ANSWERS: 1
  • Well I'll do my best to answer your question. Most owner's manuals (if not all) have service sections near the back that lay out the different maintenance required at different mileage or time milestones. I would suggest you follow the directions in there for a start. You can also adhere to the old adage of 3 months/5,000km oil & filter changes, around 40,000km for transmission service, and regular simple visual inspections. For the transmission servicing, always get a full flush, filter, and fluid change. Don't just change the fluid. Simple visual checks include tire condition, suspension condition, looking for any leaks, warning lights, or anything else out of the ordinary. I would also suggest that you check your air filter, oil, and transmission fluid at every gas fill-up. Check for the level and colour of your fluids and the condition of the air filter. For oil, it should be fairly translucent, up to the 'full' marking on the dipstick, and should have no visible metal flakes floating in it. You should check this after the engine is warmed up, but after it has been off for about 2-3 minutes. For tranny fluid, make sure the engine is warm and running, and parked on a level surface. For the air filter, ensure the engine is off and the air around you is fairly clean (not in a sandstorm). Take your vehicle in regularly (every 5-6 months) for a tire rotation, underbody inspection, oil change, etc. A garage near me runs a promo every once in a while where they do it all for $30. Look in coupon books for good garages that do it nearby. A licensed mechanic will know what to look for, and if the vehicle is on a lift he will have a better vantage point than you in your garage. Keep on the lookout for any recalls that pertain to your vehicle and get them looked at right away. First, you get free service from a dealership. Second, you will have a mechanic looking at your vehicle (for free) who may notice something in need of repair. Third, you will ensure everything is safe and reliable. Wash your vehicle regularly (if not weekly, then at least monthly) to ensure there's no buildup of salt, sand, random fluids, water, etc. These can all deteriorate seals, suspension joints, brake components, etc. and lead to the horrible aspect of old cars - rust. *shivers* After washing it is good to use a wax or polish (Armor All has a wax& dry that will was as you dry the car if that works for you), lubricate the door locks and hinges, check the door seals, do a visual on the brake components, and make sure you are happy with the car. One more thing to do while drying the car is wash the door jams. Take a microfibre towel, dip it in your used bucket of car soap, and gently run it down the door jams to get rid of all of the dirt. Then take a second towel with clean water and get rid of the soap. Follow up with a clean, dry one and it should all sparkle. This gives a good impression when opening the doors, as this is often neglected. Avoid nasty potholes if possible as these are hard on several suspension components (ball joints, A-arms, springs, shocks, CV joints...) and your wheels and tires. Keep the tank topped up. Two main reasons: 1) The fuel acts as a coolant for the fuel pump. When the tank is low the pump can run hot, which over time can lead to pump failure and $$$ for repairs. 2) Moisture can build up in a partial tank which can cause problems like water in the fuel, freezing in the winter, etc. Listen to your car. You should always aim to keep it in the same condition as when it was new. This goes for the paint, belts, everything. If you hear a squeak or a rattle that doesn't go away after a few days then try to find out what it is or get it looked at. Sometimes a small little squeak can lead to a major component failure if it's ignored. Keep in mind that it's impossible to keep a car for a long time and not run into problems - it's inevitable. However, you can take steps to minimize the problems that you run into and save you money at the same time. It's called preventative maintenance. Hope this helps, Good Luck

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