It seems like during this time of the year everyone is go, go, go. One thing that most people rely on to get them where they are going over the holiday season, is their vehicle. There are things you can and should do to maintain your car, truck, and SUV to ensure it’s in good shape and will help you reach your intended destinations. We are going to review some holiday vehicle maintenance tips to help you ensure your vehicle is ready for the upcoming season.
Holiday Vehicle Maintenance Tips
While vehicle maintenance is always important, lots of people neglect their vehicles until they know they are going to be using them for extended periods of time, and even then, some people don’t worry about the health of their vehicle. Our vehicles aren’t like all of the other devices (cell phones, computers, TVs, etc.) in our lives that we can usually get away with having no checks or maintenance on and use until they stop working and we can just replace them. Your car, truck, or SUV is a complex machine that relies on thousands of components to work. If even just one of the parts fails, it can mean the difference between you getting to where you are going or not.
Before the holidays are fully upon us, if you haven’t paid much attention to your vehicle in a while, now is the time. We have provided some holiday vehicle maintenance tips to help you out, but remember, you can follow these maintenance items all year round.
- Check the Oil: Oil is an essential part of your Phoenix vehicle’s operation. Having low or dirty oil can cause major issues for your car, truck, or SUV, and failing to replace your vehicle’s oil, when its needed, can lead to wear and tear on engine parts and ultimately total engine failure. Depending on your vehicle’s age, type of oil used, and driving conditions, oil change timing will vary. Most engines today, have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. If your car’s engine requires full-synthetic motor oil, it might go as far as 15,000 miles between needing an oil change.
- Inspect the Tires: Tires are the only part of a vehicle that are in direct contact with the road, so extra care is needed to ensure they are correctly inflated, display even treadwear, are free from any obvious defects and are of the size and type specified by the manufacturer (Forbes). A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. Make sure you keep up with the recommended rotation schedule and ensure your spare tire is always also in good condition and you have all the tools you need, should it need to be used.
- Examine the Battery: Car batteries, like all batteries, have a finite lifespan. Batteries deteriorate over time until they can no longer provide enough power to start the vehicle’s engine. This wear time could take three to five years. The vehicle’s usage pattern is one factor contributing to the rate at which a battery will age. Review your battery for any signs of corrosion or any obstructions. If your vehicle is starting sluggishly, your battery could be on the way out and you may want to think about taking it to a Phoenix automotive repair shop to have it inspected and replaced if needed.
- Don’t Forget About The Wipers: If it has been a while since you have put a new set of wiper blades on your vehicle, it is a good idea to do so. Consumer Reports tests have found that even the best-performing blades can be ready for retirement in as little as six months. Cracks, tears, streaking, and missed spots are all signs that it is time for new blades. This is also a good time to check your wiper fluid and top it off it needed.
- Top off Fluids: Along with wiper fluid, there are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your vehicle running properly: engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Check all of these fluids and top them off if needed. This a good time to also look around under the hood and make sure you don’t see any leaking fluids, as that could be a sign that you may have an issue with one of your vehicle components. Check all of the belts and hoses on your car, truck, or SUV to ensure they are not cracked, glazed, or frayed and in need of replacement.
- Test the Lights: Most people don’t realize they have a light out on their vehicle unless someone happens to tell them. Walk around your vehicle and make sure all of the lights are working properly. Test high and low beams, flashers, brake lights, headlights, directional/turning signals, and any other lights on your vehicle.
- Replace the Air Filter: Your vehicle’s air filters are important to ensure proper airflow throughout your car, truck, or SUV, and it is imperative that you regularly check the air filters and replace them when needed. The filters in your vehicle help to filter and keep out things that should not make their way into your car’s components. When your air filters become soiled and obstructed, the air that your vehicle needs to function cannot flow properly and can cause performance issues and larger problems.
We have reviewed a few holiday vehicle maintenance tips, but there are other things you can do as well, such as pack a travel kit, inspect your brakes, take your vehicle to an automotive repair shop for a thorough inspection, and more.
When it comes to your Phoenix vehicle, Advanced Transmission & Emissions can help. Advanced Transmissions & Emissions specializes in transmission repair, rebuilding, and remanufacturing, and all of your other automotive repair needs from clutches, air conditioning, steering, suspension, and more. We are a full-service auto mechanic repair shop. Contact us today.