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Basic Upkeep

Glockner Family of Dealerships

Basic Maintenance to Extend the Life of Your Car


Basic upkeep that will extend the life of your car is well worth the money and extra minutes of your time and will save you both in the long run!  Here is why:

1. Flush the brake fluid

 
Each vehicle manufacturer has a different recommendation on how many miles or years you should go before flushing brake fluid.  To be on the safe side it is best to consult with your vehicles maintenance schedule to determine what is adequate for your vehicle.  Dip-strips are a common purchase to make this a simple, do-it-yourself project.  If the fluid comes out a dirty brown color it's time to flush the system to prevent erosion in the brake system. 

2. Flush the transmission fluid

  
Again, the answer to how often this task should be performed is varied depending on the type of vehicle you are driving.  Generally, an automatic transmission will require a flush every 30,000 to 60,000 miles unless the vehicle is heavily used.  In the instance that a vehicle is a constant workhorse, it is suggested to change the fluid every 15,000 miles.  Automatic transmissions can vary significantly and it is wise, regardless of the transmission, to refer to the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. 

3. Change oil and filters

  
Changes to your oil and filters should be done according to your vehicles service schedule.  However, most new models of vehicles have a monitoring system that will alert you when the vehicle is in need of attention for this particular task.  Otherwise, the rule-of-thumb is to change the oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.  Simply clearing the dipstick with a clean rag or paper towel and inserting it to get a clean read on the oil levels will help indicate whether you have a healthy abundance of oil.  By avoiding this routine maintenance you could jeopardize your vehicle's engine as the oil is needed to lubricate vital parts of your running engine. 

4. Change spark plugs

 
It seems to be a common trend but it is best to comply with the owner's manual for specific intervals when noting times to change your spark plugs.  Most people might tell you to have these changed every 30,000 miles otherwise.  Failing to maintain proper spark plugs can result in a mass of engine problems such as misfires, hard starts, and poor fuel economy.  If you notice any of these symptoms it might be a good idea to get your plugs checked before the problem becomes more expensive. 

5. Oxygen sensor

  
A service to your oxygen sensor should be considered when changing the spark plugs.  This is something that can help keep you in a routine of checking and fine-tuning all of the little details.  The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and adjusts the fuel mixture appropriately so that the catalytic converter can function properly.  This can lead to much larger issues if it is malfunctioning. 

6. Timing belt

 
Generally a timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.  Again, it's wise if you confide in your vehicle's maintenance schedule as to when it is actually appropriate to service the belt.  This is a high-price maintenance cost but it is necessary.  You will want to be looking for any cracks or worn/damaged areas on the belt to assess whether or not it's time for a new one.  If you are unfamiliar with how to perform this check it is something that can easily be done at your next oil change or tune up. 

7. Cooling system

 
Most drivers that live in snowy regions are keen on checking their coolant system every winter.  Verifying that the anti-freeze is at a favorable level is always a good  way to monitor things.  However, it's recommended that the system is flushed at least every two years

8. Tire Pressure Checks

 
This is one of those simple tasks that can easily be overlooked.  Checking every other week to once a month is the best recommendation that can help prevent future problems.  Most modern day vehicles will have an indicator when your tires need the extra attention so a lot of drivers may put this out of sight/out of mind until this alert goes off.  Again, those living in cold weather climates and changing seasons will notice tire pressure changes as the weather does  This is important for safety on the roads as well as favorable gas millage

9. Tire Rotation

 
This is a routine follow up you can find in your owner's manual but the rule of thumb is every 6,000 to 7,500 miles.  Tire rotation will help extend the life of the tires, grant you better gas millage and help keep you steadier on the roadway in terms of handling.  

10. Give it a bath!

 
Finally, give your car a bath.  It's simple but it will help clear that sand and salt from your paintjob keeping you looking sleek, but what's more is that it will clean up that undercarriage.  Regularly washing your vehicle can prevent rust on your paintjob as well as keep things healthy on the underbelly of the vehicle which is where a lot of important parts can be affected.

It's best to have a professional do the above maintenance in one go if you have little experience.  Ask your mechanic if you can watch to gain some insight.  With the proper upkeep you are preventing more expensive repairs, keeping the resell value up, and can be reassured that your vehicle is in safe driving condition!

"Make it easy" on yourself by entrusting your vehicle maintenance and repair to one of Glockner's Service Departments!