How often does my vehicle need service?
More often than not, vehicle owners have good intentions to properly maintain their investments. However, life has a tendency to get in the way. There are also many schools of thought on how often maintenance items should be performed. We are here to help address some of the main issues that arise across all vehicles.
1. Maintenance Reminder Items
If you drive a newer vehicle, it most likely has an on board vehicle maintenance reminder system in the form of service lights. In-vehicle maintenance reminder systems take a number of vehicle operating conditions into account and provide an alert on the dash when it is time for an engine oil change, fluid level checks, component inspections and other car maintenance services. If your vehicle has one of these systems, trust it to guide your maintenance visits. However, if you don’t put many miles on your car, most automakers recommend an oil change service every 12 months, even if the maintenance reminder hasn’t come on.
2. Mileage Based Services
Older cars have service intervals based on mileage. There are usually two different maintenance schedules, one for cars driven in “normal” service, and another for those used in “severe” operating conditions. The exact definition of severe service varies with the automaker, but it usually involves operating your car under one or more of the following conditions: Primarily short trips (5 miles or less), Extremely hot, cold, or dusty climates, sustained stop-and-go driving, carrying heavy loads or towing a trailer.
If your vehicle use falls under the severe service definition in your owner’s manual, follow the more rigorous car maintenance schedule. However, if you drive your car under normal conditions, be wary of spending hard-earned money on services your car may not need or benefit from.
A common example of unnecessary car maintenance is changing the engine oil too often. It used to be normal to recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles. However, with modern lubricants, most newer engines have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. You can’t judge engine oil condition by color, so follow the factory maintenance schedule for oil changes and all your other car service needs.
3. In Between Service Intervals
To keep your car in the best possible condition in between services, we advise you to have your vehicle in for routine check ups. During a routine inspection, technicians should look over your vehicle to make sure everything is working properly. Typical service check areas are: Tires, Brakes, Oil/Transmission/Brake/Power Steering/Wiper fluids, Steering, and Suspension.
4. Finding Quality Auto Repair
PAW Automotive Service Center recommends that you plan ahead for vehicle service by finding an auto repair shop you can trust before you need them. Chose facilities that meet high standards for appearance, technician training and certification, insurance coverage and customer satisfaction. For additional details or any service related questions, please contact PAW Automotive Service Center today!