What is Preventative Maintenance?
Preventative Maintenance is frequent upkeep of your vehicle that helps keep it operating efficiently and reducing possible issues that may leave you stranded or stuck. Manufacturers know that a properly maintained car will be more dependable, safer, last longer, and increase your happiness with their product. Preventative maintenance includes:
- Replacing Windshield Wipers
- Tune-up or servicing/replacing spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor.
- Replacing Engine Air Filters
- Regular Engine Oil Change
- Differential(s) Gear Oil Change
- Trans-Axle Oil Change
- Routine Hose Inspection
- Battery Service
- Exterior Drive Belt Replacement
- Servicing/Replacing Transmission Oil & Filter
- Timing Belt Replacement
- Flushing Brake Fluid
- Flushing Steering Fluid
- Antifreeze Flush/Replacement
- Tire Rotations
- Inspect Exhaust System for Leaks
- Inspect Brake Linings, Brake Rotors, Hydraulic Lines, Calipers, and Wheel Cylinders
- Replacing Cabin Air Filters
- Safety Inspections
What Maintenance Should I be doing and when?
These are generic service guidelines based solely on time or mileage, not on aesthetic appearance or measurement. Their intent is to extend the life of your car or truck and help prevent malfunction. Your vehicle’s needs may differ depending on driving behaviors and/or owner’s manual suggestions. Check your owner’s manual and with your service advisor for particulars.
- OIL – LUBE – FILTER: 3,000 miles to 5,000 miles
- TIRE ROTATION: 3,000 to 5,000 Miles depending on tire style
- PCV VALVE: Yearly, replace and service PCV system
- WHOLE CAR DIAGNOSIS: Yearly and before purchase or sale
- FUEL FILTER: Yearly or as needed
- BATTERY SERVICE: Yearly or as needed
- AIR CONDITIONING: Check every spring or as needed
- RADIATOR COOLANT: Every two years, flush
- BRAKE SYSTEM FLUSH: Every year
- CLUTCH SYSTEM FLUSH: Every year
- RADIATOR CAP: Replace every two years
- ENGINE OIL FLUSH: 2 Years or 30,000 Miles
- AUTOMATIC TRANS FLUSH: 2 Years or 24,000 miles
- POWER STEERING FLUSH: 2 Years or 24,000 miles
- EGR SYSTEM SERVICE: 2 Years or 24,000 miles
- 4×4 TRANSFER CASE: 15,000 to 50,000 miles
- CARBON CLEANING: 2 Years or 30,000 miles or as needed
- THROTTLE-BODY SERVICE: 2 Years or 30,000 miles or as needed
- RADIATOR & HEATER HOSES: 4 Years or 60,000 miles
- DRIVE BELTS: 4 Years or 60,000 miles
- TIMING BELT: 4 Years or 60,000 miles
- DIFFERENTIAL FLUID: 15,000 to 50,000 miles
- MANUAL TRANS SERVICE: 15,000 to 50,000 miles
- VALVES: Adjust per owner’s manual
- SCAN FOR COMPUTER CODES: When amber “CHECK ENGINE” Light is on
- OXYGEN SENSOR: Per owner’s manual or as needed
What does the "check engine" light mean?
There are numerous sensors and electronic components which regulate your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When any of these fail, the “check engine” light illuminates. Even though your car may appear to run fine, it’s crucial to have the issue resolved to prevent long-term trouble.
What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can destroy your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe and secure place to pull off the road and turn the engine off! Don’t attempt to examine the fluid level in the radiator; the hot fluid can result in serious burns. The best thing to do is have your vehicle towed to Walt’s Auto.
Does where I get my vehicle serviced matter?
Yes. A professional, certified auto mechanic is required to pass through continual training in the latest systems and adept use of state-of-the-art equipment in order to check the electronic devices which control most cars’ functionality and to enable diagnosis and prognoses of complex issues. Equipment includes: electronic scopes to monitor sensor alerts, scanners to communicate with the computer systems, etc.
Also, a licensed and certified auto mechanic has access to tech-info solutions to reference wiring diagrams, manufacturer’s technical service notices and other data. Without these resources, a garage auto technician could easily misdiagnose your vehicle’s problem at your expense.
How can I keep my vehicle's warranty in effect?
Ensure that your car or truck is serviced at the regular intervals designated in your Owner’s Manual or Warranty Booklet, and keep precise records of your vehicle’s routine maintenance. Be sure to list the date, parts installed, vehicle identification number and mileage documented on the invoice. Keep these receipts in a safe and secure place. If you have a service log in your Owner’s Manual or Warranty Booklet, make use of it. For recommendations on service intervals, check out our Preventive Maintenance schedule.
Am I required to use my dealer for maintenance?
No. You may have routine servicing done by any independent service station, shop, or garage and still uphold your warranty.