Are you “Car Care Aware?” April is national preventative maintenance month and Axleboy Automotive is challenging you to take a hand in being proactive toward maintaining your automobile. The first step toward cultivating a proactive mindset is to dispel the false notion behind the maintenance free car.
“Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the marketing and sales tactics of dealerships,” says Scott Carline, president and owner, Axleboy Automotive. “Consider this: What motivation does a car salesman have to sell a ‘maintenance-free’ car? The answer is all too clear. Car dealerships know that if drivers don’t take appropriate care of their cars, they will eventually have to purchase a new one.”
At Axleboy, we know that if you really want a car to last 100, 200 or even 300 thousand miles it must have regular preventative maintenance both at the shop and at home. While opening up the hood may seem daunting to some, there are plenty of things that every-day car owners can watch for.
The Car Care Council and most vehicle operations manuals recommend that, on top of routine mechanical service, car owners *regularly perform the following 10-point check of their vehicle:
- Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
- Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
- Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
- Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
- Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
- Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
*Regularly is a very broad term that, in the case of this article, is used to mean “at least once per month.”
Schedule your appointment at Axleboy today by calling (636) 939-5337 or clicking below.