What are the benefits of performing preventative maintenance on my car?

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Answered by: Joshua, An Expert in the Advice for Car Owners Category
It is extremely important to keep up on the maintenance of your vehicle. There are simple things that can be done to ensure your vehicle continues to run at its best for many years to come. If you do not have mechanical experience, it is important to make sure you have a qualified mechanic do this work for you.

Performing preventative maintenance on a vehicle is of the utmost importance. The simple oil change is one of the easiest things that can be done to a car to keep it running good for a long time. Without doing oil changes, the engine could get a buildup of old smudgy oil that tends to slow things down a bit. This thick old smudgy oil can clog the ports of an engine which in turn reduces the amount of oil getting to the places that it needs to get to.

Generally speaking, the oil should be changed no later than every 6,000 miles. If you do this, your engine should be safe. Some car manufacturers recommend that the engine oil be changed sooner at 3,000 miles; you should always follow the owner’s manual for your vehicle.

Car manufacturers install warning signs that tell us when our vehicles are in need of maintenance. One of these signs is the check engine light on the dashboard. None of these dashboard lights should ever be ignored. While most of the time it is true that the problem can be remedied quickly and without a large loss of money, there are some instances that can be a huge problem. Whatever the case may be, it is always wise to get the dashboard light checked out.

Something as simple as not tightening the gas cap enough could set off the check engine light in newer vehicles. There is only one way to tell what the cause is, and how to fix the problem. That is, to bring the car to someone reputable to hook a scanner up to the diagnostic port located on your vehicle’s computer.

Believe it or not, every time you drive you are performing preventative maintenance. You know your car better than anyone else. For example, if it starts to pull to the right while driving down the road you know that you might need an alignment done. If you go to long without getting one done, your car will need tires prematurely.

Another example occurs when you apply the brake, you notice that your car doesn’t stop as well as it used to. If your pedal is going down to the floor chances are you are low on brake fluid and might have a brake fluid leak. You should stop your car immediately. If you start to hear a grinding sound while braking, chances are you are going to need new pads. If you catch it soon enough, that is all you will need. This is why it is called preventative maintenance.

Every time you drive you are doing preventative maintenance. Nobody knows your car like you do. If something feels wrong, it might be a good idea to get it checked out. If you don’t get it checked out now, it could cost you thousands of dollars or more later on.

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