Serving the Greater St. Louis, Missouri area!

Keep Your Car Running with Preventative Maintenance

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? When it comes to car maintenance, waiting until something breaks can be a costly mistake.

Save time and money when you take steps to keep your car in good working order. Following the preventative maintenance timeline for your vehicle will lengthen the life of your car, keep you safe, and maintain your car’s resale value.

The first step in preventative maintenance is to read the owner’s manual. Remember, the people that manufacture your car are the ones who write the maintenance guidelines. A well-intentioned friend may rely on the myth that you should change the oil every three months or 3,000 miles. Stick to the manual’s outlined schedule for maintenance, and note items such as the recommended oil weight, gasoline type and optimal tire pressures.

Keep Your Car Running with Preventative Maintenance Preventative maintenance starts with looking over your car yourself. It will give you a heads up to potential problems. Check your tire pressure. Make sure your lights, interior and exterior, are working properly. Check the ground surface below your engine for any pooling liquid. It is important not to don’t ignore any leaks.

Check fluid levels. Start with the oil, as it lubricates the metal in your engine. Running out of oil is a sure way to needing a new engine. If the oil is dirty, it is time to change it. Next, check the coolant level. It absorbs the heat in your engine. Keeping coolant at the right level prevents engine overheating, and it inhibits engine rust. Other fluids to check include transmission fluid, brake fluid and steering fluid.

Check your tires. Your tires need to be at a constant pressure. Overinflation and underinflation are both hazardous for your safety. Optimal tire pressures are found in the owner’s manual and usually on a sticker inside the driver’s door. Make sure you check your tires when they are cool, at least an hour or so after driving. When you check your pressure, also check the wear on your tires. The penny test is a great way to measure remaining tire tread. Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across each tire. View it across the tread surface of your tire. If your tread is touching Lincoln’s head, the it means you have at least 1/16 inch of tread depth remaining. That is the bare minimum to keep you safe. If Lincoln’s head is in full view, your tires need to be replaced.

Check fluid levelsCheck your brakes and alignment. If your brake pads are wearing thin, it makes it more difficult to stop and start. Modern vehicles may have a service light come on when it is time to check your brakes. A sure signal of worn brakes is a shrieking whine that gets louder as you push the brake pedal. Misaligned tires become evident in many ways. This includes uneven tread wear on your tires, vibrating steering wheel when you keep it straight, and your vehicle veering to one side or the other when you are driving straight on a flat even surface.

The list of preventative maintenance recommendations will get longer as your mileage increases. Oil and filter changes as well as tire rotation are usually performed at all service intervals. Higher mileage vehicles will require belt inspection and possible replacement, as well as periodic replacement of windshield wipers and spark plugs. Professional auto shops and dealers may perform complementary inspections with preventative maintenance service and will recommend services if needed. This can include anything from fuel injection cleaning to A/C maintenance.

Keep all of your service records so you know what has been performed and when the next service is needed. Proper car maintenance is an important part of being a responsible driver. The professionals at Missouri Driving School can help you reach that goal with Missouri driving lessons for St. Louis area drivers.

Missouri driving lessons are in session. Call to schedule!(314) 849-4590