Preventative maintenance is what you can do to help prevent more severe car problems in the future. With consistent preventative maintenance, you can avoid issues such as overheating, tire blowouts, mechanical issues, or smaller issues such as decreased gas mileage or debris accumulation. Preventive maintenance can go a long way in keeping you safe and keeping your vehicle in good working condition.

For some drivers, preventative maintenance can feel like an expensive chore, and it’s easy to forget to take extra care of your vehicle when it is not experiencing obvious problems. However, the benefits are well worth your time and effort. Here is a list of basic short-term and long-term maintenance tasks that you can do to prevent long-term damage to your vehicle.

How to Keep a Preventative Maintenance Timeline

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Check Regularly:

You need to keep up with changing the oil and oil filter. Period. Your vehicle’s motor oil is key to keeping your engine lubricated, which keeps it from overheating, cuts down on wear and tear on engine parts, and helps keep it running smoothly. Motor oil gets dirty over time, and an oil change will make sure that you have clean oil and a clean filter helping to run the engine.

Monthly:

Check your tire inflation often. Underinflated tires can lead to serious and dangerous issues, such as blowouts on the road. You can easily avoid this by checking your tire pressure at least monthly. You can make a habit of doing this while at the gas station.

Some other ways to keep your tires in good shape is to keep an eye out for tire deterioration and shallow tread. Don’t overload your tires with more weight than they are classified to carry and avoid potholes or debris that can damage your tires while driving. When they no longer look or feel like they are doing their job properly, have them inspected at a trusted Cottonwood tire shop. Having your tires inspected, rotated, and replaced as needed is especially important leading up to long road trips or changing road and weather conditions. Fall is a great time to begin exploring options for new winter tires in Utah.

Every Six Months:

Another important way to keep your tires in good working shape is to get your tires rotated and aligned. When you get your tires rotated, the tires are taken off, moved to a new position, and mounted again. Since tires wear down differently over time according to their positions on the vehicle, routine rotations allow for them to wear down more evenly which allows them to keep for longer. Tires ought to be rotated every 6,000-8,000 miles or about every six months.

In addition, wheel balance and alignment are also important to lengthen the life of your tires. Balancing will help weight distribution around the axle for a smoother drive. A wheel alignment will help make sure that your tires are parallel with each other and positioned correctly. This keeps your vehicle from pulling to one side while driving and can also help with fuel efficiency.

Yearly:

While windshield wipers are not something Utah drivers use every day, on bad weather days they are essential to safe driving. You may be tempted to put off getting your windshield wipers inspected or replaced even when you see that they are not working at their best because you don’t use them consistently. But, they are key to visibility. After a few seasons, the rubber on the blades will deteriorate, leading them to leave smears and streaks or to decrease visibility during a storm. Get them inspected or replaced when you see that they are not working as well as they ought to.

At About 30,000 Miles:

After every 30,000 miles that you drive, or according to the manufacturer’s specifications, you should get your interior and exterior filters changed. The air filters help prevent debris and dust from going into the engine.

The interior cabin air filter helps clean the air before it goes into the air conditioner, which helps keep dust, pollen, and other things carried through the air from blowing in your face. This filter can be replaced a little more often–generally once a year.

The fuel filter helps keep the fuel lines from getting clogged up by debris, dirt, or other contaminants. There is a lot of gunk and debris that clog up the air and liquids moving through your vehicle, and all of these various filters are key to keeping your vehicle operating safely and cleanly. Get them replaced as recommended by the manufacturer or your mechanic.

Spark plugs also need to be replaced every 30,000 miles. Spark plugs do a lot of important work in getting the car started. While spark plugs don’t need as much regular maintenance as some other parts, extreme temperatures, and regular wear and tear over time require spark plugs to be changed consistently.

Three to Five Years:

Get your battery tested and cleaned every few years. No one likes being stranded at the most inconvenient times because of a dead battery. Even if you aren’t experiencing any weird symptoms, it is a good idea to have your battery tested. You can also take care of your battery along the way by cleaning the corrosion off the posts with a stiff wire brush.

Regular maintenance will go a long way towards preventing serious car issues. This basic timeline is a great starting point for keeping your running smoothly for a long time. However, you should always look at the manufacturer’s recommendations as well to know exactly what to do for your particular model.