Scheduling your car for regular preventative maintenance or “service” appointments can be likened to going to the dentist. Just as it is recommended to go to the dentist every six months for a checkup, the same care should be given to your vehicle.
Service appointments allow a certified technician to evaluate your car for current problems and to prevent future ones. During a preventative maintenance service, a technician goes through a checklist found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and takes care of services like oil changes and tire rotations. These checks prevent breakdowns and make the vehicle last longer.
What kind of items are on the checklist? The easiest to check are the fluids – brake, antifreeze, transmission, differential, and windshield wiper fluids. Each of these should be topped off, even if they are not that low.
Next, belts and hoses should be examined for cracks or extreme wear. If anything appears broken or loose, replace or fix the item. All lights should be checked as well – brake lights, headlights, taillights, and turn signals. These are not only for your safety but for the safety of other drivers as well.
Finally, look at the wheel alignment, brakes, suspension and tires. Be sure these items are prepared for the current and next weather season.
Each item on the checklist has specific intervals it should be examined, depending on how often and where you drive. Check your owner’s manual for preventative maintenance details.