As the owner of a cherished car, you must have acquainted yourself with the nitty-gritty bits on car maintenance in your owner’s manual (If you haven’t, you better!). The manual lists out the basic services & the recommended major maintenance intervals needed for optimal car care. To that end, you need to keep track of your mileage, a service record in case your car is pre-owned, and a thorough driving profile.
If this is your first excursion to an auto shop, ensure it displays the AAA certification & ASE-certified mechanics. Usually, the auto mechanics will acquaint you with the particulars of car servicing, but it’s best to have some information before you go there.
1. The Oil Change
Be mindful of the season, the mileage, and the age of your car before you go about selecting engine oil. Typically, the mechanics will procure the oil for you, so stay sharp and keep a watch on what kind they pour in. There are different ratings for summers and less viscous oils for winters. An older car will need oil developed for high mileage vehicles. Make a note to have your car’s oil changed every 3000 to 6000 miles.
2. The Battery & Fluids Top-Up
Once a week, check your car’s battery terminals for any copper deposits. They show blue powdery crystals on the car battery’s terminals and must be cleaned away. Care must be observed not to short the terminals accidentally. If it is a wet-cell battery, the electrolyte levels are checked & replenished with distilled water. The windshield wiper fluid is also another fluid that needs topping up. Never rely on water as wiper fluid unless you want your windshields scratched.
3. The Braking System
There are two screeching sounds – no, actually, three – three sounds call attention. One is the screech of meshing gears in a stick drive, one is the screech of dry fan & time belts, and one is the screech of workout brake pads against the metal wheel. Of the three, the last one is your biggest worry because no one drives sticks these days.
Have your brake pads inspected regularly and replaced if they are worn. Brake fluid is a long-term checkup but important nonetheless. Have a leak inspection carried out too.
4. The Tires
A tire rotation ensures an even wear on all tires, which also helps them last longer. At the auto shop, the mechanic will balance & align your wheels, rotate your tires, and check their air pressure. Don’t forget the same treatment for your spare tire. While checking tire air pressure is a bi-monthly activity, tire rotation and re-alignment must happen every 3000 to 5000 miles or as recommended on your owner’s manual.
5. Coolant Check
your engine oil is not just a lubricant for the pistons inside the engine block; it also acts as a coolant and dissipates heat to the aqueous coolant regulated by the radiator system. As much scrutiny as you give to your engine oil, your radiator coolant also needs regular replacement, or it will begin to rust the grooves in the engine, and the results aren’t pretty down the road. Never skip on coolant!
If you find all this too overwhelming and desire convenient servicing, Lakeland Ford offers our mobile services in Valrico, FL. Just book with us, and we’ll be there on the dot to service your car to a T! We also invite you to a trip to our reputable dealership serving Valrico with new & used Fords glistening in the Floridian sun & awaiting your selection!