-and-go traffic driver or drive a long daily commute, your engine air filter will likely get dirtier faster, compared to a driver who mostly takes open roads
- Rotate and Balance Tires: It’s important that your tires wear evenly and your vehicle drives smoothly. Once a year is ok to rotate your tires, but it depends on each type of vehicle. Regularly rotated and balanced tires last much longer and keeps them aligned.
Nealey Auto Service wants Maryland drivers to know; when it comes to vehicle maintenance, there are measures any driver can take to ensure proper preventative maintenance—But every vehicle needs professional help sometimes, and we are the professionals Maryland drivers can trust.