Annual physicals, dental cleanings, chimney sweeping, are you sensing a theme? Annual inspections and check-ups, keep everything running smoothly and problems at bay. Routine car maintenance shouldn’t stop with just an oil change and wiper check. You still need to have a certified mechanic give your car a regular checkup to make sure all the parts that are meant to last “longer” are still in good operating condition.
These parts need regular visual inspections to avoid major repair bills:
Brake fluid – can absorb water over time, making the level look fine, but rusting out the system or otherwise causing your brakes to not work. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers specify how often to change this fluid. Unless your owner’s manual says otherwise, we recommend every 30,000 miles.
Transmission fluid – Recommended every 30,000 miles – Transmission fluid; like other fluids deteriorates over time. Modern transmissions produce tremendous heat, which turns the normally red clean transmission fluid to a burned brown color. For vehicles used for towing or hauling we recommend every replacing the transmission fluid more often, usually every 15,000 miles. This service preserves the proper function of the transmission and reduces internal wear. You can read more about Transmission service HERE.
Tires – AAA recommends checking tires using the “quarter test,” in which you stick an upside-down U.S. quarter between your tires’ tread walls. If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, your tire has less than one-eighth of an inch of tread left and it’s time for a replacement.
Engine coolant – Recommended every 3 years or 30,000 miles – The chemical protection properties of antifreeze deteriorate over time. Changing the antifreeze will help prevent premature failure of the radiator, water pump and other engine components. A cooling system service includes: inspect all hoses and belts, inspect cooling system, check for leaks, check heater, defroster, cooling fan operation, flush out old antifreeze, refill with new antifreeze and ensure proper protection in extreme cold and extreme heat. Make sure your car has enough coolant to cool down the engine, especially before we get into our hot months.
Timing belt – Recommended every 60,000 or 90,000 miles – A timing belt is an internal engine belt similar in appearance to a fan belt, which drives the engine’s camshaft and often turns the water pump. Because of its design, this belt wears over time and will need to be replaced. If neglected, this belt will eventually break leaving you stranded and can result in extensive costly engine damage. Note: not all engines have timing belts. Your owners’ manual should have this information. If you cannot find the information call or email us. We will let you know if your car has a timing belt and when it must be replaced.
Most drivers do a great job remembering to change their car’s oil, but in the busy bustle of day to day life, we forget about all the other little things that may go unnoticed when they start to break down. Long gone are the days of 3,000 mile tune-ups. Next time you get your oil changed, have your mechanic give you a check-up on these services. If you’re keeping up with your routine car maintenance, then you know you’re covered by Osceola’s Lifetime Protection plan and your car’s when you need it.