Six Maintenance Tips for the Everyday Driver

October 26th, 2018 by

An auto mechanic checks the oil level in a car engine during routine maintenance.

Unfortunately, vehicles are advanced pieces of machinery that need consistent and constant care throughout their lifespan. We can’t all be professional mechanics, but we can all learn how to take care of our vehicles. The more you understand about auto maintenance, the longer your vehicle will last, the smoother it will ride, and the more money you will save. With a few simple tips and tidbits, even you as an everyday driver can become capable enough to give your vehicle the edge it needs to live a long and healthy life while avoiding a lot of unnecessary strain and confusion. From oil changes to choosing a service shop, here are a few helpful maintenance tips for drivers everywhere.


Tip 1: Have a Regular Vehicle Maintenance Schedule and Stick to it

It is extremely important when you get a new car to take a look at the owner’s manual and start coming up with a maintenance plan for all the big and little things that your vehicle will need to have done on a regular basis. You can start by listing every type of maintenance in the manual as well as how often they recommend it be checked or changed. This could include minor items like a simple oil change, tire rotation, and filter replacement, and major items like brake checks, engine checks, and suspension checks. Once you have it all listened down, you can mark the essentials, combine those that need to be done around the same timeframe, and start creating a maintenance calendar. Knowing when everything is due for a checkup and sticking to that regular schedule will help you stay on top of your automotive health and allowing you to have a worry-free driving experience. It may take you a few hours to get it right, but it will be useful for the entire lifetime of your vehicle.


Tip 2: Match your Maintenance to the Season

If you haven’t noticed by now, summer and winter have very different temperatures, and that can have an impact on what your vehicle needs. In the summer you will need to get your vehicle ready to stay cool with an increased amount of fluid intake such as coolant and an oil change for the engine to stay lubricated and running strong. The end of summer is also a great time to go over everything, just as vacations are ending and school is beginning. In the winter you will also need to change your oil regularly as well as add antifreeze. Tires are especially sensitive in winter so you will want to be sure you fill them up before the full wrath of the season hits.


Tip 3: Lubrication is Key

As a piece of machinery, it is important to understand that your vehicle requires lubrication in order to move. There are many parts of your car that take in some type of fluid, namely the engine, brakes, a transmission, and without each part getting what it needs when it comes to hydration, you may just end up with a rusty Tin Man stuck in the forest of Oz. This is what makes regular oil changes so essential to car maintenance, because if the parts can’t run smooth your car sure as heck won’t. Luckily, oil changes are something very simple and inexpensive that you will deal with every 3,000 miles or so. Additionally, oil is also used as a way to control temperature in the engine.


Tip 4: Wheels Matter

While things like the engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes are clearly essential to keep your vehicle strong and safe, the part you personally will be dealing with the most are the wheels. Wheels are what help allow a vehicle to stop, go, turn, and cruise along with ease as they boost performance and keep drivers safe. Wheels should always be properly inflated, have rich tread patterns, and all be the same exact type, size, quality, and age. This means you should always replace all four wheels at the same time in order to avoid confusion later on.


Tip 5: Have a Service Shop you Trust

Once you have your schedule pretty much down you will want to have your favorite mechanic or service place that can provide you with the care your car needs on a regular basis. Once you have one you trust you, it will be a pain to move away from them after they understand your vehicle so well, so it is important to choose carefully. These are the people that will help keep your maintenance schedule on track with helpful reminders, answer any of your questions and concerns, and make sure your vehicle never falters.

At McCluskey Chevy, we offer a number of services that we can provide you at a fair price. I-CAR Gold and ASE certified you can trust that we have the skills to treat your vehicle with care.

Man taking apart cap parts

Tip 6: Learn to Properly Communicate your Vehicle Needs

Whether you are a public speaking professional that can perform in front of millions or someone who can barely make a phone call without sweating, trying to communicate your vehicle needs is something entirely unique. That being said, it is still an important skill you must learn if you want the best results when it comes to your vehicle’s health.

The first thing you must do is some personal research. This involves reading the manual, following the schedule, and keeping a physical track of all your repairs and services. This is a sure way to stay on top of everything and allow yourself to always be prepared when questioned about your vehicle.

While you may not know the jargon, you are the person that will understand your car better than anyone else. Driving your vehicle every day you are the first line of defense your vehicle has to prevent the worst, and so you must always keep your senses on alert for any and all warning signs. This could include anything such as:

  • New sounds or odors
  • Leaking fluids or visible smoke
  • Warning lights and uncommon gauge readings
  • Worn parts such as tires, belts, and hoses
  • Excessive vibrating
  • Difficulty with steering

Tell your mechanic or repair expert about these sights, sounds, and any other issue as best as you can. You will want to make sure you note when these types of problems come to your attention, how frequent they are, and if factors such as weather or speed have anything to do with them. This should help the professional do their job quickly and efficiently. Also, you should never be afraid to ask questions and stay involved in the process as long as you are not rushing the professional. Be sure to also have an understanding of their policies and give them your contact information before you head out.


McCluskey Chevy

At McCluskey Chevy we believe your satisfaction shouldn’t end after you drive off the lot in your new vehicle; it should last as long as your vehicle is still running. This is why we are a full-service dealership that will be there for you for life. Whenever you have any automotive needs, we will be here to fulfill them to the best of our ability, because that is what it means to be a part of our community.

Posted in Oil Change