Vehicle Preventative Maintenance: What it is and why it’s important
Preventative maintenance – You likely hear the term all the time at your car repair visits . But what does it mean? Think of your vehicle like your body. Nothing may be currently wrong with it, but you still go in for preventative check-ups to catch any issues early before they become bigger more expensive issues. This same concept applies to your vehicle.
During car repair visits, suggestions for additional services fall into the preventative maintenance category. While suggestions may seem like an “upsell,” this is your technician’s way of helping you prevent bigger and costly repairs down the road. When it comes to your vehicle, what does preventative maintenance really look like?
- Follow the manual. Not all cars are created equal, so your best guide to when you need certain services is your owner’s manual. Follow the manufacturer’s schedule on oil changes, timing belts, filters and more. Also, make sure to stay on a regular oil change schedule. Your manual will detail what that looks like for you.
- Pay attention. If your car has something going awry, it will likely tell you. Don’t ignore any strange rattles or warning lights on the dashboard. Also, give your car a periodic once-over so you can spot anything amiss.
- Check fluids. This is something you can do on your own, even if you’re not the one to change the fluids. Follow your manual to see how much is recommended, and be sure not to ignore anything that is leaking.
- Take care of your tires. Keep your tires inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure and have them rotated, aligned and balanced on a regular basis.
- Have your belts checked. Your vehicle’s serpentine belt is vital. Have a trained mechanic inspect it regularly and replace them when needed. If your vehicle has a timing belt, be sure to have it replaced at the recommended mileage.
While you can handle some of the preventative maintenance on your car, we’re here to help. AAA Car Care offers our customers access to a digital vehicle inspection at every visit. It shows you via photos, videos and technician notes what steps you can take now, as well as in the future to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Also, check out our Car Care articles to learn more about your vehicle and different services by visiting AAA.com/CarCareBlog.
Reserve your Car Care Center appointment online at AAA.com/GoCarCare or by calling 833-668-5390.