Taking Care of Business: Preventative Maintenance Planning
By Kate Bergeron (July 18th, 2017)
Most people only see the mechanic when there’s a problem. They only stop by when they hear a noise, when something feels off, or, worse, when they break down. Unplanned, reactive maintenance is costly and can be avoided with simple planning. Preventative maintenance extends car life, ensures your ride is safe, and saves you money in the long run. Here’s a basic checklist for your regular maintenance:
1) Check your exterior
Take a walk around your car once a week to look for anything out of the ordinary. Even small rust spots, window cracks, dents or scratches can cause major issues when not cared for in a timely fashion. While you’re outside you should also check your lights- headlights, brake lights, reverse lights, and blinkers- to see if any bulbs need to be replaced.
2) Check your fluids
Engine oil, antifreeze, power steering, coolant, and even your wiper fluid levels should all be checked on a regular basis. Most of these have visible tanks or easily accessed dipsticks so monitoring them every few weeks should be a breeze. Bring your car in for a refill when the levels get low, or per the schedule in your car’s owner’s manual.
3) Check Your Tires
Your car’s manual will tell you how often to get your tires rotated and balanced, and your alignment checked. Treads should be visually inspected regularly and professionally checked about once a year for uneven or irregular wear, as well as cuts, punctures, and bruises along sidewalls. You should also monitor your tire pressure every few weeks. Tires should be replaced as soon as possible when worn or damaged, to avoid a costly blowout. For more information, read our recent blog article on tire safety.
For bigger projects like belt replacements, oil changes, battery work, and other maintenance you’ll need to see your local mechanic. Our team is focused on making sure your car avoids costly repairs and breakdowns. V&F can help you create an appropriate schedule that considers your vehicle’s age, your driving habits, and the manufacturer’s recommendation. Call us at (413)314-2280 to discuss preventative maintenance planning, or schedule an appointment online.